[Haven] A Night Without Stars

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

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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


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Arc 721, 48 Ashan

As she had gotten her correspondence items, Balthazar had slipped off to their room, but for what purpose, Elisabeth didn’t know. It didn’t much matter and her mind was more consumed with what she was trying to ask Vega.

A small ‘meow’ caught her attention. Looking down, Storm was in the process of climbing up the chair and into her lap. Unlike the beach, she allowed him to do so this time, smiling as she stroked his head gently. Having him there calmed her a bit, giving her someone to talk to in the moments when she needed it.

She was unaware of Balthazar having had one of the Saoire candies although something did feel a bit different. Her own were tucked away, box unopened.

Balthazar’s footfalls, followed by Miranda’s, sounded again, coming back into the common area. Before she knew it, he was seated next to her and apologizing. Sighing softly, she set her quill down and regarded him, cerulean eyes soft but full of concern. “Yes, you were.”

She allowed that comment to stand for a moment, realizing that he had, in fact, spoken mean words to her. The young mage always looked for the best in people and sometimes that blinded her to moments where they faltered.

That didn’t mean, however, that she wasn’t empathetic.

Not discussing it wouldn't get them anywhere, so she decided to forge ahead.“Your frustration is understandable, though. Not an excuse, but understandable. I can’t imagine what it felt like being here, ring telling you something’s wrong and not knowing what was happening. If our roles had been reversed, I don't know what I would have done. Apology accepted.” There were more things she wanted to say right then but held herself. It was enough that he had apologized. The matter was over as far as she was concerned.

“I’m writing to Vega and Kura. Perhaps one of them can shed some light on those eight days. Vega knew something was going to happen, and Kura sees all those reports.”
Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Fri May 28, 2021 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 353
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


48 Ashan 721


If there was a sarcastic response to the pause Elisabeth left after she confirmed he had been mean, he did not show any signs he was going to say it. He waited for her to continue, shifting the candy in his mouth from the right to the left and listening as she continued. She said his frustration was understandable, he didn't think she could understand, but she said it was. Who knew, one trial maybe their roles would be reversed? He knew he needed to let it go and he was trying to. Saoire's gift helped. When Elisabeth mentioned writing to Kura and Vega to see if they could shed any light on the missing time, Balthazar gave her a small nod. "Maybe they can, if not it doesn't matter. You're here, you're safe. We have a settlement to run." He said with a small smile.

He knew she'd doubt him because there was no way he was truly over the missing time, but he was content for now and would try to maintain the attitude when the effect of Saoire's candy wore off. His eyes shifted slightly down to the letter she was writing but he didn't read it at all before looking back into Elisabeth's eyes a little more nervous than before. Here too, the candy helped. Nerves rose and washed away as he shifted the dissolving candy from one side to the other in his mouth. "I've had a lot of people tell me that my frustration is understandable in the last season but none of them really seem to understand it." He knew now how he wanted to convey this to her but he did not think it was the best way. He knew it was the only way he could think that would help her understand it. He had two paths before him, one he was more experienced with and one he had learned little of. His sorrow or his memory. "I want to tell you something, but I-" He paused, "it's hard to talk about." He hoped she would understand what he meant by now.

"I want you to know what happened on Immortal's Tongue." Another pause, "But I am afraid of what seeing it will do."

word count: 388

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 Night Without Stars


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Arc 721, 48 Ashan

There was one thing she knew for sure about Balthazar Black – he never let anything go that mystified him. They were remarkably similar in that manner. Those missing trials would continue to haunt the pair until they had further information. It was sweet that he tried to make her feel better about it though. Returning the smile, she nodded as he said that it didn’t matter. Elisabeth would still try to find out – for their shared peace of mind.

That’s when the conversation changed a bit. Balthazar was not known for speaking about his feelings. Especially not in front of the shadows, knowing everything was reported. When he did, she listened because there was always a good reason for it.

He voiced a valid concern – people generally had a hard time understanding the experiences of others, no matter how badly they wanted to. So, when he spoke of how many people had told him his frustration was understandable, she tried to, from her limited viewpoint, explain how it felt to her. “Balthazar, in my past, when I had the nightmares about fire, people would say the same thing…and I felt the same way as you do, not feeling like anyone really knew what it felt like. It’s true – no one can understand how you feel."

Sighing softly, Elisabeth gently reached out to hold his hand, if he allowed it. “I’ve thought about it a lot and, for me, it comes down to me being a unique person with a unique set of experiences that molded my mind and the way I see things. No one can understand that, despite saying they can. So when someone tells me they understand, I try to accept that as they want to understand and that they care about me.” She felt that perhaps leaving that there was best.

