• Memory • Wisdom of an Old Friend

Avrae's last training session with his mentor.

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Avrae Kyric
Approved Character
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:34 pm
Race: Aukari
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: -32
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1



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Wisdom of an Old Friend

Saun 22nd, 704

To get to the sweetest part of life, you had to go through the hardest. That was a lesson that a thirteen year old Avrae Kyric was already learning. The arc was 704- the arc that his beloved mentor, Kabkadu, died. But there was one memory from earlier that arc that Avrae couldn’t forget. It was the trial he learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with him, always.

That trial, Avrae had been happily flirting with his little crush (before he admitted his feelings and got rejected), leaned up on the wall of his foster home. A large grin was lighting up his face as he examined Nabua, a boy in his class. His red hair was darker than Avrae’s, more of an auburn that framed his face in gelled waves. But it was his eyes that fascinated Avrae. They were so dark they were nearly pitch black, like the coal that burned in fires around Sirothelle. Avrae could spend hours staring into the dark abyss of his eyes. He liked bright eyes, too, particularly the most vibrant ones in shades of blue or greens, but he had to admit to having a definitely love of dark eyes that just couldn’t be beat. Dark eyes were more common in Sirothelle, but there was something about Nabua. Perhaps it was because he liked him so much.

“You’re so good at meditation, Nabs. I could learn a thing or two from you. Maybe you can show me your secret sometime.” Avrae said. His hand leisurely ran through his own bright ginger locks, giving a crooked, almost mischievous grin to his crush. Nabua was leaned across from him, resting his weight on his shoulder. He was slender, more so than Avrae, who was already a little broad shouldered for a thirteen year old.

Nabua’s cheeks gained a soft pink, his lips pulling up into a bare smile. “Maybe you should find your own secrets. Being calm isn’t just about meditation. It… comes from within. You should find what keeps you calm.”

That made Avrae laugh, “If you haven’t noticed, being calm isn’t my strong suit.” He said this, but he was pretty calm at the moment. He was too focused on Nabua to be feeling anything negative.

Nabua opened his mouth to respond, his eyes gleaming like the shells of black beetles- when three passing foster kids began to jeer at them. “Hey, look! It’s Avrae the Wago!” The word washed over Avrae like freezing water. It was a cruel word to use as an insult- meaning a boy who liked other boys sexually, or a girl who liked girls sexually. Avrae was sure his affection for Nabua was no secret, and it wasn’t even that insulting to him. He did like boys. But he knew he liked boys too. No, he wasn’t very insulted to be called a Wago. He was livid- furious- because he didn’t want Nabua to get a negative opinion of him. At least, not until he knew if Nabua felt the same way.

“Wago! Wago! Wago!” The bullies began to chant, laughing at them. Nabua had stepped back from Avrae, eyes wide as he glance nervously between his friend and their tormentors.

Avrae could feel his anger, bubbling up like boiling water. His sharp amber gaze narrowed, and in his fury he picked up a rock from the ground. “Shut up!” He shouted, chucking the rock and missing one of the bully’s heads by mere inches. That made them scatter a little, but Avrae didn’t stick around to watch.

The young teen was particularly in a bad mood as he fled from his foster home, and from Nabua, trying to wipe away the tears threatening to spill onto his cheeks.

”Little monster! He’s burnt me again!”

“Avrae’s such a freak- he has no control. He’s too emotional, like a little crybaby!”

“Are we even sure he’s full Aukari? His sister wasn’t.”

Multiple whispers followed the ginger haired boy, his feet not moving fast enough to get away from their piercing, judgemental eyes. He could hear Nabua calling his name in distress, but Avrae didn’t look back.

Instead, he ran, and he ran, desperate to get away. Hours later, as the sun set, Avrae found himself standing on a curved bridge over a rocky dip. At one point perhaps there had been a pond there. Now it was dry, and barren, and dead. Like everything in Sirothelle. Young Avrae thought with spit, furiously scrubbing at his tear-filled eyes. In his attempt to release his anger, grabbed a nearby stone and threw it, like he had at the bully’s head, watching it clack into the stone pond-bed below.

“Now, what reason does someone so young have to be so full of anger?” An older, wiser voice called from the other end of the bridge. Jumping in surprise, as he had thought he was alone, Avrae’s blurry gaze turned. But even through tears, he’d recognize this particular Aukari male anywhere.

Resisting the urge to yell out Kabkadu’s name in joy, Avrae gripped the wall of the bridge, sniffling. He hadn’t seen his mentor in many seasons. The older Aukari was wearing a cap on his head- strangely covering his own red hair, which he usually displayed with pride- and was still in traveling clothes. Biting his tongue stubbornly, Avrae attempted to act like he wasn’t happy to see him. “Now, what reason does someone so old have to be so full of happiness?” Avrae responded mockingly.

Kabkadu slowly walked up to him, his walking stick- and part time weapon- clacking on the walk… until he raised it to promptly smack Avrae’s shoulder, making the boy cry out and jump, reaching to hold onto the soon-to-be-aching limb. “What the-?!” He exclaimed, eyes wide as he looked at Kabkadu.

