• Closed • The Rising Stars

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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The Rising Stars

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Ashan 20, Arc 721

It was already late in the afternoon when the son of Ziell finally returned from the Academy where he worked as an alchemy professor. That trial, he had showed his Letter students another small experiment, and besides that, he had supervised an exam. He enjoyed teaching, at least he did so nowadays. He enjoyed teaching those young people that were not quite as jaded as some of the adults that he knew yet. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge, so much more than he had ever enjoyed being a soldier and standing on the battlefield – although enjoyment was not really the correct word for that.

He had never enjoyed fighting, apart from when it came to a friendly competition or a tournament, perhaps. He just hadn’t seen any other way. He had thought that it would be his best option. He had come to realize that he could save so many more people through his work as a teacher and alchemist than with his sword though, although he still kept his weapons, for there was still violence in this world, there was still darkness and there were still people that sought to subjugate, to murder and to destroy, for a wide variety of different reasons.

The delicious smell of the dinner that his mortal cook, Elias, had prepared for him greeted him when he stepped through the door to his apartment in the Obsidian Prism. After he had changed into more casual clothes, dark pants, a vest and a simple shirt, he went into the kitchen and asked him to join him, as he sometimes did, before he finally made his way into the salon. He often sat by the fireplace, reading – he had a penchant for mythology – or looked at the stars – astronomy was another favorite pastime of his, and something that made him relax after a long trial at the Academy or in his laboratory.

The book of Rynmeran fairy tales that he had picked for that evening’s entertainment only held his attention for approximately a quarter of a break though, before he rose to his feet and walked over to one of the windows – he lived in luxury nowadays; unlike some of the poor citizens of Viden he actually had windows from which he could see the streets below and the sky above. He opened it in order to inhale the cool Ashan air before he looked up. The trial before, there had been a strong storm that had lasted for breaks, but it had finally passed. The sky was clear, the moon was about to rise, and the first stars gradually began to appear.

As he watched, his thoughts went to an island not too far from Viden, as they often did these trials. He had originally planned on returning to Scalvoris for another series of guest lectures - he had been there the arc before - but if he decided to return now, it would likely be for an entirely different reason. Scalvoris seemed to be on the brink of a war, and he could not help but wonder if there was anything else that he could do, and then he remembered, a promise made, and broken – or perhaps, simply forgotten in the pursuit of some sort of madness.

He had taught Balthazar Black to imbue clothes with the protective properties of iron, but none of the information had ever reached Scalvoris, as he had found out when he had been contacted prior to his old acquaintance’s trial. He could do it instead of him though. He could save lives, in Scalvoris, and here, in Viden. He was not sure how much he would be able to do – he was only one man, albeit an exceptionally skilled one – but every life mattered, and a single person that lived because of his creations, and his potions, could have dozens of descendants in a century.

With that thought in mind, he made his way into his laboratory where he also kept his small collection of artifacts and magical items – such as Emberlight, a special sword and the Headwreath of Awareness that he had won during a competition in Etzos once – retrieved the reagents that he would need from a cabinet, put his protective gloves on and went to work, before he came to the realization that there might also be some merit to sharing the instructions with the Albarech, so that the people of Scalvoris could learn to do the same.
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The laboratory was quiet and welcoming, a familiar place and one where the alchemist almost certainly felt at home. Here in the Obsidian Prism where the rich rubbed shoulders with the extremely rich, Doran was comfortable. The stars twinkled into view, one at a time and yet all at once. As Doran worked, he glanced up and there, in the stars, there seemed to be a face looking back at him. A friendly one, one he recognised. Then, the man Doran had once known as Richard, but now knew to be Xiur was standing next to him.

"Hello, Doran," he said, softly and with a friendly smile. Looking out of the window to where his face had been evident in the stars just moments before, he breathed in and nodded. "Viden," he said and turned his attention back to Ziell's son. "I like it here. The cold here is the closest I think mortals get to the cold among the stars." He turned his gaze to Doran and regarded him with an appraising glance. "How are you?"

He seemed genuinely interested.

