A Stranger's Kindness

3rd of Cylus 721

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Praetorum
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Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
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A Stranger's Kindness


3rd of Cylus, Arc 721

Sometimes, Prae wondered if he'd dreamed the whole thing. It was ridiculous, of course; Prae had spent the better part of a cycle watching as this place was constructed. But he still couldn't help but wonder sometimes if he was allowed to have something like this. 


Silently, Praetorum padded through well lit corridors of polished stone and varnished wood, the ceilings high enough that even Varlum would be able to walk through without needing to duck. He'd had the rooms and hallways built wide and spacious, with windows to let in sunlight, at least in the seasons where the sun wasn't obscured. He'd been afraid at first that he, and more importantly, Sneabru would be reminded of—

But no, this place was a far cry from those cramped, winding stone corridors that had been home, prison and battlefield all at once this time last arc. Even in the dead of winter, this place felt warm, homely. Prae had been insistent on that—Rorom had gifted this place to him in the hopes that he would relax, and Prae hoped he could do just that. 


As he wandered the halls, Prae made a mental note of each room as he passed. Here were the living quarters, four rooms in all—Ricky had been so relieved to finally have a room to himself after nearly a year of sharing tent and inn rooms with either Prae or Sneabru or Clarissa. Here was a kitchen, designed for someone far better at cooking than Prae was. 


There was a storage room, an armory, both currently rather empty, although Prae hoped to change that over time. And through this door...

When he'd worked with Antonia, he'd gotten used to a cramped, messy workspace, but he'd never quite gotten comfortable with it. Which was why when planning out this castle, he'd asked for a large, spacious room to be made into a smithy. He walked through it now, feeling a smile spread across his face. He supposed Saoire's little meet and greet had given him two gifts—the keep itself, and the opportunity to try something he might never have otherwise. 


The forge was cold, and Prae's claws flexed with the desire to light it, to feel the flames start to roar before his eyes. But there would be plenty of time for that later. Prae had no doubt that this was a room he would return to frequently. There was something soothing about the act of creation, of taking a lump of metal and turning it into something useful. It lit a fire in him, no pun intended, that he'd never felt before, a bone deep satisfaction. The closest thing Prae could think of was noticing that he'd become better at something he was practicing, though it was hard to distinguish the pride of creation and the pride of advancement when Prae looked at the things he'd created.

Still, Prae wasn't here to reflect on his newfound pastime. Ducking out a door on the other side of the smithy, Prae emerged out into a massive courtyard, targets and training dummies laid out all around. The training yard had ended up being one of the largest parts of the place, with separate sections for melee, ranged and horseback training, with a running track laid out around the perimeter. But Prae wasn't here to train today either. Not that he could have, with snow blanketing the parts of the yard that were exposed.


Nor was he here to ride, though he did take a quick detour towards the stables next to the courtyards to pet and feed Sivan. No, today Prae simply stepped up to the wall of the courtyard, and let the wind carry him over it, snow swirling around him as he did so.


He'd built the property at the edge of the Mistral Woods, right near the tree line. Before him, the river was within easy walking distance, while the woods stretched out to his right, and grassy plains to his left. And behind him, on the other side of the property, Prae could make out the Stormwastes, quite some distance away. There had been no attacks since Rhaum's death, and it seemed the nickels were well and truly gone. Idly, Prae wondered what they would do with the land. It still seemed inhospitable and barren, which would make it prime fodder for bandits. 


Well, he supposed the lightning knights or the wardens would figure something out. If there ended up being bandits, Prae would be in good position to deal with them from here. Until then, it was simply a view. 


Flying closer to the river, Prae elected not to land in the snow—even with his elevated body heat, Prae didn't fancy the idea of slogging through melting snow—and started to float up and down the riverbank, soothed by the sound of the elements all around him. They were only missing fire, and that was always within him, one way or another. Earth and air were rarely absent, so most often it was water that he was missing. Even before he'd become a defier, he'd loved living by a lake, and as soon as it had really sunk in that this was real, that he could have a home again, he'd known he wanted it by the river. 