“Is that any way to greet me? Give me a hug, boy, I’m no stranger!” The old man grumbled, gazing down at him with a stern expression. Avrae scoffed, but he only hesitated a moment before wrapping his arms around his oldest friend and father figure.

In secret, he smiled into Kabkadu’s shirt, his tears slowly drying up. When he pulled away, Kabkadu was smiling at him. “Your teachers tell me you lack focus. You lack patience, and the skill to calm yourself. Is that true?”

Avrae frowned, looking down and taking a step back. He would have done anything to keep Kabkadu’s opinion of him, but at the same time, he couldn’t lie to him. Sighing, he murmured, “...Patience and focus is overrated. The teachers are all idiots anyway.”

“Hmm.” Kabkadu merely hummed, before asking, “On my way to find you, I saw a boy telling your foster parents that you attacked him with a rock. Is that true, too?”

“No!” Avrae shouted almost instantly, his eyes lighting up fiercely, “He started it! They were calling me a Wago when I was talking with-” Realizing how high his voice was, and how he had been about to mention Nabua, Avrae’s voice faltered. But his sudden outburst had told Kabkadu everything he needed to know.

The older man chuckled, the sound vibrating deep in his throat, as he reached forward and placed a warm hand on Avrae’s bright ginger hair, ruffling his fingers through it. “You lost your calm… and you missed your shot. Let me give you some wisdom, little flame. Don’t get upset unless you know you can do something about it. You threw a rock, and your anger made your aim fail. If you had stayed calm, you might have gotten your revenge in due time. Rushing an enemy- even a bully- isn’t a sound tactic.” He paused, removing his hand, before nodding. “Come, let me show you something.”

As Kabkadu walked away, Avrae was quick to follow on his heels, though he let his head hang down, looking ever so sullen. They walked enough that Avrae was about to ask where Kabkadu was taking him- when they stopped in a clearing that had a small wooden post set up with a target.

“You have trouble holding in emotions, because you let things get to you. You need to learn how to center yourself.” Kabkadu explained. His mentor put a hand on Avrae’s shoulder, gently guiding him to stand ten feet in front of the target. Slipping a throwing dagger into the palm of Avrae’s hand, Kabkadu gestured to the target. “I want you to think about your tormentors. Think on what you wanted to do to them.”

Avrae, biting the inside of his mouth, commented softly, “I wanted to hit them…” He wasn’t proud of that, but he knew if his rock had smacked the bully in the head, he would have felt and immense rush of pleasure. He would have been happy to have seen some blood from the boy who had taunted his emotions, who had called him a Wago. Turning the dagger in his hand, he closed his eyes briefly, picturing the look on Nabua’s face when the bullies had started to taunt Avrae. It wasn’t hard to summon that anger, to picture himself pummeling the stupid grins off his bully’s faces.

“Throw.” Kabkadu commanded. It wasn’t the first time Avrae had thrown a dagger, so he knew how to hold it. But when he opened his eyes, his anger made his actions forceful- not focused. His arm came back and with a furious growl, the teenager tossed the dagger. It smacked flat onto the target and went spiraling to the ground. In no time at all, Kabkadu was passing him another.


Dagger after dagger, cry after cry, Avrae chucked them at the target. He let out his anger, watching as each one failed to hit and ended up on the ground instead. Each time he threw harder and harder, growing more frustrated as his arm began to throb with pain, his breathing growing ragged as he wore himself out.

Luckily, he eventually ran out of daggers. Letting out another grunt of anger, Avrae kicked at the ground. “What was the point of that?! I didn’t even hit anything! Your daggers must be bent or something, old man!” He exclaimed, glaring up at Kabkadu. The old mentor merely laughed, walking calmly over to the pile of fallen daggers. Picking one up, he examined the blade. “No. My daggers are perfectly straight. The problem is you, Avrae Kyric.”

Avrae hated when he did that- used his full name. It made him flinch, looking away and crossing his arms. “Fark that! I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Kabkadu went silent, and Avrae found himself squirming where he stood, lifting his eyes to the target. When Kabkadu went silent, it usually meant the answer was right in front of Avrae. Only this time, Avrae knew it. Stubborn, he stayed silent for a while, even as Kabkadu walked back to him and held out the dagger.

“What did you do wrong, Avrae?” Kabkadu prompted again, giving the dagger a little wiggle as he held it out. Reluctantly, Avrae took the dagger, his grip firm around the hilt. Glancing down at it, he observed the sharp edge, the perfect balance. He’s right. There’s nothing wrong with the weapon. The problem is the person wielding it.

“...I’m not… focused?” Avrae said it like a question, hesitant. He knew that was it, but he couldn’t help but feel wrong, like Kabkadu would reprimand him again. Instead, he earned a smile from the older Aukari.