Once Doran had answered, and when that part of the conversation was over, Xiur spoke again. "I'm here, Doran, because I'm pleased with you and how you have conducted yourself. Because you have brought hope, not just in words and whimsy, but in deeds." That was important to him. Many people prayed to Xiur, most of whom were asking him for something; Doran was different. Doran dedicated his actions to Xiur, not simply his words. "You have been, and continue to be, concerned about Scalvoris?" He gestured to the outside, where the image in the stars seemed to be, now, the large fortress like structure that was Slags Deep. "The war revolves not around land," he said. "but around an ancient man who is desperate and without hope." He frowned slightly. "Your research has left you with more questions than answers, Doran?" The Immortal looked at him.

"Ask away," he said, and opened his arms in an inviting gesture.
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Re: The Rising Stars

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Before long, the Mortalborn had treated a piece of cloth with a priming liquid and prepared the iron filings that he would use to give the aforementioned cloth the protective properties. When he had met with Balthazar Black, they had used cobalt, but iron was cheaper and easier to acquire, and time and money seemed to be of the essence here. Besides, he wanted to render the process as simple as possible so that the alchemists of Scalvoris would replicate it more easily. With that thought in mind, he took a pen and started to write down the recipe. He had just finished the list of reagents, paused briefly and looked up for a moment, out of the window, at sky above, when he noticed something. There, among the brilliant silver lights was a man, looking back at him.

He immediately set down his pen, rose from his chair and bowed, in a gesture of deepest respect. He knew the man. Once upon a time, he had blamed him for all the suffering on Idalos and tried to take his life – he had thought that the world was doomed – but he had realized that he had been wrong, as wrong as anyone could ever be. He had danced with him during the Mummer’s Ball in Rharne, and talked to him, about matters of navigation and the world of dreams, and he had knelt in front of him and asked him to let him serve him, like he should have served him all along. When he had first seen him in Rharne, he had thought that his name was Richard, but he was Xiur, the Immortal of Hope.

“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” he remarked and looked out of the window before he turned to face the Immortal next to him once more. “Sometimes, I wonder if a part of me needs to be surrounded by ice and snow in order to truly thrive. There is something about it that speaks to me. It seems peaceful”, he admitted in a somewhat thoughtful tone of voice before he replied, “I have been good, happy even.” He was still surprised that his life was like that now on a regular basis, so pleasant – that he had found forgiveness, and even love, that he had been given a second chance – and he was infinitely and eternally grateful for it. At the same time, it made him wonder about those that were less fortunate than he was. It seemed wrong to him to focus on his own happiness in light of that.

“How are you?” he asked and gestured for Xiur to take a seat next to him, at his worktable before he sat down again as well. He was aware of the fact that the Immortal of Hope was unlikely to just have visited him for a chat, especially not in light of what was currently going on in the world, but there had to be a few moments for politeness and a bit of a more personal conversation, and besides, he was genuinely interested in how the other man had fared since their last meeting the cycle before. He cared about him. Xiur was more than just a deity to be worshipped in his opinion. He was also a man, different, foreign, and of far greater power than most mortals, but still a man in a way, a person.

Xiur’s next words surprised him and caused his eyes to widen for a moment before he inclined his head. “Thank you”, he replied. He was infinitely glad that his actions had pleased his patron. There had been a time when he had thought that nothing that he did would ever be enough to find his approval and forgiveness (although he had continued his work anyway, for Idalos – even in his darkest trials he had refused to ever lie down and wait to die). He believed that hope was something that you should and could actively work on, and for, and that just praying and expecting the Immortals to provide was a sign of arrogance. He did not say more on that matter or think about himself for more than a couple of trills though but turned to answer the Immortal’s question.

He would never focus on himself, at least not for a longer amount of time, in light of something like that – because there were things that were far more important than himself.

“I am concerned, and I have been so for a while, since the eruption of Faldrass last arc, at least”, he confirmed before he fell silent again and listened to the Immortal’s words, attentively, his gaze never leaving the other man’s face. He did not reply immediately after he had heard Xiur’s words though, but considered them for a few moments before he finally nodded. “It has. Every question that I managed to answer led to countless new questions, but I find that encouraging, because it means that there is yet more to be discovered”, he spoke – where others might have gotten discouraged and given up, he saw potential, and it made him work even harder.

Having said that, Doran broke off only to turn to something else that Xiur had said, momentarily averting his gaze before he abruptly looked at the Immortal of Hope once more.

