[Haven] Looking Into The Black

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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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Leader of The Black Cats
Renown: 1815
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[Haven] Looking Into The Black


16 Ashan 721
Balthazar sat in his tent behind his desk reading over the latest rumors that had reached him, both stretching around the settlement and reaching as far out as his network could in the given circumstances. His shadow stood over by the entrance, occasionally looking out towards the water where the ship was supposed to be coming in. Totrial was the first trial of the court appointed therapy sessions and the trooper was a little more eager for it to begin than Balthazar who sat at his desk reading with his normal, unremarkable eyes. The Council had declared war on Slag's Deep for their work with the Logging Consortium or something along those lines. The Logging Consortium... he had volunteered to help them solve that and at the very last moment the case was taken from him. He didn't mind then but now the lack of information was aggravating. There were dots to connect but he didn't see the full picture and the reports he was receiving were not filling in the gaps as neatly as he had hoped they would.

He had a lot of friends throughout the islands but he'd spent little time in the smaller villages so his information coming from them was less reliable. His 'friends' could get in and ask around but everything would be second hand at best. With Isabella in the wind because of the trial, he couldn't recruit her to help out with the settlement or to gather information on the war. He knew it would have been a bad idea to bring her in such close proximity to Elisabeth but mages were powerful and Haven had lost its strongest one. After reading each letter, Balthazar would hold them over a small candle and watch them burn away into ash- the words permanently written in his memory. He had no reason to keep them, but he did keep some things. Yeva had sent him a beautiful gift while he was imprisoned. It arrived at his house in Scalvoris and was moved to Faldrass when he was sent there.

The stitching held memories that Balthazar immediately recognized. He'd have had to be a fool not to connect the dots to the image she'd created. The eruption- one of the last few moments before Balthazar made a decision that would change everything. He left. If he'd stayed, maybe she'd have told him about Rharne, maybe he'd have been there, and maybe he could have saved her. But he did leave- the people he'd told to tell Rand never did and he paid the price for it. Now the world felt so very different than it did then. Smaller and larger at the same time. There was so much to see and Balthazar was just not allowed to see it.

A commotion outside signaled the arrival of the ship with the Order's man.
word count: 492

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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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] Looking Into The Black


16 Ashan 721
Trean cleared his throat to break the silence in the room. It was not an awkward silence so much as it was a... silence of animosity? No... that wasn't the right was to describe it either. It was uncomfortable but also not. Balthazar sat on his cot staring into the eyes of an obviously marked therapist. He recognized the mark on the man's forehead but not the other one. He saw it, but he did not know who it originated from. The therapist had introduced himself very professionally and been nothing but kind up until the moment they sat down for their first session. He said his name was Elliot Ratched and that he was the Gold Cloak from the Order who would be working with Balthazar. Balthazar, in turn, had been a little distant and quiet from the first moment. His words, in and out of the meeting, would be analyzed by this stranger and judgements would be made as a result. Judgement he didn't agree with... but he didn't have to agree did he? He just needed them to believe he did.

The session and drawn out silence began when Balthazar and Elliot took their seats. Working with. That was what Elliot had called this session. He framed it like it was some sort of team effort to help Balthazar grow. He was careful, he never said he was out to fix or correct Balthazar, but that was still how Balthazar took it. Now they sat across from each other with Elliot's first question hanging in the air unanswered. Balthazar looked at him, he looked at Balthazar, Trean looked back and forth between them, and no words were said. After a full bit of silence, Elliot sat back in his chair and produced a notepad which he quickly wrote something down on. Balthazar wanted to know but he didn't let his curiosity show. Once Elliot was done writing, he looked back at Balthazar as if still expecting an answer and Balthazar shifted his weight on his cot.

Fuego the invisible burning rock looked up at Balthazar. Why aren't you answering him?

How can he do his job without information?

How will you get your magic back if you don't participate? Balthazar looked down at the patch of ground Fuego was standing on and Elliot seemed to notice the shift, jotting down another note. Still, not a word was said. Balthazar looked back up at Elliot, the first question still sitting in his memory.

What is the problem from your viewpoint?

His viewpoint? What did that matter? His viewpoint wasn't worth anything in the trial. It wouldn't be worth anything now. "Next question."

"He speaks!" Elliot looked towards Trean and then Balthazar with a friendly smile though Balthazar didn't seem amused. "Maybe it would be better if we just talk."

"What do you want to talk about?"

"What do you want to talk about?" Elliot asked with a small gesture towards the sitting patient.

"I don't want to talk." Balthazar replied.

"Why not?" Elliot caught Balthazar there and the former mage realized it. He'd been baited into the conversation and should have just sat in the silence. Balthazar's eyes narrowed and he shook his head.

"Nothing to talk about."

"Really?" Elliot asked, "Tell me about yourself, what do you want?"

"What do you think I want?"

"I don't know, what do you think you want?"
word count: 584

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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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] Looking Into The Black


16 Ashan 721
"What kind of question is that?" Balthazar asked Elliot, a small strand of irritation rising in his voice despite his face remaining relatively level. Elliot jotted a quick note down on his parchment and looked down at Balthazar's foot for a trill before finding the man's dark brown eyes again. Balthazar didn't like being under the microscope but he was equally curious what Elliot was thinking. Probably nothing good. No one in the government or working for them seemed to think positively of him at the moment. Then again, was Elliot not supposed to be more impartial? Fuego seemed to like him more than most people so that had to be worth something but Balthazar couldn't get over the fact he was not here by his choice. Well he was on Haven by his choice but not sitting here in this meeting.

