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A Thing Called Loyalty

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126A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:00 pm

“I kind of meant how long it took you to get to the city,” I grin, “Though now, I have to ask - your key works both ways, doesn’t it?”

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127A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:29 pm

"Yes, but only when I have a gate already established on the other side, " I smile. "Its why I keep an apartment there even though I could potentially just come home every night. I need a doorway that no one will tamper with or try to use behind me.

"Without that, its not too bad, so long as I have the magic for the journey, " I say through a lazy yawn. "There are a couple of gates closer to the city, so its only a couple hours walk to the outer wall from here. They're warded, like this place was when you first came through, so no one usually disturbs those gates - and if they did, I would know."

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128A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:25 pm

"I don't think I've been this far from the city in... decades." I say, opening my eyes against the light as I peer towards the windows. The snow out here isn't like the snow at home. It's lighter, brighter... It isn't weighed down with the muck and grime of the city. 

"Your pears smell good," I remark, glancing up at him with a tired smile, "Nifty little trick."

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129A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:36 pm

"Wanna know the sad thing?" I ask with a sheepish grin. "Without that thing downstairs, I couldn't cook to save my life. My mother made it, and gave it all the knowledge of her people. It's supposed to know some pretty amazing things, but all I've managed to unlock of it are cooking recipes and how to do weird spells that don't do anything."

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130A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:50 pm

“Really?” I laugh, “What’s got it locked up?

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131A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:52 pm

"I don't know how to use it, " I admit with a laugh. "It's supposed to know how to talk, but it only speaks some old elven dialect that I'm not privy to learning because I'm not an elf."

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132A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:02 am

I chuckle at that, shifting onto my back as I look aimlessly around the room.

“My father’s family used to speak a language like that around me. One of my grandmother’s sisters refused to speak in an elvish I could understand. It was beneath her and she wouldn’t sully herself just because her nephew had muddied the bloodline.” I can’t help but roll my eyes remembering the foul woman. “I always tried to pick it up, and bits and pieces stuck, but it’s such a peculiar language.”

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133A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:10 am

"Yeah, that sounds like an elf, " I sigh as I lift my head to feel around the bed for my pants. "This one at least lacks the arrogance of my grandparents. It's odd, it being an object, but I swear it's learning like a person. I used to talk to it and it would just tilt its head at me, then eventually it started to understand my gesturing and babbling at it. It took showing it a poppet cooking for it to figure out what that meant, but now I can ask for certain ingredients to be included and it'll make up its own meals with them."

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134A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:17 am

“I don’t guess you’ve got another one lying around?” I joke as I move slightly to accommodate his shifting, “I’m always bringing home whatever’s in season then scrambling to find a use for it.”

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135A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:23 am

"I wish, " I chuckle as I find my pants and sit up to put them on before twisting around to rest across Sylviane's hips. "I'd probably take it apart, or flatten a few hundred square feet of forest trying. Nothing like recklessly hurting yourself to figure out how something works.

"What about you, though?" I ask curiously. "Being what you are, surely you've found some interesting uses for your magic."

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136A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:31 am

“Well,” I shrug my shoulder slightly as I sink back against the pillows, “not really. There’s the stones, mostly. And my work. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve used my magic for much else at all...” I frown, a bit embarrassed, “My mother always was finding new and strange ways to manifest her gifts, but it wasn’t something I really ever did. Using my magic could draw attention, and drawing attention to myself never really ended well.”

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137A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:35 am

"That's-, " I frown, trying to wrap my head around that. "Really sad, actually. I mean, it's understandable - living in the city. But I don't know that I could do it."

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138A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:43 am

“It’s not so bad.” I say a bit dejectedly. “I enjoy my work, and the routine of it all.”

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139A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:50 am

"But I bet you would enjoy being able to really challenge yourself, too, " I say, smiling lightly as I fidget with the hollow of her stomach. "Maybe you could try it out here sometime? I've all sorts of books and spells, and miles and miles of privacy to fuck up as gloriously as you like."

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140A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:27 am

His fingers jump with my stomach as I chuckle, glancing down at him with a grin.

“And what would you have me try?” I ask.

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141A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:35 am

"I don't know, " I confess before grinning broadly. "Something flashy and pointless. But away from my house, " I add with a laugh. "Flashy usually means potentially destructive, or so I've learned. Maybe, if you're interested in ever just experimenting, I could show you how to get out of the labyrinth, and you could add your own section to it or something.

"Assuming you've ever had any inclination toward trying some less than savory magic, that is."

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142A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:41 am

“I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t had much inclination for any,” I laugh, twisting slightly onto my side as I prop myself up on my elbow. “But now I’m curious what it is you think I could do that’s so destructive...

“You don’t think it’s crude, though?” I ask a bit more seriously, “Colossal magic?”

