[Haven] A Child With Scissors

A small island with an active volcano, Faldrass is the home to Saoire's school and to the Faldrass Induk.

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Balthazar Black
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[Haven] A Child With Scissors


15 Ashan 721
It was done. It felt like a terrible mistake but the fit of rage and anger passed and Balthazar was left with nothing but regret and the consequences of what he had done. Locks of brown hair littered the floor around him, red blood trickled down the back of his neck towards his shirt, wiped away just in time by a small rag. He didn't mean to cut himself but he had not taken a lot of care. He'd been looking at his reflection in the breastplate of his grave gold armor like he had before the ball. He'd hidden his mutations then but would have given anything to have them back now... well not anything. It wouldn't have been hard to break the bindings around his wrists but he did not because he knew the larger consequences would not be worth it. He'd have his magic again, but only for the duration of the rampage that followed as Kura attempted to 'enforce' her sentence. So instead he chose to let her restrain him. He chose obedience and he hated it.

His long dark hair had hung in front of his face, mocking him and reminding him of his new mundane life. He saw it and it made him think of the young apprentice. The farmer. The boy who would have done anything for magic. He had been so much worse than the man the Elements put on trial. He had made so much progress, but not enough for them and so they made him like he was then. Weak. Only he was not that boy anymore. He was older, stronger, and had more power at his disposal than the magic they stole from him. He didn't think the first time it happened. He unsheathed the adamantite blade Elisabeth had given him, seized a handful of his hair, and cut it off. There was a pause when the first few locks fell to the floor and Balthazar realized what he'd done but it could not be undone now. So he did it again, and again, and again, cutting away more and more of his hair until he only had a short amount around his head.

The dagger slipped from his hand and the trooper behind him cleared their throat but said nothing. The man looking at his reflection in the armor did not feel like Balthazar Black anymore... and now he didn't quite look like him.

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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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors

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Arc 721, 15 Ashan

Elisabeth had been on the beach, quietly contemplating some things floating through her mind. The beach was a good place to think, and she had a lot of thinking to do. They were settling into life on Faldrass and while things were still bumpy, the young mage had faith in both herself and Balthazar. The bumps were just that, bumps.

Taking a deep breath, she pushed up off the sand and decided to go looking for Balthazar. It was still early, and she had already had a pretty eventful trial. Elisabeth hadn’t seen him since showing off her clam discovery and was curious what he was up to. Slowly making her way into the settlement, she decided to quickly swing into their tent to grab her shoes.

She knew something was wrong the moment she walked in. The look on the shadow’s face was clear. Following his eyes to Balthazar, she gasped loudly – chunks of shorn-off hair everywhere, blood smears on the back of his neck, and new blood threatening to surface. “Balthazar, what are you doing?!?” She didn’t shout, but her voice was definitely alarmed. Noting the dagger she had given him on the ground next to him, Elisabeth quickly put the puzzle pieces together. She didn’t know the ‘why’ but, she certainly knew the ‘how’.

Grabbing a nearby rag, she swiftly went to him, placing the clean rag over the back of his neck firmly, bringing her body around to the front of him, kneeling in front of him so she could see his eyes, hoping to get a better idea of what was going on. Speaking softly, her sapphire eyes gazed up at him, looking for answers. “Why did you cut all your hair off, love?”

Elisabeth rarely asked anything of Balthazar’s shadows, but in this case, she was going to make an exception. It would be up to them whether they agreed or not, but she was at least going to ask. Eyes glancing over at the current guard, she spoke quickly. “I’d prefer if no one interrupted us right now, if possible. Please? Just a few bits.” He could still do his job and watch Balthazar, while also being in front of the door. He had watched Balthazar do whatever it was he had done so that wasn’t a mystery, but she needed a few bits alone with him to catch up.

Reaching up, she caressed Balthazar’s face gently, expression full of concern.


word count: 421
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors


15 Ashan 721
He wasn't there, at least not when she looked into his eyes. Not at first. His gaze may not have looked passed the tent wall but it seemed to stretch for miles. The shadow did not budge, Elisabeth's plea not striking them particularly deeply. Balthazar wouldn't have moved if their roles had been reversed. The shadow had just watched Balthazar grab a knife and sever his hair, cutting himself in the process. The shadow would not take the chance that they were too far away if Balthazar decided to harm himself in some other way. Balthazar slowly set the grave gold breastplate aside and his eyes found Elisabeth's but there was still a something wrong. He was looking towards her but it didn't quite feel like he was looking at her.

