• Closed • Alea Iacta Est....Alterum

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Alea Iacta Est....Alterum

Arc 721, 18th of Ashan


Dreams. A place the young woman could escape the world for a bit. So much had happened to her recently that most evenings, she dropped to her cot and fell into a deep sleep immediately. Life on Faldrass was challenging, taking a lot of effort and energy on her part to help the settlement as much as she could.

There were also other oddities going on as well. Less daunting but some exceedingly confusing. Her vision, for one. Elisabeth still didn’t know what to make of that although answers were coming in slowly. Part of her had worried, at first, that sleep might be another avenue for the visions to find their way back but in the few trials since, that hadn’t happened. Anxiety had eased just a bit, but she feared that somehow, someway, they would return.

Slumbering on the shores of Faldrass… but her mind was thrust somewhere…. else.

***
Or not….

Opening her eyes, she found herself in someplace familiar…with a twist. Slowly moving forward, the structure of the Prime Atheneum was still there, but there were distinct differences. Beneath her bare feet, deep burnt orange-hued sand squished between her toes. Snow no longer fell…and one wall of the massive library had vanished, giving way to a spectacular view of a large mountain. If one listened carefully, they would hear waves crashing nearby.

While some things had changed, a few had not. The young woman was still clad in a gown of deep blue, long dark hair gathered upon her head in a riot of curls. The stacks of books still towered throughout the room and small contained bonfires were littered about the area.

This is where the dream took her…looking for…something…

Moving through the room, she tried to discern what she was searching for. A book? That seemed likely. She was in a library after all…but no. There was something more. Something…important. Sometimes her dreams knew what she needed more than the young woman did. The universe, she found, was funny that way.

Looking up at the blue crystal that followed her, she arched her eyebrow gently and inquired. “Do you happen to know?” Of course, as always, it remained silent. Sighing softly, the young woman gently chided the crystal. “I’ll keep talking to you until you talk back. I’m stubborn that way.”

Continuing, she came across one of the small bonfires, stopping to warm her hands. Her hands were always cold it seemed. Something about never being able to find her gloves, wasn’t it? She loved the cold – just not cold hands.

Glancing about, she smiled a bit, curious to see what the universe would bring her that particular evening.
Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 461
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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum


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Arc 721, 18th of Ashan

The paradigm effect had all but faded returning with the roaring power of his sparks, ether rushing through his soul once more in an uninterrupted conduit. It was somewhat jarring, that final night of paradigm lag, between the moments when he was entirely free of the spark’s influence, and then when the band slipped off to reveal the mutations in their full hideousness, and finally the return of magic. Still, he couldn’t do with any interruptions this night, as he prepared himself mentally for the meeting with the Egg in a few trials. A meeting he long knew would come but had put off as far as he reasonably could.

Having locked the doors to his chambers, requesting that Soraia should attend to Iago if necessary during the night, and imploring them all that he should be left alone in the final night of his confinement.

He took up a riverstone that always laid by his bedside. He’d carried the stone from his time in Etzos, all the way to Ne’haer, onward to Quacia, and from then on never let it out of his orbit.

Werthom’s grave, still lying beneath the sapling amidst a growth of forget-me-nots, had been largely undisturbed on his last trip to that Immortals forsaken city. Idly, Woe wondered if his mother still persisted, still intended to make it her own. He’d told her several times that her ambitions were foolish, in more diplomatic terms, of course. But whether that had been borne out of concern for her, or concern for the home of his deceased daughter… Lacking the greater part of a heart, it was hard to tell where his true intentions lie.

Still, he clung to some semblance of sentimentality, holding the rock to his chest as he went to sleep, thinking about who Werthom might’ve become, had she survived as he did.



Ymiden 60th, Arc 923


Elisabeth was not alone in her dreamscape tonight. There was another lurking through those ethereal halls that so resembled the Prime Atheneum, with so many nonsensical differences.

A woman, wreathed in what appeared to be black spiderwebs, from her arms to her toes, drifted through the halls. At times crossing in front of her, other times, perusing the many tomes. She appeared distraught, signs of grief evident on her face.

Still, she searched feverishly through the various shelves, as one knowing what she was looking for, yet never finding it.

As she walked through the halls of Elisabeth’s dreamscape, a note slipped from her left hand and was blown upon the sands toward the dreamer.

As she drew closer in her search through the shelves, the woman could be heard muttering something, ”Baronet Ferehorn… Where could he have gotten to… I know the ledger is here somewhere.”




