Unquestioned Answers
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,010
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#1
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Once upon a long time ago, when they’d first come to Caido, Loren had been fascinated by the place they’d called the Atheneum. Although it was half crumbled, it had contained books and scrolls he’d never seen before. Despite his fear at being in an unknown land—and despite all the other issues in his life—he’d been excited at the prospect of learning new things. Indeed, he’d even declared himself the manager of the place, intending to restore it to its former glory.

Then his life had fallen apart worse than the Atheneum itself, and he’d gone away for a long, long time. But he was back, now, and doing his best to restore what he could of his former life. Granted, some parts of it he was glad were gone—like the monsters and the dome—but some parts hurt more than he could say, like his dwindled, dead, and disappeared family, whom he’d been unable to reconcile with before he did his best ghost impression.

Regardless of all that, Loren knew, now that he was back—and now that he potentially had to fend for someone other than himself—that he had to find an actual job. That was easier said than done. Books (and maybe, towards the end, magic) had been all he’d been good at. But he likely had missed his chance to manage the Atheneum.

Maybe they still needed a librarian though; he clung to that faint hope as he picked his way through the streets of the Hollowed Grounds. He was shocked, although maybe he shouldn’t be, at how much had improved in the year he’d been gone. Instead of rubble everywhere, there were actual buildings here and there. Granted, they were rough looking—and presumably had been thrown together in a hurry—but they were serviceable enough.

Eventually he arrived at the Atheneum, which also looked like it had been repaired slightly. Loren was glad, though it hurt that he wasn’t around for it. Still, he squared his shoulders and walked in, hoping to find someone to talk to. Once inside, he was pleased to see some semblance of order. Unfortunately, he didn’t immediately spot anyone to talk to.

He frowned, but wandered further in, taking a moment to appreciate the shelves. While it was worrisome that a librarian hadn’t greeted him—though presumably they’d just taken a break, since someone clearly took care of this place—it was also encouraging. Maybe he could be of use here after all.

It would be nice to actually contribute something concrete for once, instead of destroying everything he touched.

Eventually, he gave in to the temptation of the books on display. Wandering over, he peered eagerly at the titles. They were unfamiliar, and for the first time in a long time, Loren actually felt excited. This, at least, had not changed, and he could still find some comfort in books. He reached up to take down a particularly intriguing volume (Creatures of Truth and Myth), engrossed in the possibilities on display. So he wasn’t really paying attention to his surroundings.

Amalia


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
It has reached a point where Amalia can no longer say she is a librarian, but still she loves the Atheneum, its dusty shelves and hallowed halls. There are still ghost here, memories of memories of those long lost, tomes and tales and legends and lore that make up worlds inside worlds. She could spend a lifetime pouring through them, had once planned to do just that, believing her life to consist of these walls and this hall, believing she would stay confined forever: by crumbling walls, by loss, by anxiety, by the barrier.

Now her presence is rarely felt in the Atheneum; she may be less real to it than the ghosts.

Amalia inhales as she steps through the door, breathing in familiar scents of musty parchment and ancient ink. Since the repairs finished she has been here a handful of times, helped with the construction, but still it catches the baker off guard to see the walls complete and whole, towering and secure. It, like her, has changed in a year.

Everything has changed.

Long slender fingers brush over the spines of books as Amalia wanders the hallowed halls, aimless, her bare feet brushing like whispers over the stone floor. Now and then she'll pause to extract an interesting work, perusing the pages until she grows bored, or realizes it is not the knowledge she needs. She is looking for information on the Spire Demon, on the Spark Bird, on the Spire, on the million problems that plague them ceaselessly, the things that have kept her bound outside of this haven.

By the time she finds another soul the girl carries three: Legends of Caido, Demons and Monsters, and the simply titled, Spire. None are particularly promising in terms of concrete information, but at least they are a start. She carries them against her chest as she rounds a corner in the stacks, stopping, sudden and surprised, when a man comes into view.

There is something familiar in the figure, a tickling memory she cannot place. Quietly the girl steps closer, long hair falling about her shoulders, a halo over her red scarf. "Hello," Amalia calls out softly, hoping not to startle the man. It would have been a different greeting, not very long ago- but no longer is it the girl's place to question those who walk through the books.