“He is like me, the way that I used to be in Oscillus, isn‘t he?” he asked in a thoughtful tone of voice. “Someone of Immortal blood, someone who has seen entire centuries come and go. Do you know what made him like that? Did he lose someone, did he lose too much, or is there something that he is trying to protect - or something or someone that is doing this to him?” he wanted to know, momentarily wondering if he might be wrong. There were a lot of reasons why someone became like the Warden, if that was who Xiur meant – or the way that he thought that the Warden was – he would not draw a definite conclusion about a man that he had never talked to, or even seen in passing.

Greed sometimes played a part, as did envy, or hatred, but in his experience, those things rarely led to that kind of hopelessness. He had not done what he had done during the battle at Treid’s Tomb for any of those reasons, at least, but out of utter despair. He had witnessed too much cruelty and suffering over the centuries, an innocent girl, taken before her life had really begun, a man whose soul had been pure, and who had only ever tried to do good, dead, even though he had begged on his knees for someone to save him, thousands, treated like pawns in some sort of perverted game and being marched like lambs to the slaughter.

Some sort of influence and manipulation might be involved as well though. He had felt it himself, several times, although it had very likely not been as strong as whatever he was dealing with, not nearly as strong. He had heard Syroa’s whispers in his mind, and he knew what it was like to nearly be consumed – and he had held Llyr in his arms as he cried, after he had confessed to what most would consider an unforgivable crime, in spite of his lover’s Thirst.

“There is more at play here, isn’t there?” he asked in a calm tone of voice that almost hid the fact that he worried and wondered – he would not let those emotions get the better of him as long as there was something that needed to be done. “In the end, this is not just about a man and the prison that he is in charge of - and a council that decided to go to war with him - but about a power, or a being, something that is located beneath the surface – or happening beneath the surface. I came to that conclusion after my research so far - but I haven’t gotten any further yet”, he admitted – there was no shame in admitting that you hadn’t found the solution yet, after all.

He had come to the conclusion that all of the events that had happened over the course of the past couple of arcs were connected in some way; but at the same time, there were links to the distant past, to things that happened centuries before. Violunne, the Pact, a Pirate Lord that might be Mortalborn. He had wondered why Scalvoris had to endure catastrophe after catastrophe while life in Viden was fairly peaceful and decided that it had to be more than just mere coincidence. There was simply too much of it.

“Do you know what lies beneath Scalvoris?” he asked, aware that he might be wrong once more. In his opinion, it was better to turn out to be wrong than to not even give it a try though. “And do you know what might give him his hope back, that ancient man that you spoke of? What can I do?” he wanted to know. He had been desperate and hopeless himself once, but he had realized that there was always hope – you just couldn’t see it sometimes because it was buried under countless layers of darkness. That ancient man’s situation was without a doubt infinitely more complex than his own, but there had to be something, something that might help both Scalvoris and him.

He would never pray and expect to be provided with an answer – or expect the Immortals to solve his problems for him; Xiur had offered him the opportunity to ask questions though, he had invited him to do so, in fact. If there was something that the Immortal did not wish to reveal to him, that he wanted him to find out on his own, then he would not pry though, but go back to work and continue to try and find something that would bring hope, for life was nothing without it.
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Xiur smiled when Doran spoke of being well, being happy. Then, his eyebrow raised slightly and a smile of genuine pleasure crossed his face. "Do you know," he said, "How rare it is that people ask me that?" He chuckled. "I am very well, thank you, son of Ziell." His smile remained as he and Doran spoke, and he moved to sit where Doran gestured. "I am concerned, about what is transpiring, but also - of course - I am hopeful that it will be well." He chuckled at his own joke and then, he turned his attention to the matter at hand.

And, when Doran said that the Warden was like Doran himself had used to be, Xiur's gaze turned serious and he nodded.

He is, indeed. Your insight is as remarkable as it is accurate" The question Doran asked, though, about what made him like that? Xiur sighed. "He swore an Oath, bound in blood, that he would protect his daughter. He sought to keep her alive, he could not bear to see her grow old and die while he still lived in his prime. And he shed his blood to swear it." Xiur looked at Doran, then, the eternal stars in his eyes, a swirling vortex. "But he was deceived. Tricked into believing that he could make her life as long as his, but he did not know the price." Xiur paused then, before speaking again. "In essence, her life is as long as his, but anything she was has gone. Anything mortal or good, stripped away. And he, bound by Oath to protect her, loves her still as only a father can love their daughter."