He continued, speaking of something that was difficult for him to talk about. That got her attention quickly – Balthazar never admitted difficulty with anything. Resisting the urge to try and comfort him, Elisabeth simply listened.

Immortal’s Tongue. He was ready for her to know what had happened.

Taking a deep breath in, she considered the moment. It had been a bad trial all around and held very few good memories for her. Her mind had been on him the entire time, even retelling the tale of their love to Cassion’s Eagle. Her version of events, he had long known. She, however, was unaware of what had happened to him, other than the condition in which he had been brought to her at the end of the trial. Whatever had occurred, it was obviously profound. She hadn’t pushed him to tell, knowing he would when the time was right.

And he was afraid – something else he never confessed to.

Gazing at him, she offered up a small smile. “I want to know, Balthazar. Whatever it is. I can handle it.”

Whatever it was, she would handle it. For him. For them both.

word count: 507
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


48 Ashan 721


Balthazar did not address anything Elisabeth said about people wanting to be able to understand and failing to do so. He had something much more grave on his mind now and he was worried about the damage he might do. He could help her manage, a little, he hoped and nearly prayed... but what he wanted her to know was unpleasant in the worst way. She assured him she could handle it and it felt like his heart cracked in his chest. He changed his mind. He didn't want to show her. He didn't want to put her through it. The candy in his mouth with its mystical effect fought to cleanse the negative emotions from the room but how did one discuss their own death in a cheery way? There was a smile on Balthazar's face but sadness in his eyes. He couldn't think of anything else to show her. He was beyond the pale now. He had to tell her. "Hands off the table." Balthazar said before pressing his fingertips onto the wooden surface.

He took a deep breath and focused on the memory of Immortal's Tongue and what had happened. His darkened nails grew a little sharper as the memory began to slip from the former mage into the table. He did not relinquish it entirely, he never did because he never wanted to lose the memory completely, but he imparted an echo like he had done a few times before and when he was done he lifted his hands from the table. "When you're ready," he gestured towards the table and took another deep breath. "Elisabeth, I want you to know, before you see it, I'm sorry."
word count: 291

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 Night Without Stars


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Arc 721, 48 Ashan

It was at that moment that Storm decided to jump up into Elisabeth’s lap, purring a bit as he settled against her. Perhaps animals had a sense of when they were needed, which would prove accurate in the moments that were to come when the young woman reflected back upon that event in the future.

She watched Balthazar think, unable to help with the decision he had to make. Elisabeth wanted to help, but it was his experience to share or not. What she could do, had already been done – reassure.

Removing her hands from the table when he asked, Elisabeth watched, knowing what he was doing. Her hands began to shake a bit, realizing that he intended to show her what had happened instead of telling. Words were one thing, but a vision of such events tended to much more potent. Moving her hands to Storm, she gently stroked the feline while Balthazar did what he needed to, nervous energy rising within her.

Once he finished, Balthazar relinquished the table to her and apologized. In truth, she wasn’t sure what he was apologizing for…and within a few trills, it wouldn’t matter.

Letting her eyes gaze across the table at him, Elisabeth arched an eyebrow gently, the question hanging there but unsaid….

…and then she placed her hands on the table.

Immortal’s Tongue. Balthazar was someplace she didn’t recognize but that wasn’t odd – she had only seen a small portion of the island while there. He wasn’t alone.

Syroa.

Anger immediately started to well up inside the young woman. The last time she had seen the Immortal, she was being battled at Mummer’s Ball. It had been said she died but the memory seemed to indicate otherwise. She had Balthazar. The memory itself was hazy so it was hard for Elisabeth to grasp certain details, but some words came through – some didn’t. Balthazar had done something to upset her. She recognized the tone he used – he had been buying himself time. Syroa’s claw dug into his temple, blood ran down his face…and Elisabeth was beginning to understand why whatever had happened had affected him so. Hands shaking, she forced contact to remain with the table, even though she didn’t want to see what was coming. It was Syroa and there was no way this encounter would end well.


But nothing – absolutely nothing – on Idalos could have prepared her for what came next.

The raven-haired mage was a strong young woman. She had grown in resolve, fortitude, and discipline, but when confronted with the visual death of the one you loved most in the world, there was little that could combat that. In that moment, her heart broke, a cry of despair and utter devastation splitting through the air. In that moment, it didn’t matter that the man she was watching die sat with her in the room, very much alive.

The moment Balthazar’s dead body hit the ground in her mind, Elisabeth’s hands came off the table, shoving back and removing herself from it. Storm jumped to the ground, following her as she moved to the other side of the room, legs shaking, body heaving in anguish as the tears came. The torrent of emotions within her threatened to overwhelm, battling as hard as she could with what she knew of emotional control. She couldn’t breathe, words unable to be formed as she turned to look at him.