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54th of Ymiden 923





Dear Warden:


The newly anointed Baron Ferahorn demands, yes demands, that his son and daughter be released immediately. I’ve heard through my fellows in the Asylum that you’ve been keeping him among the greenery, giving him plenty of fresh air in the botanical gardens. That is good, but the Baron insists it is not enough. He believes, based on his recent visit to the facility, that his son is ready for departure. Against my better judgment, yet knowing that the decision comes to him ultimately, I’ve allowed that he should be gone from the Asylum, effective to this trial.

My client will not brook any argument. I trust you know what it means to upset the expectations of the Royal Botanist of Queen Arkenstone’s court.

Yours in service,
Woe.


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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum


Sighing softly, the young woman stood there by the fire, watching the flames. She loved the flames though she wasn’t exactly sure why. They watched over her. Protected her. Whispered to her at times too. But wrapped within that relationship were other things that were harder to explain. Uncertainty, doubt, pain, need. Things that once were clear became just a little more obscure…tangled…twisted.

But sometimes, the young woman preferred things that way.

The world prided itself on extremes. Black and white. Good and evil…all but ignoring that most of it was shades of gray, beautifully warped, capturing beings within its grasp, using their emotions for its purposes. An elaborate, exquisite chessboard. The dreamer knew this to be true, having seen it through her own brilliant sapphire eyes. Most couldn’t see the distinction…but she could. She could see all the strings attached and moving parts. Others didn't think she could, but they were wrong.

The dreamer didn’t have the creativity within her that would change who she appeared to be. She could only be who she was. That, perhaps, made her different than most…but it was honest and real. Elisabeth was who she was. Nothing was hidden or obscured. It left her vulnerable, but she simply didn’t know any other way to be. This, of course, she was unaware of...but it was no less true.

It was then that she heard a noise from somewhere. Before she noted who made the noise, however, a small piece of paper floated over the sand and found its way to her, as if it were meant to. Lowering gracefully, sapphire gown billowing out around her, a slender hand picked up the note and gently unfolded it.

Quickly reading, she arched an eyebrow gently. Arc 923? Nothing much in the note made sense to her…but when she got to the end, the name sparked something within her.

Woe.

It wasn’t familiar in the least, but something about it stuck in her mind. Interesting. It was something she would remember. She compelled herself to remember it.

Looking up, she finally noted the woman within her library. It wasn’t often people found their way to her so when they did, she paid attention and remembered them. There was one time she remembered in particular. The man. She hadn’t seen him since and sadness surrounded that fact.

Muttering and obviously distressed, Elisabeth went to do what she did best – waking world or dreamscape. She went to help.

Swiftly moving across the space, bare feet moving against the warm sand, she found her way to the woman, speaking softly and smiling. “Hello? Is there anything I can do to help you? I’m Elisabeth.” Holding out the note that had found its way to her, she continued. “Is this, by chance, yours?”

The blue crystal that followed her began pulsing a bit, gaining attention in her peripheral. It knew things she didn’t and perhaps, just perhaps, it recognized the energy of her companion while the dreamer remained oblivious. Waving it off, she returned her attention to the woman, laying a gentle hand against the woman’s arm to comfort her obvious anguish.

“Are you looking for someone?”
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“Hello? Is there anything I can do to help you? I’m Elisabeth.”

Werthom's head tilted up from the book, and then turned to spy the lady approaching from her flank. She hadn't noticed her before then. But then she saw the note, with the seal. How had it floated all this way, from the Guild of Hospitality's archives? Werthom was sure she left it there. Yet with the Chimera the woman had become, memory was sometimes a problem. One slip of the enervations of the brain, and you forgot what you were holding in your hand. It was one of the costs of straining to resist the atavistic revelation, that had tried to claim her so long ago.

But then, none of that was of a matter right now. "You are Elisabeth." Werthom repeated. Her mind turned over that fact, the dark spidery webbing that covered her in a living garment shifted every so slightly as she turned to face the woman, still clutching the ledger in her hands. "Yes, I have an appointment with the Warden." Werthom told Elisabeth. Perhaps she was working for the Asylum? And had been sent ahead to parlay with Werthom. "My father was murdered a few nights ago, and was found with that note." She nodded to indicate the one Elisabeth was holding, "Having written it himself before he could send it away. We found him with... a man taken by the drug, wildfire. He was killed of course, but not before murdering my father."