It was quite the conundrum, Xiur knew. "He refuses to see what it is that wears his daughters face, or he sees and will not admit. But I think, even in that, he is being deceived. Shadows everywhere, after all." The Immortal looked at him, one eyebrow raised as Doran said that he thought it was about a power. Not a man, or a place. But a power. "One of the things with being the Immortal of Hope," XIur said with a smile, "Is that I tend to think the best of people. So, I'm actually quite hard to impress. Congratulations, you've just done it." He nodded and then, he was silent for a moment. Like he was considering his answer.

"My mother's grave lies below Scalvoris," Xiur said. "A place my sister's fury ravaged and destroyed. When that happened, it acted like a stopper on a bottle. If the creature who wears his daughter's skin is released, it is possible, even likely, that the cork would pop." He shook his head, then, rather sadly. "Scalvoris exists in a very delicate balance. It's release would upend that balance. Especially with the Induks still restrained, in part. There should be five Induks. But their power has been taken by this creature. When the brave souls released Faldrass, they stole some of the Daughter's power." He gestured, rather sadly, to the outside. "Were someone to release the other four - Earth, Air, Water, and the Heart?" He shrugged. "She gains power from the mages in Slags Deep, but that would not be enough to sustain her. Perhaps that is something which could be done." He smiled at Doran and put his hand on the Mortalborn's shoulder. "I trust that you will do the right thing. Does that answer your questions?"
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When Xiur asked him if he knew how rare it was that people wanted to know how he was, the expression on the Mortalborn’s face grew thoughtful for a moment, and he inclined his head. He couldn’t help but wonder why that was the case when there were so many people that honored the Immortals. He didn’t think that such behaviour was due to malice. It was likely just unfamiliarity, and ignorance, perhaps some sort of fear, but still, it didn’t seem entirely right to him, to never consider the man behind the Immortal, but to only worship, and occasionally research.

He grew more thoughtful still when Xiur began to speak about the Warden’s daughter and the Oath that he had sworn – how he had been unable to see her grow old, and how everything that she had been, had been lost in the process. He could empathize with the man, perhaps more so than most who only saw him as an evil man that had to be defeated.

His own daughter, the only child that he knew of, had died in infancy. His Videnese companion, the one whose memory Syroa had tainted during the Mummer’s Ball, had been ravaged by disease. There had been a time when he would have done anything to prolong his life – or bring those that he had lost back. In the beginning, seeing the people around him fade away and die within the blink of an eye had been hard to bear.

He had changed his mind though. He had begun to see the time that he spent with his mortal companions as a gift, and something to be treasured. When he had first met Llyr, but an arc and a half before, he had still thought that the son of Chamadarst was a Biqaj, and he had come to the conclusion that a couple of arcs or decades spent with him would be better than the alternative – and so much more than he would have had otherwise.

He’d decided to focus on the happiness that he brought him rather than his future loss.

At the same time, he understood why the Warden still clung to his daughter, so desperately – or what she had become, and it made him wonder how she felt. It didn’t sound like a pleasant existence. Perhaps, he realized, the question that he was about to ask was pointless, but he could not help but wonder, nevertheless. “What about her soul?” he wanted to know. “You mentioned that anything that she was is gone, but do you think that she suffers and fears, nevertheless? An existence such as hers seems almost impossible to bear to me”, he admitted. As far as he was concerned, death would be preferrable to having everything that he was, everything good, stripped away, at least.

“Sometimes, the best way to protect someone may be to let them go so that they are at peace”, he spoke – he really thought like that, that you had to learn to let go sometimes, although he still wasn’t sure if that would be the best way to go about this situation - and momentarily shook his head before he asked, aware that he might not get an answer, that Xiur might not know – or want him to find out the answer on his own, “Do you know whose Mortalborn he is?” Knowing who the Warden was and where he was coming from might help understand him – and how he had turned into who he was now.

“Audrae?” he asked in a calm tone of voice, again not necessarily expecting an answer, and raised an eyebrow fractionally when Xiur mentioned deception and shadows. He had had some interaction with Audrae’s creations, the Naerikk, before – he had fought a Naerikk swordmistress after the battle at Treid’s Tomb, among other things.