She is one of the strangers, now.
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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#3
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Loren had indeed grabbed the first volume he’d reached for, but even as he took it down from the shelf another had caught his eye. This one, Beasts of the Hollowed Ground, actually seemed more relevant to the Launceleyn at this time. After all, it appeared that there were quite a few dangerous—or just weird—creatures that lived here that he needed to know about. Given that most of the other outlanders had a full year to get up to speed, the summoner had a lot of catching up to do. Given how much of a burden he’d already proven to be, he wouldn’t impose himself on anyone else ever again, not if he could help it.

Holding both books in a familiar position in the crook of his elbow, he scanned the shelves for anything else that might prove useful or interesting. He was so wrapped up in his search that he completely failed to hear the woman approach behind him. When she spoke, he glanced over his shoulder, then turned fully to face her. “Hello.” His own voice was barely above a whisper. Which was good, because he wasn’t sure how it would come out if it was anything above that. He’d gone through so much in just a short time back that he was never quite sure what feelings would bubble up at any given time.

Mostly, though, he was tired: the dark circles around his eyes underscored that, and his already sharp cheekbones and skeletal frame looked even worse, if such a thing were possible. The emotional upheaval was eating away at him from the inside, and it showed. So the once over he gave the woman before him was sluggish and unfocused.

Perhaps that’s why she looked familiar, because for the life of him he couldn’t place her. Still, her approach had been friendly enough, something he wasn’t used to these days. Even better, it looked like her research was similar to his, if the titles he could half spy were anything to go by. “Looks like we’ve got similar interests.” He held up his own tomes for her to see. Then, because he’d been a librarian once upon a time (and still was, in his heart), he decided to see if he could be of use. That’s all he really wanted these days. “Can I help you find something?” Of course, even as he spoke (still in a whisper) he realized he didn’t know the classification system they’d made here. But he could figure it out.


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,963
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#4
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
The man is a waif in adult clothing, slender and ghost-like with dark eyes and hollow cheeks. It is not unlike looking at a mirror of herself, were it reflective of the year before: poorly dressed, poorly kempt, hiding from a deeper trauma in the comfort of the tomes. Maybe that is why she recognizes him, the thing that sparks some discontent, uneasy in her breast.

Tightening her grip around herself, she regards the man in silence. For her part the girl is surprisingly well put together, wearing a practical woolen dress beneath a crimson scarf. Still, there is weariness around the edges of her eyes, exhaustion with an unceasing world that does not fade when her lips turn up, a distant half-smile offered to the man. "I suppose we do." Beasts is a volume she's perused before, though not in quite some time. Perhaps it would be worth revisiting, in her quest to manage a looming Long Night.

Before she can speak his simple question catches her off guard, making her blink as painful nostalgia suddenly clouds her eyes. How long ago was it that this was her line, a statement made within her home, a place she understood? Is there really a new librarian already- and has she truly missed his advent? "Ah," she says, and clears her throat, swallowing down the swift denial that rises with her guard. "I, um, I'm trying to find information on the Spire Demon. And the Spark Bird. And the spire itself, I suppose." What can an Outlander offer her, that she does not already know?

She doesn't ask that, because pride is pointless now. They need all the help they can get.
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,010
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#5
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Loren had been hoping that drawing attention to the fact that they were studying related topics would have prompted a bit more of a response than the tired half-smile the woman gave him. Apparently, he’d lost his touch in this realm—encouraging people to find joy in reading and research—as well. It was probably for the best though, given that he was hardly an expert on the subject of flora and fauna of Caido. Still, he’d try to offer what he could. “I guess it’s not that surprising. I’d imagine it’s a topic on a lot of people’s minds.” Considering that Deepfrost was coming up so soon, it seemed everyone wanted to know what they might be facing when the snows came.

Her reaction to his query was odd. It seemed that a pained expression crossed her face, though he couldn't imagine why. She even had to clear her throat. However, when she finally did speak it was his turn to flinch, realizing that he couldn’t actually follow through on his offer. “Ah. Sorry. Habit.” He sighed and ran an embarrassed hand through his hair. “I...used to be a librarian.” And who knows, maybe he’d be one again someday. “But the truth is I don’t know the Atheneum that well. Still, perhaps we could look together?” He ended on a rather plaintive note. They always did say that two sets of eyes are better than one. Granted, Loren didn’t know how true that was,  since he was so often on his own.