She had to look at him.

Balthazar was alive. He was with her. Right there. Breathing. Elisabeth focused on that, trying whatever she could to bring herself back under control. She wasn’t sorry for what she felt – some things demanded to be felt – but she had to control her response now.

For him. She would do anything for him. Elisabeth needed to do this.

Holding her stomach, she breathed in deeply, then out again, gaze locked on him. He’s here. He’s alive. Focus. Something else happened….

The tears continued to fall, and Elisabeth focused on Balthazar, forcing what she had just seen out of her mind as best she could, allowing one word to come.

“How?”

word count: 709
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


48 Ashan 721


It was immediately clear to Balthazar when she'd seen what happened. The moments before were tense, nerves on fire threatening to kill the former mage as he watched Elisabeth with her hands set on the table. When her hands came off the table, Balthazar was on his feet and moving around towards her. It was a mistake, a terrible, horrible, awful idea and it felt like it. He bit down on Saoire's candy, crushing it into small bits and swallowing it as he put his arms gently around Elisabeth, disregarding the shadow watching them completely. He squeezed her while she seemed to struggle with her air, not thinking about how it might not have helped. He was worried, panic had taken hold of him and he was just trying to calm her down. "You're alright, we're alright, everything is fine." After a few trills, actually quite a few trills, he pulled back slightly, keeping his hands on the side of her arms. He'd mistaken the source of her shock at first but he was getting there. It was his memory of his death but it would play out to her like a memory of her own death- she just happened to know it was his, not hers. He thought, he really did, that the lack of clarity caused by the echo and Saoire's candy would help more.

Even now with the nerves he was feeling and the panic, he could feel something eating away at the negativity. Elisabeth asked how and he understood what she meant without needing to hear more. He knew where the memory had ended. "It's complicated but... Vri." He didn't know if the rest mattered or was even worth telling Elisabeth. Would she remember if he told her that the deal between Vri and himself was over? He would tell her, he'd give her all the details she wanted, but not now. Not until the shock of what had happened had passed. He pulled her closer for another hug and held her there while his answer sank in and when they parted again he said, "I did not know how to say it. I'm sorry. I'm so..." His voice trailed off and he squeezed her again.
word count: 384

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 Night Without Stars


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Arc 721, 48 Ashan

Had Balthazar held his ground, it’s possible she would have been able to push aside everything and regain a modicum of control. It’s the scenario she expected to happen, but the man never enjoyed doing what anyone expected of him, following Elisabeth quickly as she departed the table, wrapping her up against him.

Fighting for control of her emotions was difficult and made almost impossible as he stood there, holding her. Wrapping her arms tightly around his torso, the young mage tried to focus on the fact that he was right there. She was touching him, but her mind flew to the greatest fear she had…

Losing him.

She had just witnessed a moment in time where, for all intents and purposes, she had lost him. He had been dead.

If Balthazar had ever doubted the depth of Elisabeth’s feeling for him, her response to seeing his ‘death’ would serve as a reminder that for all her words, the actual intensity and scope of how she felt was immeasurable.

She heard his words, and some piece of her acknowledged them, but Elisabeth continued to cling to his body for several moments. It was hard to describe – touching him made the intensity feel truer, but it also helped immeasurably because it was him. He wasn’t worried about the shadows or anything else in that moment. He was with her, taking care of her. Trying to comfort her in the best way he knew how.

When he pulled back to answer her question, he only needed to say Vri’s name for Elisabeth to be temporarily sated with the answer. She didn’t need to know more at that moment. His arms wrapped around her again, and she settled somewhat, placing her head gently against his chest, raven curls against the fabric of his shirt, closing cerulean eyes as she searched for the sound of his heartbeat. It beat in his chest, assuring her that yes, he was alive.

“I lost you.” It was all she could think of to say. It was the overriding emotion and sentiment in her heart and soul. Balthazar always chided her for saying that she would always come back to him, citing the fact that when Immortals and the unknown were in the mix, bad things happened, but she always insisted that she would battle her way through anything to return to him. She had laughed at his lack of faith in her stubbornness…and yet, a perfect example of what he spoke of had just been shown to her.

As he held her, she felt the weight of the moment lift a bit, not caring why or how, simply appreciating the gift it was, allowing her mind to clear and discipline to slip back in.