For all that she was confessing to have lost her father only a few nights prior, Werthom showed remarkable lack of emotion. Yet there was pain on her face. Werthom just had a different way of greiving, and it didn't involve bringing strangers into the process. Yet she was curious about this woman. The touch on her arm prompted a cursory glance of the other woman's enervations. The spidery webbing that covered her propagated, and began multiplying until the strands began gently grazing the other woman's hand. Should Elisabeth let go, she would find the strands retracting, as if in courtesy. But at any rate, the merest touch had given Werthom untold insight into the other woman's physiology.

But then, Werthom wasn't here to collect flesh and had no interest in doing so. She wanted answers. "It's too soon to single out any for suspicion, but given the subject matter of the note on the wildfire-addled man, we've arrived at the conclusion that the Warden of the Asylum is a person of interest.

Werthom stared into Elisabeth's eyes. It was then that Elisabeth might've noticed the fingers that crept out of her hair, as if holding her head in their hands. The fingers framed her face like a crown of sorts. An unsettling sight for most, but Werthom knew how to turn it to her advantage most times. She smiled at Elisabeth, "I'm Werthom, by the way. Of the Seekers?"

The mention of the Seekers seemed to trigger a change in the woman, and the fingers began tapping against the frame of her face. Something was waking...

The black spider-webbing that ensconced the woman began to propagate, and expand. Soon enough, it covered over her face, the hands, the entirety of her twisted body. Then, a tear was heard from within the make-shift cocoon. Then it retracted, leaving only a man in a dark-gray sleeping robe, his feet and hands exposed. His shadow, cast by the light in the dream, had jagged edges. His hair was stark white, and his eyes encircled by darkened skin... no more like webbing or silk, which seemed to share the same texture, albeit a lighter color, as the rest of his skin.

He took a moment to catch himself, before he realized he was dreaming. And then, he saw the woman that he'd met in a dream, in transit from Quacia to Viden. Immediately his mind went to Magpie, to Llyr. Was this one of his spies, and what was she doing haunting his dreams? Was she even a dreamer, to appear here? Dozens other questions occurred to him then, and finally he arrived at the resolution that he'd ask her.

"Who are you, what are you doing here?" He grabbed her by the wrist, forcing her into lucidity if she wasn't already. He would see who this really was. "Show yourself, Magpie! And stop sending your little spies against me!" He ranted, looking up at the ceiling of the Grand Atheneum, which was not.

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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum


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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


As the woman repeated her name, she curiously considered her new companion. It wasn’t often she had such…interesting…company. It mattered not. Company was company and she didn’t often have such. She wanted the woman with the strange webbing and odd features to feel comfortable with her. Nodding her head gently, she smiled. “Yes, Elisabeth. You are welcome here.”

Then, the oddest thing happened. The woman began talking of an appointment she had with the Warden. Father murdered. Looking down at the note, Elisabeth was more than perplexed, but the pain on the woman’s face was tangible. As such, the young woman didn’t think a moment more on the bizarreness of the moment, seeking only to comfort, prompting the touch to the arm. When she noted the webbing pushing forward, she felt the need to pull back, but didn’t, allowing the touch to occur. She would, of course, monitor it…but she had touched the woman first. It was only polite to allow the same. Touch was, in some ways, the way Elisabeth communicated to the world. It was an essential part of who she was, and in most cases, it allowed her insights into people that were valuable. The webbing, to her, meant curiosity.

The woman continued to speak of the Warden and Elisabeth nodded. It would be unkind to say she played along, for what she did was far more than that. Being unaware of the events being discussed, she wasn’t sure what she could do other than listen and be a supportive presence. “I see. That does sound interesting. And how did you arrive at that conclusion?” More information was always a good thing.

It was then that the strange woman smiled and introduced herself as Werthom. Nodding in reply, Elisabeth acted as though nothing was amiss…even though almost everything was amiss. “Of the Seekers? Well then, tis my pleasure to meet your acquaintance. I will certainly assist you however I can.”

It was then that things…changed.

Elisabeth watched as the woman transformed into something else entirely. Stepping back, the raven-haired young woman watched as a cocoon formed, and from within it came a man. It took her a minute to figure out where she knew him from but once it came to her, she smiled. She remembered him! They had talked in her library once before. He had been kind to her.

He, however, was not as happy to see her.

He struck out to grab her wrist. The moment he touched her, her mind flooded back to her. Her form shimmered, gown vanishing and being replaced by the loose shirt and leggings she wore to bed that evening. The man would witness the transformation but oddly enough, not much changed. Her physical features remained the same. Dark raven hair that was piled upon her head in a mass of perfect curls tumbled down her back. How she projected herself in a dream was not far away from who she actually was in front of him…and now, lucid.