It occurred to him that he didn’t know this woman, and thankfully she didn’t seem to know him. He juggled his books until he could extend one hand out to her. “I’m Loren.” He was already speaking quietly, but he managed to lower his voice for this next part. “Loren Launceleyn.” As he waited for her to respond, he held his breath. His family was not particularly popular in the Hollowed Grounds these days, and it was partially (and maybe mostly), his fault.


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,963
MP:
#6
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
There is something about this place that makes her quiet, strips away the false contentment she wears of late and leaves her feeling bare. The books do not care if you are happy, she supposes; the books do not care if you fail or succeed. There is nothing to hide from them, because they do not care, and Amalia relishes that just as she fears it, her eyes already moving off him to look across the stacks, wondering if the things she seeks are still where she left them, if she still has a place among the ghosts.

He speaks again and her eyes snap back, her mouth quirking in a half smile as he admits to ignorance. Shaking her head, Amalia turns to the books again, her expression wistful and affectionate. "Not many do, these days." The place deserves a keeper, for though Jigano does well he is busy and distracted, especially of late. "I used to know it better than most, but even then it held secrets." Like the shrine to the Voice, the girl thinks, a bitter taste upon her tongue.

She is softening, easing, so of course he must say something to make her wince, set her teeth on edge. Shuffling books, the baker too begins to extend her hand but stops as he says his name, her dark eyes growing wide and hard. "Loren Launcelyn," the shield repeats, the last name falling from her tongue like lead. Of course- she knows now why she knows him, remembering fire and shouting, the man who tried to treat her as though this was not her domain.

The man who Remi had loved.

She pulls her hand back to herself, not trusting this kin of their errant tyrant Queen. "We've met. Here, actually. There were gourds." Has he come to finish Zariah's threats, to treat her like she is less than dirt and spout more nonsense about worthiness? Has he come to try again to take her Atheneum, to cast fire among the parchment and yell at her panic?

Does she even register on his radar, or is she too small for the mighty Launcelyn?
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,010
MP:
#7
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

The woman’s statement gave him pause, and Loren looked once again at the restored Atheneum, which was now falling once again into disarray. Although he had missed the events of the past year, his heart was saddened to think that no one had time for this place anymore. Still, though he was hardly the optimistic type, her obvious sadness called on him to do something. ”Well, we’re here, now. So that’s a start, isn’t it?” The start of what, he couldn’t say; all he hoped was that it didn’t end up like the rest of his endeavors. As for her next comment, he merely shrugged. ”Well, it’s not a very good library if there aren’t at least a few secrets waiting for eager minds to discover them.” It was a feeble attempt at a joke, since her words had given him pause, but it was an attempt nonetheless. Maybe being back around books was good for his soul after all.

Well, his prayer that she might not recognize him had been ill-advised and his decision to brace himself for an adverse reaction had been the right one. As his name fell from her lips and she withdrew her hand, Loren brought his own hand back and tensed, waiting for the woman to lash out. Even though he should’ve been used to it by now it hurt every time.

Only this time the attack came from a completely unexpected direction: she mentioned the Atheneum and gourds and his mind was immediately catapulted back to that day. She’d been fierce and he’d been foolish, and he definitely owed her an apology and some deference. He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. ”I seem to remember you disapproving of my methods, and rightly so. Uhhhhh...I’m sorry about that. I really am.” Sighing, he tilted his head. He’d need to do a lot better than that. Luckily (or unfortunately, depending on who one might ask) he was getting really good at apologies. ”And I’m sorry for anything else you might blame me for. I know I have a lot to answer for.” It didn’t matter much that he was suffering, too, since he’d brought it upon himself, and it couldn’t compare to what he’d put others through.

Hesitatingly, he bit his lip. "I can go, if you'd like." He really didn't want to, but obviously her preferences trumped his in this situation, since he was the one with all the baggage.


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,963
MP:
#8
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
He does remember, which is a bit of a surprise, and is quick to apologize, which is more of a surprise. A slight incline of her head shows that she has heard him, and that the statement is appreciated, if nothing else. It is more than she expected from a Launcelyn, not really having seen them as an apologetic type. It soothes her edges a little, though not much, softening the lines of her angular face.