He did not normally care about praise – he didn’t do what he did in order to be praised – but when Xiur mentioned that he was hard to impress, but that he had just done it, he bowed his head. “Thank you”, he spoke in a sincere tone of voice – he appreciated what Xiur had said, almost beyond measure - and met the other man’s gaze once more, quietly listening to what he told him once more, without interrupting him a single time. Whereas he had merely been thoughtful before, the expression on his face grew utterly somber now.

“Do you think that they know?” he finally asked when the Immortal had finished speaking. “Do think that anybody knows that they are about to wage a war above someone’s grave – and desecrating it in the process? Do they know that they are resolving their conflicts above someone’s final resting place?” he continued – to him fighting a war above someone’s grave was a sacrilege at least, no matter what kind of power the grave in question had and how long the one that was resting in it had been gone. A grave should be a place of peace, of mourning, a sacred place of quiet remembrance, and not the site of a future war.

He had not known what exactly was beneath Scalvoris until a moment earlier either, so, perhaps, the people of Scalvoris, and even those in Slag’s Deep were unaware, for the most part. Of course, the Daughter needed to be considered – she, or what had taken her place was of utmost importance - but perhaps, people would be more reluctant to fight if they knew that they were disturbing someone’s rest by doing so. He didn’t believe that they were so far gone to not care about something like that anymore. Like the Immortal who had become his patron, he was hopeful and tried to see the best in people.

At least he did so nowadays.

“I’m sorry for your loss”, he said – unlike some people, he really meant those words. Xiur was hopeful, eternally hopeful, and he seemed to be calm, at least at first glance, but that didn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t bothered by what was happening – and by what had happened in the distant past. “What was she like, your mother? What was her name?” he wanted to know, not because it might constitute another important piece of the puzzle that he was trying to put together, but in order to give Xiur the opportunity to talk about the mother that he had lost and that he had without a doubt loved once.

Xiur’s mother, whoever she had been, Doran realized, was a member of his family as well, but he had never known those that had created the Immortals and didn’t feel the loss as intensely as a consequence. Was that why Xiur’s sister had been so furious? Because her mother had died – and because the mortals of Scalvoris committed sacrilege after sacrilege on her grave? There had been a time when he had wondered to which extent the Immortals were capable of feeling. Perhaps, he considered, they felt more intensely.

The revelation that there were Induks took him by surprise. His contact with the world of spirits had been limited so far, apart from a gift from U’frek, given to him arcs before and a brief conversation with Balthazar Black, relatively recently. It answered some of his many questions though. Faldrass was indeed fire then, and the Heart was not just a place, but another spirit. It made him wonder what an Induk of the Heart looked like – and why those Induks were restrained, or trapped, but at the same time, he was not sure if he should ask.

He would never expect Xiur to provide him with all the answers.

It sounded as if releasing them might save Scalvoris though.

“It does”, he replied when Xiur wanted to know if that answered his questions and inclined his head in a gesture of gratitude. When the Immortal put his hand on his shoulder, he abruptly met his gaze. For a moment, he couldn’t help but wonder how he could have been so very wrong about him – what he had done in Oscillus had become his biggest and deepest regret. “And I will – or at least try to. I will try to do the right thing and make things right, and I will pray for your mother when I go back to Scalvoris, if it’s alright with you”, he added, realizing that, maybe, he should ask for permission to do so first. Not everybody wanted someone else to pray for their mother, after all.

In his opinion, it wasn't right that Xiur's mother had found her final resting place beneath Scalvoris and that so very few people honored her and remembered her though, or really cared. It did at least not sound as if people did.
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Doran asked about the daughter - about what she felt - and Xiur considered his answer before speaking. "She is gone, the child she was - then the woman she became - she is gone. What wears her face, her form, it may even believe that it is still her, but it is not" he said, "But her soul did not go to Vri, she faced no judgement. She was simply consumed." He opened his hands in a gesture of almost-despair, although of course it was not something he felt. "We did not know, we could not see. So I can only give you my best guess now."

