[Haven] Breaking The Surface

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] Breaking The Surface


20 Ashan 721


"Tell me about this," Elliot held out a copy of a small portion of Balthazar's file to the former mage. Balthazar took the file in his hand and opened it, glancing over the first few words and immediately recalling the event. He closed the file and set it down on the table. They still met and spoke in Balthazar's tent these trials, sitting on opposite ends of the table though Elliot often insisted they move to a more neutral seating arrangement before the end of the meeting. He'd already done that for this meeting so Elliot sat at the closest corner of the table and Balthazar sat at the head of it.

"I don't want to talk about that." Balthazar said in a somewhat stern voice. He was generally friendly or dismissive in his responses but he only grew stern when Elliot seemed to strike a sensitive topic. Elliot was frustrated but he was good at hiding it. It wouldn't do any good to get frustrated with Balthazar by conventional standards but Balthazar just might have been the patient who wanted his therapist to get frustrated. Frustration showed investment. Calm, professional demeanors showed analysis. It was easy for Elliot to tell which one Balthazar preferred but he had a job to perform first and foremost.

"Balthazar, the only way to work through the things you would rather ignore is to talk about them. Talk to me, I can help you. I know something happened." Elliot urged Balthazar who did not seem very receptive to his therapist. Why did they have to talk about those things? Why did people need to know? Balthazar shook his head slightly.

"Why? It happened, it's over. I'm moving forward."

"Are you?" Elliot asked, "In our last meeting you told me you were having trouble sleeping."

"It's not related to that." Balthazar lied and Elliot knew it.

"Is it nightmares or discomfort?" Elliot asked.

"What?"

"Which is giving you trouble sleeping, nightmares or discomfort?"

"Discomfort, I'm being watched all the time."

"You're a dreamwalker, I'd have thought that you'd find more solitude in your dreams." Elliot pointed out, causing a pause that indicated he'd caught Balthazar in a corner. Dreams should have been the solution to his privacy issue but he hadn't gone exploring to make connections. He hadn't used the ability to walk or really any ability.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"So, nightmares or discomfort?"

"You know the answer."

"No, I only know what you tell me. Everything else is second hand." Elliot pointed out which in some ways made it a little easier for Balthazar to respond. It was good to know Elliot made his own opinions even if he could not trust the therapist to keep them to himself.

Balthazar took a deep breath. "Nightmares."

"How long have you been having them?"

"I've always had nightmares. This isn't anything new. Doesn't everyone have a bad dream once in a while?"

"Yes, once in a while, but do you mean to tell me you've always had trouble sleeping then?"

"No, that's more recent." Balthazar admit.

"So when did that begin?"

"I don't know exactly," When Balthazar said that, Elliot's brow raised a little. They were both very aware that Balthazar knew exactly when everything happened. He just needed to focus on it to recall the memories. So Balthazar sighed again and nodded his head. "Shortly after the sentence, but they'd been getting worse leading up to it. Ever since," he gestured towards the file that Elliot had shown him. "that."

There was a silence that grew in-between Balthazar's response and Elliot's next question that gave Balthazar time to reflect and prepared. Then Elliot asked the same thing he'd asked at the start. "What happened?"
word count: 654

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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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
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Renown: 1815
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Re: [Haven] Breaking The Surface


20 Ashan 721


Balthazar did not know where to begin but he knew that he wanted to tell Elliot what had happened. After seasons of sitting on the secret and keeping it between himself, Syroa, and his patron immortal, he wanted to tell someone else. For the longest time he had felt like there was a rodent inside him slowly trying to claw its way out- that rodent being the deception, the guise that he was alright. He had never told anyone why he was so shaken after the trip to Immortal's Tongue. He kept it to himself at the time and told himself it was because he did not want to disturb or take attention from Yeva. It had happened to her as well and she'd been trapped in that fate for much longer than him though they both experienced the same outcome. In the end it was not true. He did not talk about it because he could not accept it had happened. He tried, and tried to convince himself it had all been a dream. He told himself that his memory of it was merely him remembering a dream.