"I'm trying to start a conversation, I want to know about you." Elliot said calmly.

"I saw the stack of papers the Albarech had on me, what more is there to know than what she read?" Balthazar asked as he shifted his weight in his chair. Elliot seemed to notice that as well and it made Balthazar wonder about the psychologist's thoughts again. He'd moved because he was uncomfortable physically but had that come from some place deeper? Did Elliot think so? Balthazar thought back to the many times he'd interrogated someone, which he wasn't ever the best at, and he thought about when they shifted their weight. Maybe it did indicate discomfort on a deeper level... interesting. Apparently Elliot had said something but Balthazar missed it because suddenly-

"Are you still with me?" Elliot asked Balthazar who had apparently zoned out while thinking about people shifting their weight. Balthazar nodded and then after a trill shook his head. He wouldn't have been able to maintain the lie because he had no idea what Elliot had said to him prior to getting his attention back.

"I was thinking about something else. I have a lot going on a really don't want to do this whole... therapy thing." Balthazar explained.

"Why not?" Elliot asked.

"I don't think anything is wrong with me." Balthazar answered, "And I don't see how any of this helps me 'control' my sparks while I'm cut off from them." It was like building an immunity to a poison without using any of poison.

"Well, for the record, I don't think anything is wrong with you either but I do think that we are all the sum of our experiences. Some experiences have more weight than others but everything matters." Elliot explained, "Our sessions aren't about helping you control your magic-"

"Then what are they about? Assessing the damage? Wasting my time?"

"I'm just trying to help you, Balthazar."

"How?"
word count: 484

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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Balthazar Black
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Posts: 2105
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Leader of The Black Cats
Renown: 1815
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Re: [Haven] Looking Into The Black


16 Ashan 721
It went on for breaks that felt like arcs to the former mage but Elliot had him talking and the two didn't seem to stop. Elliot asked a question, Balthazar tried to counter with his own, and Elliot, more often than not, turned it back on Balthazar. It felt like everything both was and was not under scrutiny at the same time. It felt like a conversation but he knew he was being analyzed. The former mage got defensive and short every time Elliot wrote something down so about a break into the session, Elliot stopped writing things down. Balthazar noticed but couldn't help that it improved the flow of the conversation and kept the patient less focused on the analysis at work. They talked and talked and talked but they didn't really talk anything that seemed pressing. Elliot talked about the past and Balthazar could never argue that he did not remember the past because of his mark. They had a lot of ground to cover and hadn't even passed Balthazar's childhood by the time Elliot said the session was over.

It felt strange. Balthazar was polite when saying goodbye to the Order's man and walked him to the shore where he rowboat was waiting to take him to the vessel out at sea. Yet when he returned to his tent all of his more negative thoughts seemed to slip back in. Had he been hypnotized? No, that couldn't be it. So... what was it? Balthazar found himself sitting in his tent for a few bits after he'd seen Elliot off, thinking about what had just happened. How he did he- no... no it wouldn't do any good to fixate on it now. He'd noticed little things. Elliot adapted his approach on the go to accommodate what he saw and judged but he never lost focus. Neither could Balthazar. He took a deep breath and left his tent to go find out what needed doing around the settlement.
word count: 342

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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Doran
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Re: [Haven] Looking Into The Black

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Balthazar:

Knowledge:
Psychology - Therapists can use conversation to hide analysis
Psychology - A subject shifting their weight can indicate deeper discomfort
Etiquette - Walking a guest out
Detection - Noticing a familiar immortal mark

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10

Consequences: The Elements noticed that Balthazar is burning letters and report it to the Council.

I noticed that you’ve already mentioned that Balthazar was uncooperative during his first therapy session, but please make a note in “Council Correspondence, Memos & Actions.” that Balthazar is burning letters as well.

- - -
Comments: You described Balthazar’s frustration at the lack of information very well in my opinion. I also cannot help but wonder about the network that you mentioned, and who exactly his friends are. That would have been rather interesting to find out in my opinion!

It was obvious that Balthazar wasn’t very fond of getting therapy and doesn’t trust the government or the people that work for it. I like how Fuego wondered why Balthazar didn’t answer Elliot and asked him how he would get his magic back if he didn’t participate. Fuego seems to be a rather reasonable diri. I have to admit, I’m rather fond of him. He adds a lot to your threads!

I don’t have a lot of experience with psychology and psychotherapy IRL, but Elliot seemed a little unprofessional to me at times. I’m not sure a therapist would just exclaim, “He speaks!” when the patient/client finally starts to talk – or simply repeat on of his questions, for example. Keep in mind that Elliot is a professional and experienced therapist!

I find it interesting how he apparently made Balthazar think at least a little. And he’s right, of course. We are all the sum of our experiences!

I wish that you had included at least a bit of actual dialogue in the last post, when Balthazar finally started talking. That would have been really interesting in my opinion. Anyway, I look forward to Balthazar’s next session. It seems as if he changed his mind a bit about his therapist!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t award you the following two knowledges:

Psychology - Actions have unforeseen consequences
Psychology - Some experiences have more impact than others

These knowledges are not Psychology. They seem more like common sense to me. Feel free to suggest replacement knowledges!

Furthermore, I changed the “Psychology - Therapists use conversation to hide analysis” to “Psychology - Therapists can use conversation to hide analysis”. It’s not something that they always do!

That being said, enjoy your rewards, and let me know if you have any questions, please!
word count: 444

Mutations

N/A

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N/A

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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