Narrowing her eyes, she took a step back, trying to pull her wrist away from him. Elisabeth was startled, but not angry. Not yet. Direct was more accurate. “I’m Elisabeth! I told you that. We’ve met before. In my library. I remember you. You were nice to me. We talked about a lot of things. I’m not a spy and I’ve not done anything wrong so please let go of my wrist! Who the Beneath is Magpie?”

The man would note a strength and quickness to her, but it would not be apparent why. Elisabeth was aware of her lucidity, remembering how it felt the one and only other time she had been so. So who was this strange man and what did he want from her?


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He saw that she changed garb as he grabbed her by the hand, revealing what she'd worn asleep. Then, she was not lucid before. Was she even a dreamwalker or merely a conduit for others to spy through? Or none of those things? Woe had to be sure, but he couldn't do much without magic in Emea. He dare not. His grip faltered as she slipped from it. She was strong, probably stronger if not as strong as Woe himself, and easily removed herself, flaring with indignance at him.

He'd forgotten himself momentarily, and let anger fill the wound in his tangle. Yet when the wound was filled with any emotion, it often made way for more of the same. "Breen, I need your nose..." Woe gritted his teeth, trying to grapple with his emotions as the diri appeared at his side. The black furred lysorian shepherd emerged from the Beneath, as Magpie was mentioned by Elisabeth, asking who in the Beneath he was.

Woe opened his eyes, and scoffed, laughing a bit madly at that. "Of course, he has a hundred names... It wouldn't surrprise if he has one for each asset." Woe leveled his eyes on her, and he spoke, "You don't know him by that one then? Or perhaps none at all." It was entirely plausible he'd happened across the one Videnese person that hadn't been defiled by the groping reach of Llyr Llywelyn.

"Master... You're losing control." Breen whispered into Woe's mind, whimpering as he came to stand by his side, and looking at Elisabeth.

"Breen, do you sense anything similar to deceit or emotions to suggest such from her?"

Breen sniffed the air, as if sensing something, and then looked from Elisabeth to Woe. "Master, she seems confused, and maybe frightened? Possibly about to get angry if you don't calm down..." The diri whimpered. "So please calm down master..."

Woe sighed, breathing in and out as he leaned against the bookshelf. Then she probably wasn't a spy, at least not a knowing one. In any event, it wouldn't do much good to continue his tirade. So he endeavored to get his anger under control. It took a while, but eventually, his anger began to bleed out of the wound, replaced by an uneasy balance. He would be careful not to let it take hold again. He looked at Elisabeth, then, contrite in his attitude. "Apologies for the temper. I took you for one of his informants." His relationship with Magpie was a complex one, at turns friendly and at others that of a cat and mouse, with Woe being the mouse more often. "But... Anyway... I do remember you. I slipped into your dreamscape on the way from Quacia to my eventual destination." Woe shrugged.

"I don't remember being particularly kind to you then. But I suppose that word means different things to people." He turned his head up at her, and stared at her trying to read her expression, "So... who are you really, Elisabeth, what are you about?"

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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum


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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


Elisabeth may not have been the most talented with her blade, or even in unarmed combat. It was true that she ended up on her ass more often than not when sparring with Balthazar in that discipline. But she was far more skilled than most, which allowed her certain advantages when dealing with men. The young woman found that in general, men underestimated her. She had learned that lesson well at Storm’s Edge fortress, training around them.

It wasn’t simply physical abilities that made her different though. She watched people and used her mind to discern things about them that she could use for whatever outcome she wanted. He had let her go easily enough, so she judged his strength to be equal to hers. Narrowed sapphire eyes stayed with him, watching, listening, waiting for something that would clue her into what the encounter was about, all the while maintaining her discipline. Elisabeth had been direct…and gotten the desired result.

Letting her gaze wash over him, something she saw right away was a struggle. Her mind wasn’t sure what he was struggling against, but it was certainly something. Holding her position, she listened as he spoke of the Magpie person he was speaking of. “I do not know anyone by that name. I’m sorry – I can’t help you.“ The man was acting differently than he had in their previous encounter. She didn’t know what to attribute that to, but the encounter had piqued her interest. An ever-curious creature, she dared a question of her own. “Why are you acting like this? Please tell me what’s wrong.” Her voice lowered, no longer quite as direct as before. It wasn’t the light, conversational tone of their first meeting but it would be obvious that there was currently no danger of tipping her into anger. The curious mind he knew her to possess was peeking out from behind the surprise of the meet.