“Correct. Now, I want you to close your eyes.” Kabkadu instructed. Avrae, sighing, did as he asked. Moments later, he felt one of Kabkadu’s hands on his shoulder, and one on his belly, over his belly button. His mentor adjusted his posture again, speaking in a low, calm tone. “I want you to take a deep breath. Not from the lungs- from the gut. Deep, deep breath. Then I want you to tell me what you really want. Not out of anger- but in your heart. What did you want that upset you when those boys called you a Wago? Why did that get to you? Look inside, Avrae, and tell yourself without anger.”

Avrae’s brows furrowed as he tried to grasp what Kabkadu meant. He didn’t think just breathing and visualizing would help, but he let himself take those deep breaths. It was a long time before he spoke, thinking on how to respond, thinking on how he felt. Finally, he spoke, his voice soft.

“I… I wanted Nabua to like me. I wanted… someone to like me. To see me as more than the hot headed orphan… And they embarrassed me. They made me feel ashamed… in front of Nabua. I didn’t like that feeling. I didn’t like them calling me a Wago… not because they were calling me that, but because Nabua was there… And I don’t want him to dislike me.” Avrae admitted, looking at his feet.

Kabkadu was quiet a moment, before giving a nod of approval. “Time to try again.” He gently raised Avrae’s arm, holding him by the wrist, helping him aim. Avrae’s gaze lifted to the target, as Kabkadu instructed him. “I want you to think about Nabua. Think about your parents. Think about Elvrae, your sister. There is no stronger reason to fight, than to fight for those you love. You wanted to hit those boys because you wanted to protect Nabua’s opinion of you. Don’t think on the anger that stirred because of your reason. Think of the reason behind the anger. Take a deep breath… focus on your target… and throw.”

Releasing Avrae, his mentor stepped back, leaving the boy to do this on his own. Avrae frowned once more, and he wanted to say that if he hadn’t hit the target before, he wouldn’t now. But he knew by saying that, he’d disappoint Kabkadu for his lack of trying.

Swallowing hard, Avrae re-adjusted his stance, raising his arm back until the dagger was by his ear. Holding the tip of the blade, Avrae let his eyes close. He pictured Nabua’s dark eyes. He pictured his family- particularly that of the little baby sister he had lost long ago. It seemed like forever… but he could still remember how her hair smelled- what little she had at the time. Opening his eyes, they were glossy, but determined. Avrae took his deep breath, and let his hand glide forward.

THWACK! The dagger smacked into the target, close to the seven. It wasn’t very close to the bullseye, but as Avrae held his breath and waited for the dagger to fall, he was relieved to see it stuck. It had hit hard enough, and a grin lit up the young Aukari’s expression.

“Not half bad for a hot headed orphan.” Kabkadu said, clearly teasing him as he clapped a hand on the boy’s back. “Why don’t you pick up those daggers and we’ll practice for a bit? See if we can’t hit that bull’s eye before I walk you home.”

Avrae, still grinning from ear to ear, gave a nod, scurrying towards the target to pick up the fallen daggers. For much of the afternoon, he and Kabkadu tossed dagger after dagger. By the time they were walking home, with Kabkadu’s arm looped around Avrae’s shoulders and his hand ruffling up his hair, the sun was setting. Avrae had only hit the bullseye once- which Kabkadu declared must have been a fluke in itself- but he was happier than he had been in an entire arc.

If only he knew that in just a few seasons, his beloved mentor would no longer be around, and he’d be on his own again. If Avrae had been able to know that, if he had seen the graying hairs under his mentor’s cap… perhaps it would have been a more bitter sweet end to a good day.
word count: 2734
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Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:40 pm
Race: Mer
Renown: 0
Wealth Tier: Tier 1




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Wisdom of an Old Friend

Name: Avrae Kyric

Nabua: Has beautiful dark Eyes
Nabua: Was your childhood crush
Nabua: Has wavy Auburn hair
Nabua: Good at meditation
Nabua: You care greatly about his opinion of you
Nabua: Being with him makes you feel calm
Kabkadu: Your old mentor
Kabkadu: Taught you about throwing knives
Kabkadu: Told you that anger would make you fail at things
Kabkadu: Taught you about centering yourself
Kabkadu: Was not showing off his hair like usual
Combat: Thrown weapons (Throwing knives): Anger will make you miss your shot
Combat: Thrown weapons (Throwing knives): Keeping ones cool in important
Combat: Thrown weapons (Throwing knives): The proper throwing stance
Meditation: Comes from within
Meditation: Closing your eyes to gain composure
Meditation: Find your secret

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: -2 (You threw a rock at a kids face, I think that explains this one)
Devotion: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5
Magic: N/A

Comment: No issues with Structure or Story and obviously this was a solo so no points for Collaboration. Lovely little thread, this is the first thread of yours I have had the pleasure of reviewing and I found it very enjoyable. The story was sweet and interesting, I think Avrae's wish to not have his image tainted was just so sweet. His crush on Nabua is just adorable and I hope to see some more of that in memory threads. You did a great job with including the NPCs the dialogue felt natural and not forced, and it was interesting to see Avrae begin his journey to becoming a deadly knife thrower ;) . Great job very enjoyable, enjoy the rewards!

If you have any issues or questions feel free to send me a PM and we will try to work it out!

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