He apologized again, yet this time, she shook her head. Taking his face in her hands, she finally found some semblance of footing, speaking softly to him.“Why? You shouldn’t have had to bear this alone. I’ve been trying to tell you all along, I’m here. These experiences and difficulties in your life, I don’t want you shouldering the burden of them alone. They may not be pleasant, but I would far prefer to help you deal with them then watch you struggle, feeling as though you must do so alone or not wanting to burden me. I’m here. I will always be here for you. You."

word count: 580
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


48 Ashan 721


He was still worried as he held and comforted her. He was worried even when she began asking him more questions and he would probably be worried for a while longer after their time with Saoire's candy afflicting them. She said she had lost him and those words lingered at the forefront of his mind more than he thought they would. She lost him. She hadn't even known about it moments ago and in her world, her reality, she had never lost him. Now he'd changed that and he did not know if the truth was worth the cost. All he knew was he felt the woman he loved deserved the truth and as long as he kept his demise secret, she would only know a portion of what drove him now. She assured him she wanted to help bear the burden of things like his murder and Balthazar's expression softened. He felt his heart swell at the words and sentiment behind them but there was a small bit of sadness there too that was quickly washed away.

"Can you see how I would want to protect you from it though? I don't want you to go through what you just did, not if I can prevent it. Where do we draw the line between protecting and supporting each other?" He asked, "I didn't keep it a secret to protect you. It was denial at first. I wanted to believe it was a dream and it hadn't really happened but the memory was too clear. When I accepted it was real I don't know why I didn't tell you. I didn't want to think about it or talk about it and it didn't seem important. I filed it away into one of those things I never brought up." He wasn't sure he was giving her the best explanation but she'd at least understand the concept of things he didn't talk about. She knew little of his early life. "I should have told you sooner. I should have told you before Almund, before Haven, or any of this... I should have done a lot differently."
word count: 371

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 Night Without Stars


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Arc 721, 48 Ashan

In his arms is where Elisabeth felt safe, and as such, she didn’t move from them easily. There had been too much uncertainty in the past two seasons for them, being thrown from one situation into another, and yet at the heart of it, their relationship had endured. It was always evolving and changing, transforming into something new. Relationships – serious relationships – weren’t easy. They weren’t supposed to be. Obstacle after obstacle came their direction and they did what they had to, to meet those challenges head-on.

She listened carefully to what he was saying, her hands never leaving him, still shaking a bit but resting against his chest as they spoke. They were finally getting to talk the way they needed to, and she wasn’t going to waste the opportunity given.

He presented a thoughtful comment – where was the line between protecting and supporting? She was ready with an answer for that, but first, there were other things to address.

“Yes, absolutely I see that. I know you would protect me from everything negative or harmful if you could. I would do the same for you, in a heartbeat, without hesitation.” Sighing softly, she thumped on his chest with her fists lightly, gazing up at him. “We both know we aren’t going to get the quiet life. The one where we simply sit here in Haven and count the trials go by. That was never in the cards for us, and I accept that because it is what I want – a life with you by my side.”

Reaching up a hand, Elisabeth gently brushed it against his cheek. “In this life we’ve been given, we protect and support each other, just like you did totrial. You showed me the truth and stayed here with me, making me feel supported and loved."

"I never for a moment would believe that you would have kept this from me forever. We’ve always been honest with each other, and I accept that you had to work your way through the experience before telling me. I believe in you and I believe in us.”
Laying her head back against his chest, arms slipping around his torso again, she finished her thought, listening to his heartbeat, needing to hear it. “I’m not upset you didn’t tell me sooner. I just wish you had, so I could have been here for you. I never want you to feel alone – physically or emotionally. I’m here to protect, support, and love you fiercely. Always.”

word count: 430
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] A Night Without Stars


48 Ashan 721


The more Elisabeth spoke the more it became clear that she was alright and the more that the walls Balthazar put up to hide what he felt from the guards seemed to return. He remembered Miranda standing there watching and judging them though he knew most of her judgement would come through her report and not actions. He broke no laws and violated no portion of his sentence so she had no reason to intervene... so long as no one was put in harm way. Balthazar squeezed Elisabeth's arms a little one last time when she thumped his chest and he let her go while she spoke. She said that they should protect and support each other but Balthazar did not feel that showing her his demise was protecting her. It had hurt her. He could see that. He would do everything he could to alleviate that pain but it was pain he caused. What good did it do them other than to remove the weight from his chest?

Another thing that struck him was that she said "in this life we've been given." It didn't feel like a life they had been given. For all the love they seemed to feel, Vri had never once spoken to Balthazar about Elisabeth. He had only ever talked of the death. He was not sure what he was meant to do with the life he'd been given. Show devotion to Vri, but how? He knew where to look for answers but until he was released from his sentence he would not pursue those answers... he did not know exactly where to write to. Elisabeth wrapped her arms around him again and put her head on his chest so Balthazar wrapped his arms back around her as well. He gave her a small squeeze, listening to her final words but saying nothing more than four words.

"I love you too."
word count: 324

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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