It wasn’t until he leaned against the bookcase that she moved. Taking a few hesitant steps towards him, her cerulean eyes flashed concern. “Can I help you? We could sit?” She would remain there until he answered, one way or another, ever watching and thinking. “I see. Were you lucid then? I remember bits and pieces. I remember you, and some of our conversation.” Elisabeth’s voice, as he would remember from before, was only lightly accented with a Videnese accent and something of a musical quality to it. Oddly enough, she was moving straight past small talk, which she hated, into something more comfortable.

His comment about not recalling his kindness didn’t phase her; people often didn’t understand how they impacted other people. The man had told her that her thoughts had worth and value which possibly was the greatest kindness he could have shown her. The next question, however, did get her attention. He was cutting straight to the point.

Not so fast…

Smiling ever so slightly, she replied. “I could ask the same question of you…but first, introductions.” Holding out her hand gently to him, she looked him straight in the eye and countered.

“Elisabeth. It's a pleasure to meet you…again. And you are?”



Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 547
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The second meeting of the two was marred by confusion. It happened often when Woe was just beginning to dream and became lucid at some point in the middle of it. Before, he’d been traversing Emea for days, perhaps dozens on his way to Viden. He’d been prepared for much and knew how to conduct himself. But here, he was as a man roused from sleep.

”It’s… Just waking up in a dream sometimes does that. To me anyway. Nevermind who Magpie is… I lost my temper, it’s nothing you need to concern yourself with.” Woe suffered from a wound to his tangle. It wasn’t common knowledge, in fact as far as he was aware, Llyr was the only one aware of it. He had the means to repair it… but hadn’t yet come to the conclusion that he should. Or if he should reform his personality in some other way.

Breen appeared physically within the dream then, and Elisabeth would see him, as he followed behind them, and they found a place to sit ”Yes, let’s sit.” Woe nodded, as he lowered himself into a seat.

Elisabeth seemed to remember him well. It was that way with dreams at times. ”You realize I’m not a construct. I’m not part of your dream, I’m another dreamer…” Woe shrugged, she’d seemed rather astute when he met her last, now that he remembered more as he began gaining in awareness. It was sometimes an adjustment, going from non-lucidity to lucidity. Much like morning grogginess. ”As do I.”

Woe took her hand and held it to his forehead. Quacia had rubbed off on him somewhat, and this was one way to greet a lady with respect. Woe had always enjoyed the customs of Quacia. Well, some of them. ”I’m Woe. I apologize, this is the second time I’ve stumbled into your dream… I only regret that I lost my temper just then.”

Breen sat in front of them, lifting one paw and looking pitiful as ever as it gazed from one to the other.

”So,” Woe began, somewhat awkwardly, now that they’d just irritated each other to make small talk. ”Since I know where you’re from, it’s only fair you know some of the same… I’m from Rynmere. Or I was. I’ve been traveling for a long time, it’s hard to remember my birthplace as a home.”

Woe let that hang on the air for a moment, awkwardly once more, as he waited for her to return with something that would retrieve the conversation from Woe’s banality.

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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum


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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


Elisabeth listened as he explained his outburst. It was a good explanation. Logical and all that. But something her companion would learn in due time was the young woman wasn’t good at letting things go. Especially when simply hand-waved to the side as if they didn’t exist. “Perhaps, but you’ll find that I tend to concern myself with a lot of things that may or not interest me. For the moment, this person you speak of interests me greatly considering your mind jumped straight to them.”

Giving him a small, mischievous smile, she turned her head, and suddenly, they were no longer alone. Materialized in front of her, the form of a large black dog made her arch her eyebrow gently. “And who is this beautiful creature?” Smiling at the dog, Elisabeth waited for an introduction or explanation before greeting. The universe was filled with mysterious and wonderous things. She didn’t want to assume anything.

Following the man, she seated herself next to him, listening to him begin to explain their situation. “I’m aware, yes. I’ve been lucid in a dream once before. The other person was an experienced dreamwalker. I don’t know much, but I know enough.” It was true. Balthazar hadn’t taught her much about dreamwalking. She carried his brand on the small of her back – a way for him to find her dreams easily – but they hadn’t really spoken of dreams or Emea since arriving in Scavloris. Then again, for thirty trials, they hadn’t spoken…at all. Jail had that effect.

Smiling as he greeted her in the custom of Quacia, she inclined her head gently. “No apologies or regret, Woe. I enjoyed our first conversation, and I can’t imagine this one will go much differently. I apologize if I was sharp with you. You surprised me and that doesn’t happen often.”