"I... I just thought it would look better." He said in a low voice before leaning down a little and picking up the dagger Elisabeth gave him. "It was sharp..." He set the dagger on the cot beside him and blinked a few times, the cloud seeming to pass out of his head and his eyes locking on Elisabeth's. He was silent for a few trills, his eyes searching hers for answers as if she knew what was going on and he did not, then he spoke again. "Surely it's not all gone. I was just trying to make it shorter." He reached up and ran his hand over the top of his head before taking hold of the rag Elisabeth was pressing to the wound that had not healed itself on the back of his neck. "Oops."

word count: 279

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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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors

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Arc 721, 15 Ashan

Elisabeth kept her eyes to his, even after she spoke. The shadow didn’t move or say anything. Whatever. She’d take care of it if they were interrupted. Rising, the raven-haired mage gently kissed the top of his head and moved to sit next to him, moving the dagger to her other side and gently taking one of his hands between hers. “There’s nothing wrong with your hair, Balthazar – then or now.”

She stayed with him. There were no answers for him, but she stayed with him. Elisabeth had no clue what had gotten into him, but it appeared he was coming back to her slowly. Squeezing his hand gently, she spoke softly. “Yes, it is sharp. That’s why I bought it for you…although I wasn’t anticipating you using it for this purpose.” It felt like she had given him the dagger a lifetime ago and in a land far away. “Do you feel up to a walk on the beach? Might be good to get out of the tent and spend a little time together?”

In truth, anything that would break him out of the daze he was in was a good thing. The episode was a bit worrisome, but she wasn’t sure what else to do at the moment. Elisabeth had a sneaking suspicion of why he had cut the hair off – symptom of the larger issue – but she wasn’t even sure the ‘why’ even mattered anymore. They both were struggling. The important thing for her was to show him that she was there for him. “I can clean up this mess later. Let me look at that cut on your neck.” Kneeling up on the cot, she moved behind him, moving his hand and rag gently to see if the wound had stopped bleeding yet.

word count: 310
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors


15 Ashan 721
"I thought there was, but it's fine now. The hair is gone." Nothing could change that. At best someone with a little more skill could even it out but it was what it was for the time being. Elisabeth told him she'd bought the blade for him because it was sharp but she didn't expect him to use it to cut his hair. He didn't expect to use it that way either but it hurt less than using Nimue's would have. "Well... I had to use it for something." Balthazar said, trying to use levity to diffuse what he'd just done. "I haven't been in many knife fights." But then she asked if he was up for a walk on the beach and Balthazar's face darkened a little. If not for the trial, he would have been. If not the for trial, none of this would have happened.

"Not right now. I'm not exactly presentable and there are always eyes on me." He said, unwilling to express that walks on the beach hurt him while the shadow was there. He could remember what it had been like to stand on a beach and feel all the elements speaking to you. Now when he walked on the beach there was silence. A deafening quiet that he could never escape no matter how many people were with him. Elisabeth moved around to look at the cut on the back of his neck, shifting the rag aside and finding that the bleeding had slowed but not entirely stopped. It was not a deep cut, nor exceptionally long, but it had drawn blood. It would have been much more noticeable if his hair were still white.

"How's it look?" He asked as Elisabeth examined the wound.
word count: 305

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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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors

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Arc 721, 15 Ashan

She kept her comments, and sighs, to herself. He didn’t need those right then. His own comments seemed to confirm where his mindset was so there was no point going down that path any further. Smiling a bit at his attempts at humor, Elisabeth gave a bit of a laugh. ”That, in my book, is a good thing. We don’t need any of those here. Maybe you’ll get to use it more when we go explore the Badlands.”

He dismissed the idea of going for a walk, which was fine. “You, love, are always presentable. At least to me…but then again, I might be a bit biased…”

His question about the cut was met with a small sigh. “It will be fine. The bleeding is a bit slower now. A few more bits of pressure should do it. Then I can clean the surface and put a bandage on it.” Slipping the rag back over the cut, she put her own hand over it again and slipped to the other side of him – away from the shadow so Balthazar had to turn to look at her. Gently slipping her hand to his chin, she softly turned his face in her direction, smiling softly.