Later, Elisabeth's accounts of her attack told him it was not. Syroa had intervened there and wrought chaos. Vri had not saved them, but Vri had saved him. Vri had done more than that. Vri had resurrected him. Balthazar's decisions had been he demise. He accepted that. He left a gift to an Immortal who hated him and he was killed for it. He was not cursed, he was not condemned, he was killed. Vri did not have to intervene. Vri did not have to restore the life that had been lost, but he had. Balthazar took a deep breath because Elliot was waiting for him to answer and Balthazar did not yet know exactly how to explain it. He decided he would say it in simple terms.

"I went to Immortal's Tongue to prove a point to Elisabeth and to check in on and old friend. I upset them."

"How did you upset them?"

"Yeva wrote a letter to Elisabeth and sent it to my house. When I had my sparks one of them altered my ability to read, so I saw a long name and assumed it was for me." Balthazar said, "I found out rather quickly that it was not but... curiosity kills." He grinned a little and then his eyes began to drift towards the table again. Curiosity kills. "I read it, Nimue read it, Yeva did not like that."

"Do you think that was unreasonable of her?"

"I did at the time, but not now."

"What changed?"

"Now people read my letters and I know how much I dislike it." Balthazar said though his voice was growing a little distant and he was still looking down at the table. Elliot could tell Balthazar was thinking but not about what they were talking about so he dropped it and moved on.

"What happened after you upset them?"

"I gave them space, I went for a walk to visit Vri's shrine and I stopped a few times along the way. I stopped at..." He paused as the name crossed his mind and fear stopped him from speaking it. Fear was natural. He had to remember that. He just needed not to let it stop him. "Syroa's shrine. I left her a memory because she'd been somewhat decent to me in the past and I moved on. I went to Vri's shrine and left him a memory as well but," He paused again and took a deep breath, "Syroa showed up." That seemed to garner a little surprise from Elliot but it was well masked and Balthazar was looking at the table so he missed it. Balthazar looked up at Elliot for a moment and received a look that seemed to imply 'Go on' so he did- or he tried to. The next part was less pleasant than the walk to the shrine had been. "She..." he had only spoken of it once before and it was with someone he knew would understand what he felt but Elliot? He knew little of the therapist and it made it a little harder to explain. So instead of saying it, Balthazar ran his finger along his throat exactly where her claw had opened it, "... me."

That, coupled with the fact Elliot's marks assured him Balthazar was not lying, surprised the Order psychologist a little. His expression shifted but he pulled it back under control quickly despite the many questions left behind his eyes. He knew Balthazar had more to say and hoped some of it might help explain why he was treating a very much alive patient who'd just told him he had been murdered. Was it a delusion that Balthazar truly believed in or something else?

"It wasn't the cut that killed me," Balthazar said, his eyes drifting slowly towards the floor, "She opened my throat and I was still there, I could hear and see... and smell everything. My neck hurt but that wasn't the worst part, I-" Balthazar stopped and looked towards Elliot for a moment thinking that he might be getting to graphic but Elliot did not seem disturbed. He'd retreated into the same level expression he always did as he listened to Balthazar. "It was slow and it hurt but I couldn't stop it. For all the magic, mutations, and training, I couldn't stop it. It's impossible to cast anything while your blood is... filling your lungs. That was what did it, in the end. I kept pressing my hands over the wound but it didn't stop bleeding and I drowned in my own blood while my diri kept screaming." His finger had stopped drumming and now Balthazar's gaze, while directed at Elliot, seemed distant. He blinked a few times and seemed to compose himself. He took a breath and feigned as if he were scratching under his eye while actually checking to ensure no tears had fallen. "The worst part is that I can remember it all perfectly... every trill that seemed to stretch on forever is burned into my memory. Afterwards I didn't find myself at Judgment. I was elsewhere, in my patron's domain and Vri... gave me another chance among other things."

"What happened after that?" Elliot asked, keeping his tone and expression level to mask the thoughts he was having in light of this new information. He wanted the complete story, then he could go further into what it meant and how it had affected Balthazar.