His next set of apologies is a strange one, though, and Amalia narrows her eyes curiously, biting down on her lip. "And what else might I blame you for?" the baker wonders aloud, tilting her head and pursing her lips, the books still clutched close to her chest. It is an honest question, genuine and curious: she would like to know her other sins before casting final judgment.

The offer to leave is one she would consider taking up, except now she's curious about him, now she feels a little bit challenged and a little bit unsafe. If he is a danger she would like to know, before another Zariah rises, before he strikes with magic and mischief. She knows that Remi loved him once, so she hopes he is not a monster. But Zariah's words curl again through her mind, and the girl knows she has to know. "Stay," she murmurs, her black eyes bright. "And if you're sorry, do better. Help us to prepare."
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,010
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#9
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Well, crap: Loren really needed to stop assuming that everyone he encountered had a bone to pick with him and then sticking his foot in his mouth. Granted, this woman had a legitimate grievance, but then he’d gone and tried to apologize for more than she’d actually laid at his feet. So he stood there, trying to come up with some response that might not sound totally inane. ”I don’t know. I hurt a lot of people when I...left. And my family hurt even more while I was gone. Between that, it seems everyone in the Hollowed Grounds was affected in some way.” While he couldn’t really be blamed for Zariah, the summoner couldn’t help but feel that if he’d been here he might have been able to act as a meditating force on her. Of course, that had never worked before, but he couldn’t banish the thought.

When she told him to stay, he breathed out a sigh of relief. He’d been expecting her to banish him—and he would’ve gone, willingly—so when she didn’t he was inordinately pleased, even giving her a brief and uncertain smile. When she brings up showing repentance through helping, he nods, gratefully, then drums a nervous beat on the books in his hands as he tries to figure out what she might ask of him. ”I will. I’m trying to do that already. I’ve opened up the doors to the Launceleyn Manor for LongNight, so people have a safe and comfortable place to gather. To that end, I’m trying to get the necessary supplies so that people can last through the week.”

Then he hesitates, unsure if that’s enough. ”I know that people might not want to go there, though. So...I should do something about that.” He sighs, and moves it further up his list. ”Beyond that I’ve offered my summoning and other magic in whatever capacity it might be useful, and I am planning to go out and feed the luxere once they arrive.” Those were the only actual ways he’d found to be useful, and given everything else going on around here he couldn’t help but be frustrated. He knew he could be doing more, if only people trusted him. Sadly, he'd burned too many bridges, and Zariah had torched the rest. ”I’ve offered to help with finding out more about the blight but...I don’t know. I understand why people are reluctant to welcome me back and accept my assistance, but...it seems like they’re saying that telling me everything would be too difficult, and rejecting it out of hand.” He hadn’t realized how much it had been bothering him until that moment.

But it was unfair to unload that on a stranger, especially one who already had misgivings about him. ”Sorry. I didn’t mean to...sorry.” Giving her a sidelong glance, Loren wondered whether the pitiful picture he now painted at all matched the image she had in her head of him. He cleared his throat, embarrassed. ”Is there anything I can help you with specifically? Besides looking for books on the Spark Bird and the Spire Demon, that is.” He hadn’t forgotten her earlier request. Then, his expression grew even more chagrined. ”Um...also...I don’t think I caught your name.” Or he’d forgotten it, which was understandable, but still awkward.


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,963
MP:
#10
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
"You did." Amalia thinks of Remi, the only one she knows who was hurt but the person who surely deserves it the least. Does he know of his errant lover's return? Does he know who Loren is? It isn't Amalia's place to pry, not her job to ask these questions, but she cares about her friend. "But not me." A slight shrug; it had been a relief, really, when the firebird summoner stopped appearing in the library, endlessly threatening to emblazon her books. Amalia had not missed the man she never knew.

The other parts, his family and their sins- that is far more relevant. The Shield bites her lip again, remembering that brief and blistering tyrrany, remembering Zariah cornering her outside the Temple, remembering long nights of planning underneath the ground, the fear of imprisonment for daring to hold on to the guild she helped to build. "Will you be like them?" she wonders, tilting her head again, that quirk all avians seem to adopt, even in human form. "Are you like Zariah? Because I don't intend to let what happened with her ever happen again."

And though she is slight, though she is quiet, there is a dangerous determination in the words. If Loren is watching he might see a flash of fangs beneath the coral lips, or the way her eyes seem to slit for a moment before rounding back out. She did not do enough, the first time. She will not make that mistake again.

