716th Arc, 10th Trial of Zi'da
Neronin's Home, Etzos
Necromancy was an academic craft as much as any other, indeed, much more than some. The subtle edge of life and death, the coaxing of a body back to function after the corrosive effects of decay and rot settled in was not an easy thing. The depletion of one's own body's energy to do this was even harder. Distractions could be detrimental. An especially piercing distraction, truly grating on the ears of an arcane scholar, was the baying of a human child. Neronin detested such sounds. Crying was for the dying and the tortured, a simple tether to sanity when one was far submerged in pain. It was not, as far as he was concerned, a valid activity for those who were hearty and whole.
that being said, he found himself distracted from his animation of the rat's body by the disgusting bleating of his neighbor's child. They were both laborers in the city, though he knew not where. All three of their children were brats younger than ten. This, Neronin sensed by the pitch, was the youngest of all. A female of four he had surmised from casual passing. Neronin let his attention falter and simmer out, the crackling energy he had been about to animal the rat-corpse with dying. He would have to silence the girl.
Of course he could not and would not hurt her. She was weak and sniveling, but that was her parent's fault at this point. At four he had still been looking to his mother in vain for protection, equally despicable as this child. Apart from that leniency, she was the daughter of his neighbor. One did not shit and eat in the same place, as the saying went. He did not want his neighbors thinking ill of him or the delicate balance he had found in this tiny hovel would be altered. He could speak to her though. He was confident that he could find a way to silence her with words.
She was sitting in the doorway to her home, her head tilted back and her face red. Tear tracks left bright streaks across an otherwise dusty small face. Neronin watched her a moment, appraising her. She would make a next to useless thrall anyway. Her body was small and her leg had been broken already, leaving her with a limp. It had been a very sad occasion for the family. They depended on their children for extra income and this had limited her prospects for work heavily.
"What it the matter...child." Neronin asked with a fair shot at empathy. The smile he attempted still seemed to turn into a slight frown as he watched the small bubble of snot waver in her nose. Pathetic.
"Dog, in the house!" She held up her small arm, showing a few agitated red marks. "He bit me!" She explained.
Neronin glanced through the open doorway then back at the girl. "You're dog bit you?" He asked, his heart falling. He did not want to have to care for a damn child all day just because her parents couldn't keep their mutt suitably disciplined.
"Not my dog! I don't know who's dog. It just came in when I opened the door to throw out the soup." This sparked Neronin's interest for the first time. If this wasn't her dog, maybe he could salvage some utility from the situation. He glanced in the house again, unable to discern any dog though.
"Ah well, I'll go fetch my knife and see if I can't help you get rid of the...dog." He said. He was about to go back when he remembered the girl. "Why don't you stay out here and I'll be right back... young lady." He gave her a smile, genuine for the first time. A dog would make an excellent test subject. Not as ideal as a human, but without the obstacles.