Folding her hands gently in her lap, she turned to him – a thought appearing out of nowhere. “One would think that if someone regrets something, logically that would mean that they actually did something to regret. I think I would prefer to regret an action…than regret that I didn’t do something I should have or inaction. Regret means perceived mistakes…and mistakes, for the most part, are healthy. They teach us something about the universe, and ourselves.”

Smiling gently at Breen, Elisabeth reached a gentle hand out to stroke his head, hoping that the motion would be received well. The young woman listened as he told her he knew where she was from, arching an eyebrow gently with a soft laugh. “Do you? Of course, you assume I’m from Viden…and you would be right. At least partially. I grew up there. I am, however, no longer there. Two cities passed, in fact. I was in Rharne for a time, helping deal with some difficulties there…but moved on after. Apparently into more difficulties but it seems par for the course with Idalos these trials.”

Shaking her head gently, she picked up on the name of the city he spoke. “Rynmere. I recall hearing that name. Who was it that said they were from there?” Thinking a bit, she finally remembered. “Andaris. That was the last name. That’s right. I met him one trial in Rharne and he said he was from there.”

Glancing over at her companion, Elisabeth smiled again, looking him up and down, noting a few somethings that were obvious to her. “And you, Woe, are a mage. My best guess is a few disciplines?” If he looked in her direction for an explanation, he would note a small grin. She was an observant girl and had a bit of experience being around mages with multiple sparks. “Mutations…and I’m pretty perceptive if you were wondering how I knew. Still not a spy, promise.”

Glancing in his direction, she remembered his comment about how he felt he hadn’t been overly kind to her during their first encounter. Elisabeth decided to enlighten him a bit about perspective. Namely, her’s. “Our first meet. The thing I remember most is you telling me not to discount my thoughts and opinions. You said they had value…and that meant a lot to me. It was a kindness. Perhaps you think that you were speaking a fact, or the truth and I wouldn’t ever take that away from you, but the experience was different for me. I’ve carried those words with me ever since.”

word count: 763
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Woe
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Posts: 2374
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:46 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Éminence grise
Renown: 1455
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Re: Alea Iacta Est....Alterum

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"Magpie is a powerful dreamwalker." Woe was willing to say that much, and then some. "It surprised me that someone like you fell outside his orbit. He normally makes it a habit of snatching up talent where he finds it. At first I almost thought you might be him, wearing a different skin, a different 'totem'. He is also a mage of some power." Woe wasn't willing to relinquish much more information than that. He didn't even know if Llyr still lived on Idalos proper, or if he'd moved onto Emea full time. To hear the latter wouldn't surprise him in the least bit.

Breen whined, shuffling on both feet as Elisabeth called him beautiful. "Oh master, she thinks I'm beautiful. Another one, can we keep her?"

"No Breen. This one isn't for keeping. She's... dangerous." Woe muttered that thought back to his diri, and then turned his attention back to Elisabeth. "He's a familiar. He follows me sometimes in dreams." Woe thought that would suffice.

She confessed not to know much, but enough to make certain distinctions. He didn't doubt it, to see how bright-eyed and alert she was, now even in lucidity. Woe shook his head when she delivered an apology to him. "You shouldn't apologize for acting in your nature." Woe smiled thinly.

She talked much, and what he heard speaking to her unnatural insight at such a young age. Yet he wasn't one for delivering compliments lightly, and so didn't interrupt as she shared her impressions of this and that. Of politics between Viden and Rharne. Her Videnese accent wasn't too strong, but it was strong enough for Woe to make the connection, which supported her claim not to have been too attached to the city she was brought up in.

They came to the subject of Rynmere, and she mentioned Andaris. "Ah yes , the city where I was raised... I..." The color drained from his face, however, when she confessed that it was a person's name that was Andaris, and not someone from the city! "You... met an Andaris? Someone within the Royal Family?" That was intriguing, and Woe wanted to know more. Was it Cassander, or one of the few satellites that circled the Royal orbit? One of them was on the tip of Woe's tongue, but he couldn't quite remember... It was a mage, as he remembered, but little else could he recall.

Woe smiled when she reflected on his words to her in the dream. "Sweet words can make for a sweet dream I suppose..." Woe's eyes grew distant, as he remembered some of his own, "But they are writ on a canvas as shifting as a stormy sea. You ought to be discerning when taking in compliments, they may be meant to do just as they have, and flatter you. But they might also be used to lower one's guard. I know that lesson too well."

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