For a moment, Prae was tempted to go in for a swim, and in any other season, he might have. But the fire that burned in his spark could only do so much, and the last thing he needed was to fall into a topor from the icy cold. So he refrained, content to just listen to its burbling voice below, watch it go by. The water was clear and crisp, and in its flowing surface Prae could make out the gleam of the moons reflected back at him.
word count: 1003
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Praetorum
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Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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Re: A Stranger's Kindness


And then through the water, Prae caught a glimpse of a different sort of gleam. Frowning, he floated closer, and saw a flash of something metal at the bottom of the river, just barely visible through the silt. Puzzled, he reached for it with his attunement spark, Suspicion latching on to the object and beginning to read its frequency. 


Metal, yes, he could see that. Made by mortal hands, perhaps several arcs old. Notes of abandonment, of secrecy. And inside it... something that had been woven with loving care, with notes of sorrow attached. There was violence, travel, and under it all... Praetorum focused, trying to make out the note. It was strange, not discordant with the others, but different somehow, like a song played by a different instrument. 


Something about that was familiar to Prae, reminding him of— oh. 


His sparks sang too in a different pitch from other notes, but the note of his own magic was as different from whatever it was in the box as it was from non-magical notes. But it was undeniably magic all the same, something identical in the low hum of it.

Now, Prae was intrigued. Calling gently to the river below, he urged the silt to part around the box, and the water to pull it free, and carry it to the surface. Soon, a tendril of water emerged, wrapped snugly around a steel box.

Plucking the box from the water with a murmur of thanks, Prae turned, and started to fly back towards his new home. 


Back inside the smithy, Prae examined the box. It had a lock, but a quick test revealed that either the lock had never been closed properly, or the mechanisms inside had rusted or degraded over time. All it took was a sharp pull to get the box open, revealing a large package of waterproof leather. 


Opening the package revealed cloth, woven into geometric patterns. There were two identical pieces, and as Prae picked them both up, he felt a strange sort of tingle. Alarmed, he attuned once again to them, but could find nothing different about their frequencies, or his. When he unfolded them, Prae recognized the items as banners, of the sort a standard bearer might carry. They were large, even taller than his own form, and as they both unrolled to the floor, a piece of vellum fluttered to the ground. 


As you may have felt, by the time you read this, the banners will have bonded themselves to you. Stand them upright, and four times a trial, you will be able to pass from one to the other.

If you are who I think you are, I forgive you. I forgave you a long time ago, and I hope you will think well of me every time you use these banners. If you are not, and Arc 713 has come and passed, then I gift these banners to you, whoever you may be. May they bring you more luck than they did I.


Praetorum traced the faded words, hearing the notes of sorrow and hope woven through its frequency with a twang of melancholy. He had no way of knowing who this person was, or who these were intended for, but attunement and the tone of the note painted for him the broadest strokes of a tragedy long past, perhaps forgotten. 


"Thank you." Prae said quietly to the vellum between his claws. "Whoever you were."
word count: 575
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Doran
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Posts: 3564
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Alchemist
Renown: 1162
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Wealth Tier: Tier 10

Re: A Stranger's Kindness

Image
Prae:

Knowledge:
Detection x3
Attunement x3

Loot: Bound Banners
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: 5 XP may be used for Attunement. Prae attuned several times in the last post. While the notes that he detected seem somewhat complex, he did not push himself sufficiently for full Magic XP in my opinion, especially not for someone who is close to Master Attunement.
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: The first sentence of this thread immediately piqued my curiosity. I couldn’t help but wonder why Prae thought that he might be dreaming – and then I discovered that Rorom had gifted him this amazing keep. I loved that you took us on a walk through Prae’s new home – and described how your PC felt and what he thought while doing so.

There’s even a forge in it!

I have to admit, I’m always happy to find a mention of Sneabru in one of your threads. I’ve been fond of him since that event in Melrath all those months ago. I’m glad that he is still alive and well. And Prae is right, his new place is a far cry from Niflheim where they were imprisoned!

I was curious about the box that Prae found in the river. I thought this was an interesting way for Prae to acquire his signature item, and I like that you didn’t just put the banners into the box, but also included a note. I wonder who it was from! Was the note for Prae – or for someone else?

That being said, I would have appreciated it if you had included a link to the PSF thread where the banners were approved, although I found the thread in question relatively quickly.

Enjoy your rewards!


word count: 296

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Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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