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143A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:51 am

"Are you kidding?" I scoff. "Crude is such an egotistical word. Magic is beyond ego. What Colossus create in themselves is the raw creative power of the world; the lifeblood that every witch or magus or elf or whatever spends their entire life trying to tap into with their words and their rituals. It's just part of you because you're part of it.

"If people call it crude, its only because they're jealous of the power you were born with, " I say flatly. "I have no doubt that if you truly wanted to, you could master any spell I have and cast it with enough potency to make our coven elders shit themselves over me bringing you here."

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144A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:53 pm

I can't help but smile at his words, my cheeks warming a bit as I sit up and pull the blankets across my lap. 

"I think the last person to tell me people were only mean because they were jealous was my dad." I laugh, shifting closer to take his hand into mine. I rest the back of his hand in my palm, smoothing his hand against mine as I inspect it quietly. Tracing my fingers across the lines in his palm, to outlining his fingers, I feel for the gentle exchange of energy before flatting my other palm against his, his hand effectively sandwiched between my own. 

"One thing I always thought was fascinating," I remark quietly, glancing up at him as I focus on the energy building between our palms, "were the stones I made - they were always so varied. From how recently I'd fed, from whom I'd fed. Sometimes, they wouldn't even feel like mine. Just extensions of someone else. Like the ones I'd given you, those stones are all as much a part of Elyse as they are me..." I watch him curiously, a warmth building in our hands as wisps of magic meld together there. A silence settles between us for several long moments before my posture softens, my grip on his hand loosening. 

"I'm curious, though... Can you feel it?" I ask as I pull my hand away to reveal the stone resting in his. Although small, its vibrant hues peek out from the sparse patches of roughened exterior, catching the light. The inside still seems to pulse with unhardened magic, though the swirls are slowing by the second. "Can you feel yourself in there?"

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145A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:32 am

I don't respond at first, instead spending an embarrassingly long time gawking at the remarkable stone in my hand. I drag a nail across the rough surface, almost certain that if I could puncture it, the magic inside would run out like some molten rock - yet it doesn't feel warm enough to be that hot. But there is a definite life inside the stone, an energy that is so palpable, my fingers darken just touching it.

"I can, yeah," I finally nod, still staring into the heart of the stone in awe. "That's... unnerving, almost. When my energy gets depleted, my vision starts to fade; part of growing old too fast, I guess? But I find my way around the wilds by following markers, kind of like this. Every ward I have is keyed specifically to me and my magic so I don't get lost, and as a result, all of the coven wards are keyed to me since I'm the one that stays behind to watch over our land and with no one else out here, it would be too easy for me to get lost or wander into someone else's ward.

"Perhaps..." I trail off for a moment as I frown at her. "Perhaps we should not mention to my coven that you've fed from me. If your stones can echo the same way my magic does, then the wards beyond my clearing very likely won't recognize you as someone that isn't me. While it's up to me who I invite onto my land, they probably wouldn't like it very much if they knew you could just walk out into the rest of the land without their permission."

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146A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:39 pm

I only offer a small smile and nod, the excitement I hadn't known I was holding in my chest deflating a bit. 

"Of course," I respond, "It'll be our secret." I wait a moment, so as to not seem hasty, before sliding to the edge of the bed as I gather my sweater, pulling it over my head gingerly. I can't help the acidic tickle of self-conscious anxiety as I glance at him, still watching the stone in his hand, before I rise from the bed to find the rest of my clothes. 

"I really should get into the shop today," I remark, trying to sound nonchalant as I finish dressing and adjust the tuck of my sweater into my skirt. "That headpiece has several days work left on it, and most of my winter savings is gone so I need that commission."

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147A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:37 pm

"Mm," I nod as I put the stone off to the side and get to my feet as well. "I'll join you," I say lightly as I wander over to the drawers to find something clean to wear. "I'll watch the front of the shop so you can work on your piece."

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148A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:19 pm

"Honestly, as late as it is, I may not even open the front." I say as I head for the ladder, peering down to ensure my shoes are still at the bottom. I hesitate, though, lingering as he readies himself. 

"It'll be even later by the time I'm home and changed, myself."

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149A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:32 pm

"A fair point," I concede as I pull on my shoes and grab the stone from the nightstand. "Just as well, there's some business I need to tend to, and it is a little time sensitive. Would you like me to open a door to your house so you don't have to walk as far in the cold?

"Or..." I hesitate as I make a note of another effect I had experienced with her magic in my blood. "Does the cold even bother you?"

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150A Thing Called Loyalty - Page 6 Empty Re: A Thing Called Loyalty on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:54 pm

“Not really.” I laugh, turning towards him as I rest against the rails bordering the edge of the loft. “I don’t know if that’s a colossal thing or the other, but it’s never really bothered me.”

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