"I woke up near the entrance and someone brought Elisabeth and Yeva to me. We left and I haven't gone back since." Balthazar replied.
Last edited by Balthazar Black on Tue May 18, 2021 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1143

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] Breaking The Surface


20 Ashan 721


That was not a satisfying conclusion. It was not enough for Elliot to know what had happened, he wanted to know more. He always wanted to know more. He probed Balthazar to feed him information every time them met and each time he gained a little bit better of an understanding. Yet that understanding often came with more questions and more theories that he needed additional information to help him hone. Balthazar, while not always the most forthcoming, was being far better now than he had been in their first session and in the first session Elliot had still been able to draw some of the settlement leader's history out of him. "What happened after you came back to the mainland?" He asked, keeping the question vague so that Balthazar would present that which seemed the most important to him. Balthazar blinked rapidly for a moment as if the options had overwhelmed him. What happened after that?

"Not a thing." Balthazar said, his focus now back on Elliot as the worst of the memories had passed. "Apart from one time shortly after it happened, I didn't talk about it. I didn't tell Elisabeth, I just went back to work and tried to move forward- like I always have."

"Did it work?"

"Does it look like it worked?" Balthazar asked with a somewhat exasperated smirk and a gesture towards the Trooper watching him. "It was different than moving on from the things I saw in the wars and battles. I survived the Creep and the Flameborn. I beat them... but not this. I died. I lost." Balthazar shrugged, and it seemed he didn't know what to say next.

"You consider dying losing?" Balthazar's brow furrowed as if the question confused him.

"I used to. In Yaralon dying and losing weren't very different. Ever since Immortal's Tongue its felt... different."

"What has felt different?"

"Death- dying? I don't know, the whole concept of it. It's not abstract anymore- not that it was ever abstract," He had seen, dealt out, dealt with, and investigated plenty of death in his first life, "but it's not the same now."

"What do you mean?"

"When I figure it out, you'll be the first to know."
word count: 383

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] Breaking The Surface

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Balthazar:

Knowledge: None requested.
Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 8
- - -
Comments: I have to admit that I’m quite curious about Balthazar’s file. I wonder which event Elliot was referring to. That would have been interesting to find out. In any case, you described Balthazar’s reluctance to talk very well. Balthazar and Elliot obviously seem to have very different points of view!

It seems as if Balthazar eventually opened up a bit though. It was interesting to read Balthazar’s personal account of what happened on Immortal’s Tongue and find out how he felt about it. It definitely sounds like something that can give you bad nightmares!

It was obvious that he found it hard to talk about it!

~~~

There were several issues with this thread.

(I understand that therapy can be hard to write about!)

First of all, I’m not at all sure if any therapist would let a client take a look at their file, or even a part of their file, and it seems especially strange to me that nothing comes of Balthazar looking at his file.

Furthermore, I already told you before that you should keep in mind that Elliot is a professional and highly experienced therapist. He is a Gold Cloak with Master Psychology that was sent to Faldrass in order evaluate Balthazar and eventually recommend treatment.

So far, I haven’t seen a lot of, if any, mention of what happened before Balthazar’s arrest and his trial or his relationship with his magic which should be an important part of his therapy sessions. Please try not to lose the focus of what the therapy is actually supposed to be about!

I also found it strange that the better part of this therapy session consisted of Elliot asking questions. A good therapist doesn’t just ask questions, and empathy which is something that Elliot seems to be lacking is an important aspect of therapy. And what more, when Balthazar talked about what was obviously a traumatic experience, Elliot just continued to pry further!

I’m pretty sure that this is not how an experienced therapist would treat their client!

Balthazar mentioned that people read his letters (I think he means the Elements with that?) and that he dislikes it, and Elliot decided to just move on for some reason. What Balthazar thinks about the Elements that are watching him and checking his letters seems like something that is pretty important and that is directly related to the trial as well as his sentence.

Again, please focus on the reason why Balthazar’s getting therapy. It should mostly be about his actions prior to the trial, his relationship with his magic, how magic affected him, his arrest, the trial and so on, and not about his childhood (which he talked about in a previous thread) or Immortals’ Tongue (although that’s obviously something that a therapist wouldn’t ignore if it comes up).

As per this intervention, you will be awarded 2 XP less per incident. As this was a case of NPC misrepresentation, I have decided to deduct 2 XP.

Furthermore, the events in this thread are considered non-canon. If you want to appeal this decision, please send a PM to Lore Analysis Lead Squirrel.

Your review request.
word count: 557

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