Her fears are quickly soothed, however as he begins to pour out his ideas. That he thinks anyone would shelter in the manor makes her snort a laugh, shaking her head swiftly. "I'd rather go outside again than spend a week in that monstrosity." Which was saying something severe, considering the last time she went out at Long Night, she died. But the promise of summons is something useful, and despite her discomfort Amalia hums thoughtfully, the wheels of her mind beginning to spin. "What can you summon? And how many? Only the Spark Bird has ever been able to really banish the monsters, as it did last year." Can he summon a spark bird, and hold it for a week? She doubts it, somehow.

It seems that Loren wants to atone by doing everything, something Amalia can empathize with, and something she knows the frustration of. "We know a good deal about the blight," the Shield says enigmatically, not yet trusting a Launcelyn enough to tell him anymore. "And we're working on knowing more. There's nothing in the books about it, but... I have hope. The gods have hope. I trust in Vi." It is all she seems able to do, now. Trust.

He's a mess, and not just physically. Amalia cannot help but feel for the man, remembering her own struggles and journeys, how close she has come to falling apart. When did she get to be strong? "What do you know about the spark bird and the luxere? I'll be helping to rebuild the perch this year, but we can always use mages. And the more who entice the Luxere, the better. I have a staff made of their antlers that should protect from some of the darkness, and Jyoti might be able to help, but it won't be even close to enough." So much, so much, an endless deluge. "We also have to warn the Fae... We don't yet know if the monsters will go into the woods."

Amalia reaches up to rub between her eyes, sighing as the weight of the coming season settles on her shoulders. Setting down her books, the gilded girl sighs, only looking back at Loren and he asks her name. Now, at last, she offers her hand, a mimicry of his earlier gesture, her slender fingers ready to meet his. "Amalia Chandrakant."
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,010
MP:
#11
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Maybe Loren hadn’t hurt her—the fire in the Atheneum certainly counted as an affront, at least in his mind—but he’d hurt others close to her, which was still bad. However, the second part of his statement garners much more of a response from her. Apparently she’d had bad experiences with the Launceleyns. The summoner bit back his initial, instinctive response to deny that he was anything like the rest of his kin. The truth of the matter was that he wasn’t so sure about that, and he was afraid there were more similarities than he cared to admit.

So he stared at her with haunted eyes as he carefully considered the question. ”I want to believe that I am not like them, that I am better somehow. But I have hurt people, even if it was unintentional, and even if I did not use magic or force. And I was raised by them, whether I want to accept it or not.” He took a deep shuddering breath, then met the woman’s eyes. ”I do not think I am like them. But if I ever begin to show signs of the darkness of my bloodline, I would want someone to do something about it. To take me out before it is too late” Perhaps his callous disregard for his own life might shock her, but he’d spent too long in his family’s twisted games not to worry that he might one day become like them. It would be naive to believe otherwise.

It seemed that maybe the woman was thinking along similar lines, if the predatory look in her eyes and the hard edge to her words was anything to go by. If she chose to strike him down for the sins of his family, or to prevent another Launceleyn from carrying tragedy in their wake, he wouldn’t stop her. He’d even applaud her efforts, having missed Zariah’s reign of terror, and yet knowing instinctively that it must’ve awful. After all, she’d terrorized her family often enough.

Then the moment passed, hopefully without further incident, and the woman voiced how she really felt about the manor. Loren sighed, spirits deflating even lower, although he was shocked that was even possible. ”Yeah, I’m starting to think everyone might feel that way.” His free hand came up to run through his still disheveled hair, as he pondered whether to focus on making another location more suitable and acceptable ready for the coming darkness.

Then she starts asking him pointed questions and he blinks, startled back to the present. He still wasn’t used to the fact that—likely due to the fact that there didn’t seem to be any other summoners in the Hollowed Grounds—no one seemed to know how his magic worked. Still, even he wasn’t fully certain. ”I can summon any real animal, and if they’re small enough I can summon more than one. I can summon one mythical animal at a time. I haven’t tried to summon a Spark Bird yet, or any real animal that possesses magical qualities, but I’m planning to try soon. The only limitations are that I need a clear description of the animal, and that it will only last as long as I can maintain the spell. Then I need to rest.” The more he spoke, the more Loren realized just how large those drawbacks were. He had to believe they were better than nothing, however.