“Don’t worry about the eyes. When you feel eyes on you, just find mine. You will never find anything but good things there. Just like right now. What do you see?” Sometimes small, actionable steps helped. If she gave him something else to focus on besides the ever-present eyes, maybe it would help.

“Do you want me to go grab some sheers and try to even up your hair? I have no skill in it whatsoever, but I can do at least that? Fair warning – you might be bald by the time I’m done?” Giving him a soft grin, she took his hand with her other, raising it to her lips and kissing the back of it gently.

word count: 332
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors


15 Ashan 721
"You are very bias." Balthazar pointed out as he kicked a bit of his hair across the ground. "But this isn't a trial or an investigation, so I'll take it." He took a deep breath and then Elisabeth tried to guide his face to hers and found him a little more stiff than she might have been expecting. Turning his neck hurt a little but he was also unwilling to ignore the eyes around him. He looked away from her and towards the ground when she asked what he saw in her eyes. He knew she was trying to distract him from the constant shadow but he did not want to be distracted and he couldn't explain why because the shadow was there. It was frustrating to be pushed to a point where he wanted to explain something he could not because of Kura's watchdogs.

"I understand what you are trying to do," He said after a long pause "but I am always going to be concerned about the eyes watching me. You should too. Eyes are linked to agendas. You choose to be here but that means you're also choosing to let them report your every move." He knew what she would say so he addressed it first, "I understand that you love me, and want to be with me no matter where I am, you say it often, and I expect you understand I love you too, but I am not the person you met in Rharne. It's not what Kura wants and I have no choice but to give them what they want. I can't ignore the shadow any more than I can ignore the therapist they're going send and their many attempts to probe me."

"I'd rather keep the hair I have now than risk going bald." Balthazar admit when Elisabeth offered to try and even up his hair. He was sure he could find a settler or two who knew how to cut hair. The Munny daughter might have known something. "Besides, you just said it wasn't that bad."
word count: 357

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.
User avatar
Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors

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Arc 721, 15 Ashan

Her attempts to distract failed…although she had expected a bit worse truthfully. Balthazar was back and no longer in a daze so that was a good sign. Elisabeth found him resistant…but for the right reasons. She accepted those.

As he explained his thoughts, at least in the manner he could, she listened and nodded. There were a million thoughts going through her mind of how to respond but first, she listened. Elisabeth listened. It was the most important thing she could do in that moment.

She understood about agendas and the point he was making but before she could counter, he jumped in with further. The young mage listened more, wanting to understand his points. Elisabeth smiled when he said he loved her…because she did know that. It was just nice to hear him say it sometimes.

Waiting until he was done, she nodded her understanding of what he said, rising from his cot and walking across the room a bit, lost in the words she wanted to say. Finally, turning to face him, she took a deep breath and began. Her voice was soft, but tone firm. What she was saying was important and she wanted to make sure its significance was conveyed.

“Balthazar, I choose to be here, yes. I’d make that decision again and again. There is nothing I do here that I’m ashamed of. Do I wish there were a little more privacy for us? Yes. Absolutely. I don’t like having my physical affection for you on display all the time. There are some things, that, and words, that I believe should be between just you and me. But that’s not a choice we have right now, and I accept that.”

Stopping for a brief trill, Elisabeth found her thoughts again and continued. “I know I say that to you a lot. But for thirty trials, I couldn’t. I was saying it to a candle…or thin air. Or Vri. More importantly, I appreciate the fact that I can say it to you. And yes, I know you love me. I don’t doubt that. Neither of us are the people from Rharne. I don’t expect you to be that man. I expect you to be who you are. And I will feel the same about him as I did that guy from the Turning Wheel. I made my choice.”

Walking back towards him, Elisabeth stood in front of him, reaching out with her fingers to caress his cheek. “I don’t doubt us. Ever.”

