Arc 721, 19 Ashan
Trudging into the tent she shared with Balthazar, sat down on her cot for just a spell, yawning a bit. It was early and he had already left to attend to settlement business. Mornings tended to be busy for the pair, off in different directions. Elisabeth was left to her training, for the most part, and rejoined everyone in the afternoon for whatever work needed to be done. Training was done on her own, allowing Elisabeth to focus on whatever she felt needed attention although she tended to leave unarmed and blade training for her nightly session with Balthazar. Those were disciplines they could work on together and she preferred to do just that. Balthazar and she both enjoyed training together, and she secretly felt there was some measure of pleasure in it for him when he tossed her on her ass. However, he could only do that with unarmed combat - they were equally skilled in blades and he no longer had an advantage there.
Grabbing the blanket to shift it to the side, she noticed a folded piece of parchment. Smiling a bit, her fingers gently opened the paper to find Balthazar’s handwriting. The smile widened as her eyes scanned over what he had written to her. Poetry! Well, that was not a skill she had expected out of the man and yet, it was beautiful.
He also wrote about holding the small tear of paper in the center. Curious, she picked it up and immediately was transported to the Dusk Festival on Faldrass. The moment he wanted to share with her was the one that she cherished almost above all others – of him asking her to stay with him. She remembered being worried at that time, because Elisabeth had known she would have to head home to Rharne sooner rather than later, alone. Balthazar seemed to have been settling back into his life in Scalvoris and leaving was not something Elisabeth had wanted to do, but they hadn't really discussed the future or anything. Of course, he took care of all those worries that night, reassuring her by virtue of his question that her place was with him. and she had quickly agreed.
The note showed her everything from his perspective…and now she had a reminder and memory that wouldn’t fade, no matter what. Gratitude filled her heart, happy to be with someone that went through the effort he did in trying to show her how much she meant to him, even if sometimes the man didn't say as much.
Smiling, she grabbed another piece of paper out of her bag and walked over to his desk. There, her quill sat. Lowering into the chair, she decided to try and scribble something for him of equal value. Elisabeth couldn’t implant memories into paper, but she did know a lot of words. Maybe a few of them would mean something to him.
First poem I've ever written, and it's for you.
Life can be a whirlwind mess,
Emotions bound, unparalleled stress.
We search for balance, quest for peace,
For the madness of life to simply cease.
I found you during confusion untold,
Fine line between calm and storm,
Ever-evolving, becoming reborn.
With hands so steady and soul so true,
You protected me, demons slew.
Amongst the chaos contained inside,
Only you have ability to still the tide.
Love - E
It wasn't perfect but for a first attempt? It got the point across.
Once the ink dried, she folded up the paper and put it on this desk for him to find. The letter he wrote her, containing the poems and memory paper, however, got tucked away in her notebook. Elisabeth didn't covet possessions as most people did but she did have things that meant the world to her. Her ring, for one. And now....his poem.
The trial was still young, and Elisabeth felt the need for a bit of meditation. He had given her something lovely to think about and that always helped slip her into a meditative state. Moving out of the tent, the young mage walked out onto the beach, found her favorite spot and lowered to the warm, orange sand.
It wasn’t as difficult as it once was to find that peaceful center that took her into meditation, but it also still depended a great deal on what was going on around her. Luckily, the settlement was rather quiet that trial, so there weren’t distracting noises or stimuli that she needed to contend with. Not that there was an issue doing so really, for every opportunity with noise allowed her experience in dealing with it.
Slowly descending into the meditative state, she considered focusing on her favorite topic, but instead found alternate inspiration in the subject of the written word. It might have seemed like something that was odd to ruminate on, but it was those types of subjects that were perfect. Balthazar’s poem and note reminded her about the power of a handwritten note.
In her mind, she visualized the beach of Haven, just as it was before her if she opened her eyes, but within her mind palace, things shifted to the icy wonderland of Viden, and the library she grew up in. It was there she had learned how different things could be when written and spoken, but it hadn’t been until Balthazar and his love that those lessons grew into something tangible. It hadn't been until she felt the emotion of love and relationships that she truly began to understand the different ways people communicated with each other and how those ways affected others.
Speaking to someone, while intimate at times, was easy. Letters took time and energy to compose. In her mind, it showed someone how important they were. Of course, she had written letters to others a time or two, and it only served to prove the point in her mind. However, a quick thought popped in, reminding her that distance played a part in things as well. If someone was far away, traveling to speak to them could be seen as more intimate than sending a letter. She supposed there were a lot of factors to consider, but for the moment she disregarded that, choosing to focus on what had been gifted to her and the significance she placed upon it.
Thinking about the note he had written her, it would become a beloved personal artifact and cherished memory for her – a gift that no matter where they were, together or apart, she could pull out of her journal, read, and remember that he had written it for her. Gifts like that could last a lifetime.
And just like that, the train of thought ended. It sometimes did, and Elisabeth had found chasing and forcing something during meditation wasn't conducive to the process, so she simply let it go.
She remained in that state for a bit, listening to the waves, and then made an active choice to refocus on what she had learned about meditation itself over her time practicing the skill. When she had first heard of meditation, from either Doran or Balthazar - she couldn't remember which, although both had mentioned it at different points - the young woman wasn't sure it was something she was capable of. It seemed too intentional, but then she had discovered that people often put themselves in meditative states without meaning too, all the time. One of the first lessons one learns is that trying to meditate, often doesn't work. Telling your mind to let go of everything often has the opposite effect, yet when someone looks at something beautiful, all thought ceases.
Of course, being intentional about meditation often was much different. More than anything, Elisabeth had learned that there was more than one way to meditate, and no way was more right than another. Everyone had their own way of getting there. In fact, as Praetorum had taught her, one could even get there in the middle of battle. which until she thought about and tried it, Elisabeth wouldn't have believed it either. The sound of waves, the beating of horse hooves, rain - endless possibilities of things that could ease a person into meditation, and sometimes - just sometimes - could pull someone from it as well.
Blinking at bit, Elisabeth found herself coming out of the meditative state, and while nothing had pulled her there, there she found herself. That happened sometimes too, without explanation. When a session was over, it was over. Again, forcing or pushing never worked so she never engaged in it, always choosing to let it go and look forward to the next time.
Rising from the sand, she stretched a little bit, letting a smile slip across her lips. It was a bit early, but she had a need to go find Balthazar. She began to step away, but something caught the corner of her eye. Arching her eyebrow, Elisabeth sauntered over to a small tangle of seaweed, washed up on shore. Within it, an ornate silver bracelet. Kneeling, she began untangling the seaweed from the bracelet. It needed a good cleaning, but other than that, it seemed in fine shape. Curious. Rising, she decided to take the bracelet with her and get it cleaned up. It was a bit of a mystery, and she loved mysteries.