When Doran asked whose Mortalborn the Warden was, Xiur's face clouded, darkly. "He is the son of my sister. Born of light to the Immortal of Courage. That is how she was able to be deceived by, as you rightly guess, the Immortal of Shadow" Xiur looked at Doran and he had an almost impossible sadness on his face. "He swore an Oath, bound in blood, that he would protect his daughter. And he was deceived by one who knew that - as he was bonded to his daughter, so too was he to his mother. My sister." With a sigh, the Immortal of Stars looked out to the night sky. "There are those of us - of my kind - who see the destruction of the man as the only solution. However, there are those of us, including me, who seek a peaceful resolution. For Scalvoris, of course, but for Qylios, for Vhalar - both of whom are intrinsically wrapped up in this and who are at risk from it."

As the conversation turned, though, to parents and the grave beneath Scalvoris, Xiur nodded. "Fei," he said. "Her name was Fei." But what was she like? Xiur considered it. "She was filled with hope, with wonder. She saw the world and she marvelled at it. Everything was something to be studied, to learn from. From the vastness of the night to the petal of a flower." He was silent a while as he remembered.

"There will be those," Xiur said quietly "who seek to destroy the man. Perhaps they are right to do so, for only when they are both destroyed, he and the girl, will there be truly no risk." Turning to look at Doran, Xiur's eyes were bottomless pits of swirling stars. "But his mother still loves him, as he still loves his daughter. Even when what you love is evil or twisted, love is not something to be ignored. I trust you," he said, and smiled. "And I am hopeful that you will find the best path."

With that, he held out his hand, above which floated a beautiful crystal star. "A gift," he said "with my thanks." Glancing at the window again, he gestured. "I must take my leave of you. Be well, Doran."

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Up until that point, the son of Ziell had thought that there was still hope for the Warden’s daughter, in spite of his patron’s statement that anything mortal and good had been stripped away from her, that maybe whatever had taken her place had simply gained control over her soul – or that her soul was at peace, that she had gone to Vri and been judged, at least. If it had been consumed, there was nothing to be done though and no way to save her or make sure that she found peace, at least no way that he knew of.

For a moment, the expression on his face mirrored the Immortal’s before the usual calm took over once more. He didn’t like that there was nothing that could be done, that there was no chance, for a girl that might not have asked for any of this, and he couldn’t help but wonder if the Warden was truly aware of the extent of what had happened. It sounded as if he knew that something else had taken his beloved child’s place, deep down, but did he know that her soul was gone?

Instead of dwelling on the daughter's fate, he decided to focus on what was still possible. When Xiur revealed that the Warden was his nephew, and that he had indeed been deceived by his own sister, Audrae, he couldn’t help but wonder though. A part of him wished to comfort the other man, but another part of him couldn’t help but wonder if the gesture would be appreciated, considering their past history, despite everything.

In the end he placed a hand on the Immortal’s shoulder, provided that he wouldn’t draw back from him because he found himself unable to just watch when someone was overcome by such deep sadness.

“There may be another option, an option that enables us to save his life and everybody else’s and that leads to peace rather than destruction, and I will do my best to try and find it”, he told him. Those were, again, words that he truly meant. Once upon a time, he had thought differently, but nowadays, he was of the opinion that killing someone should only ever be the last resort, for death was the end of all hope, and there would be no chance for redemption. A man that was capable of love, even though it was a dark and twisted kind of love was not beyond salvation in his opinion.

And besides, he had been given a chance and taken it.

How could he not at least attempt to give the same chance to the Warden, provided that there was a way?

He was aware of the fact that not everybody was willing to listen, and that not everybody wanted to or could change their ways - he was not naïve, far from it – but in his opinion, Qylios shouldn’t have to lose her son in addition to her granddaughter, and Xiur his nephew, unless there was no alternative. The two of them had already lost their mother. For a brief moment, his thoughts also went to Audrae who seemed to be standing on the opposite side of this conflict, but he found himself unable to be mad at her. Llyr and he had theorized that the Immortals couldn’t help it – that Sintra couldn’t not manipulate, for example. If someone had no freedom of choice, were they truly to blame?

“She sounds wonderful”, he remarked when Xiur told him of his mother and fell silent for a moment as well, thinking. There was something about Xiur’s description of Fei that spoke to him. She reminded him of himself, the way he had become. There had been a time when he had thought that there was nothing new to be discovered, but magic and dreamwalking had shown him that there were still entire worlds out there, waiting to be explored, and that Idalos was a beautiful and fascinating place, that even the smallest things were filled with wonder.