Lifting a hand, she gently slipped it through his hair a bit. “It isn’t bad. Was just an offer.”

word count: 452
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors


15 Ashan 721
Elisabeth moved from the cot and Balthazar made sure to keep the rag pressed over the back of his neck while she considered what she wanted to say. He took a deep breath, expecting she was going to be far more open with her emotions than he would be in return. The shadow haunted every conversation and every thought. It had only occurred after the haircut that the shadow would probably share the reports with the psychologist too and that made things worse to the former mage. He wasn't just being watched all the time, he was being analyzed. Elisabeth too, by proximity, their relationship, their work, everything. She accepted it, but he did not. He continued to refuse to give them the glimpse into his mind they seemed to want and Elisabeth kept poking him to try and make him open up for her.

It was good he had come to love her before the trial because if he had not, his suspicion would have already taken over. If not for love, he would think she could have been turned against him in those thirty trials divided. Suspicion would have convinced him she only probed so often because she was trying to make him reveal something his watchers could use. He had once considered her ability to make people talk extraordinary, but he never thought it would be turned on him so efficiently. What was he supposed to say to what she'd said while they were being watched? She didn't doubt them but she'd seen so little of the world before coming across this strange man who seemed to sweep her off her feet. He wasn't so strange anymore. He wasn't incredibly special. He was man with an off haircut and a Flame Trooper constantly following him around.

"It's not about shame, Elisabeth. I'm not ashamed of how I feel about you." Balthazar said, "It's about the principle. They have no right to this part of my life and I will continue to refuse to let them see it as often as you allow me to." He stopped, realizing he was not saying what he wanted to but not being able to figure out anything better. She said she'd made her choice, another thing it felt like he'd heard over and over again. It wasn't about the choice she had made. It was about the ones she had to make now. He had been as blindly loyal as she seemed once and it allowed Isabella to get close enough to flay his master. He did not want her to make the mistakes he had and the only way to do that was to hold people accountable. He had dark thoughts. Dark impulses. Maybe he was what Kura and Rand made him out to seem like, the bad guy. He'd once made a joke to Yeva about how he enjoyed playing the bad guy... maybe it was more than that.

"Careful, Elisabeth, I'm not going to forget you said that." Balthazar pointed out with a small smirk, leaving it to the only mage there to figure out if he was talking about his hair or her claim that she never doubted them.
word count: 549

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.
User avatar
Elisabeth Black
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Posts: 1726
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:51 am
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Renown: 1035
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Wealth Tier: Tier 8

Re: [Haven] A Child With Scissors

Image
Arc 721, 15 Ashan

As much as she wanted to argue with him, Elisabeth knew that there were a good many things he wasn’t saying due to the shadow…and the conversation really wasn’t getting anywhere because of that. You couldn’t have a proper talk when one side refused to say what they needed to.

She wasn’t blindly loyal. Elisabeth was rarely blind to anything. Her eyes and ears were open all the time. The young mage had a mind – a good mind – and she used it all the time. Walking over to her bag, she quickly gathered supplies to bandage his cut, all the while thinking about what he said. She agreed that they had no right to their relationship and wished as she did…but she didn’t like the implication of just being asked to just stop acting upon her feelings because of the shadows. Maybe that was easy for Balthazar to do – it wasn’t for her.

Thirty trials. Thirty trials. He had far more discipline than she did. Moving to the cot, she gently removed the rag from the back of his neck. The blood had finally stopped. Quickly, she took the antiseptic-smelling liquid and dabbed it on the rag, washing the outside of the wound. Working swiftly, she secured the bandage to the wound, making sure it wouldn’t budge.

She understood why he didn’t want to give them their relationship. It was intensely special to her too. Elisabeth could only assume it was a piece of his life he wanted to protect…but it was asking a lot of her to just stop being who she was. She knew he really wasn’t asking her to do that, but to just understand that he was. Putting things back into her bag, she considered what to say or do next. What really was there to say?

The truth. Abbreviated as it would be.

“I say what I mean, Balthazar. I wish people would stop underestimating me.”

Said firmly, the young mage turned and exited the tent. She needed air and their conversation was going nowhere. He was dead set on not giving people with no rights to his personal feelings an inch of their relationship and she was dead set on making sure he was taken care of. Elisabeth didn’t know how to reconcile the two ways of thinking.


word count: 402
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