Yet again, Loren hit a dead end: even this woman, who’d been more accepting and forthcoming and honest than most wouldn’t tell him about the blight. It seemed that she knew more than she was letting on, if her mention of getting more knowledge and the gods was anything to go off of. Still, he’d learned the folly of pressing people for information. It usually caused them to clam up, and even the tidbits she’d reveal would be better than nothing. ”I see. I don’t know much about the gods, and I know they don’t like me or my kind that much, but...please." There was more than a hint of desperation in his voice. "If there’s anything you think I might be able to do, any way I could prove useful, please come find me.”  If his friends, if anyone succumbed to the blight because he couldn’t reestablish the trust he’d broken, Loren didn’t know if he could live with himself.

Sighing again, Loren wondered how much he should admit. Then he realized that the more open he was, the more likely he was to actual;y get the information I need. ”Pretty much nothing. I only know what people said at the meeting, which was...sparse on details. So whatever you might be able to tell me would be appreciated.” He felt like an idiot, admitting such ignorance, but better that than he get someone killed. ”I don’t know the Fae so I imagine that warning would be best coming from someone else.” Yet another development that he needed to somehow get himself caught up on.

She gave her name, and he smiled at her briefly, though it didn't reach his eyes. "It's nice to meet you, Amalia." Then he extended his hand once more. Hopefully she'd take it this time, but if not he'd understand.


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,963
MP:
#12
i sailed seas of emotions to wander a forest of scars
i am a dance of light and darkness
Loren's description of summoning fits with her limited understanding of the ability, though like many Outlanders he is stronger than the mages Amalia grew up alongside. Biting her lip thoughtfully, the girl nods. "I can describe it for you. Or find you a book on it. Do you think... I have some items that can hold magic in them. Maybe if we had enough, we could equip multiple groups with the ability to summon spark birds." It doesn't sound like a perfect solution, but it is better than nothing at all. The last thing they need is to go into Long Night thoroughly unprepared.

Loren's apparent frustration with her lack of information does not escape the girl, who smiles wanly as he begs to help, shaking her head slowly. "It sounds like you're doing a lot already," the Shield answers, not unkindly. Her voice is gentle, empathy laced within. She knows what it is to want to bear the world upon her shoulders, and she knows that it is an impossible thing to do. "It's... the last thing we need is to spread ourselves thin when the nights get long."

Her confidence in this statement only grows as he admits to knowing next to nothing, causing a bit of irritation to rise back in the girl. He hopes to do everything, save everything, maintain it all- but he is starting from a knowledge base of nothing, with all the enthusiasm of a displaced Outlander and no real concept of their home. Amalia has seen this time and time again, the great burst of purpose followed by overwhelm and despair. She does not have the time to hold his hand as he traverses her world.

Lifting her books back into her arms, the girl glances to a nearby window, nibbling on her lip. "I need to get back to the bakery. Devas bakery. I... that's where I work. But... when the season changes and you've done some more research, stop by and tell me what you've learned." Smiling slightly, she turns to walk away, leaving Loren to continue learning, her own work calling her home.
a galaxy of shadow and stars
AMALIA
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 (level 6 Attuned) - Strg: 16 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,010
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#13
Loren
not afraid to use every trick in the book

Loren had always been a visual learner, so while he appreciated Amalia’s offer to describe the creature, he’d find his own description. ”I’ll find a book, but thank you. However, being able to store magic seems like a useful trick. If it turns out I can summon a spark bird, I’ll come test to see whether we can put them in your items.” While he wanted to ask her about the items themselves, he figured that could wait until they actually tested it.

At the worried tone in her voice, he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. ”I understand your concern, but seeing as I am not particularly close to anyone who is blighted, it seems that I, especially, should be doing everything I can.” And while it was true he had a tendency to bite off more than he could chew, better him than any of the people he had left behind to suffer.

Simply nodding at her statement that she had to get back to her work—he sensed that she had no interest in educating an ignoramus like Loren, but he couldn’t exactly fault her for that—the Launceleyn just tucked the books under his arm. ”I’ll come find you then. Thank you.” And he would, but only once he’d done everything within his power to educate himself; he too, did not want to burden Amalia with that task on top of everything else. Besides, if there was one thing that the librarian was good at, it was research.

So it was time for him to get back to work.

FIN


Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.


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