“Perhaps”, he conceded and inclined his head fractionally in reluctant agreement when Xiur spoke about those who sought to destroy the man and that perhaps they were right to do so. “Sometimes, there is no other way and such is necessary, but attempting to destroy something or someone should never be the first thing that you do in my opinion”, he spoke before he fell silent once more. Things had become a little clearer now, but he still didn’t know how exactly he should go about it. There might be others though, others that might work alongside him, and if there was a way, then he would find it, as he had told Xiur.

“I will do that”, he told Xiur as he spoke about finding the best path. For the briefest of moments, a very light smile was visible on his face. A moment later, when a crystal star appeared above Xiur’s hand, his eyes widened slightly, as he remembered. He had tried to create a star much like this one in his dream once and bring it back to Idalos with him, as a gift for both Xiur and his father Ziell, but he had not succeeded.

He accepted the star and traced it with a finger for a few moments, carefully and gently, as if it were something that was precious beyond measure – to him, it was - before he looked up once more and replied, “Thank you.”

When Xiur told him that he had to take his leave and nodded.

“Until we meet again”, he said to him and added, bowing slightly as he did so, “Good luck.” They would all need a bit of luck, he considered, as he watched the Immortal depart, and he was optimistic that it would be on their side. He saw no point in being pessimistic and giving up or being overwhelmed until the worst had truly come to pass.

For a few moments, he glanced at the star, at Xiur’s gift, before he turned back to his alchemical work once more. He would not lose himself to his thoughts if there was something that he needed to be done.

There might be a way not to kill the Warden and bring peace at the same time, but he would do his part in making sure that the people of Scalvoris were protected in case worse came to worst regardless, and there would be a war, a war on Fei’s grave that should be a place of peace.
word count: 1109

Mutations

N/A

Blessings

N/A

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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Re: The Rising Stars

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Your Review


Doran

Overview

This story arc of Doran's is amazing - and I am so, so impressed with your ability to write such a detailed and deep-thinking PC; somehow you manage to write a hopeful, wise, incredibly old pc with real nuance and depth of character. The way his mind works is astonishing, and your writing reflects that. It is a pleasure to read your writing, and it was a delight to have this thread with you! Enjoy your rewards, they're very earned.

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 10

Loot

IC:
XIur's Star - this star shines with an inner light. At night, or when it is dark, gazing on this light will bring peace and aid restful sleep for anyone. For Doran, if he sleeps in the same room as the light then he has only pleasant dreams and wakes feeling rested after only 4 hours. Whenever he's in a room with the small crystal star, he feels like he does when he's surrounded by cold and snow and ice. Even the air "tastes" the same.
OOC:
Medals Awarded:
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In Your Favour (for acquiring Xiur's favour)
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Philanthropist for your donations during the war
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Right in the Feels (because you have written Doran's story arc with Xiur so beautifully )

Knowledge

Alchemy: An organised laboratory aids alchemical processes.
Alchemy: Working in stages for maximum efficiency
Alchemy: Rendering the process so it is at its most simple.
Caregiving: Acknowledging another's loss.
Caregiving: Respecting grief.
Caregiving: Showing empathy
Caregiving: Providing physical support.
Detection: Looking at your surrounding area at night.
Detection: Spotting an Immortal.
Detection: Putting together clues from a hint.
Detection: Noting every detail of a gift
Discipline: A calm expression is not always easy to maintain.
Etiquette: Ask how your guest is - even when they're an Immortal
Etiquette: Expressing genuine gratitude.
Interrogation: The art of insightful questioning
Interrogation: Questioning politely can often yield good results.
Investigation: Using your own experience can help you understand another's motives
Investigation: Question the motives behind behaviour.
Investigation: It is important to see beyond what is obvious.
Investigation: Consider options for different outcomes
Investigation: Investigate the state of victims - whether they seem to be victims, or not.
Investigation: Spotting hints in what someone says - or doesn't say.
Investigation: Focus on what is possible, not what can not be changed.
Investigation: A son will provide information about his mother
Meditation: Consideration of where you are at peace.
Research: Fairy tales can be very useful sources of information.
Research: Questions lead to answers, which lead to new questions.
Research: An Immortal can tell you about the Originals



If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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word count: 452
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~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~


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