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Lessons in Spellcraft and Wisdom; Tag: Etlaayz
Topic Started: Oct 4 2017, 07:33 PM (302 Views)
Atara
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Kendryl took a deep breath and let a whip of power flow through her, as she tossed a premade charm into the air and murmured a chant in Elix. Air rippled like a shockwave, knocking over her first set of targets. She followed it with fire, summoned by another spell, a handful of volcanic ash and a quick series of gestures, carefully contained in twisters or fireballs or single walls of flame, stroked hotter and hotter by her breezes and magic and transitioned smoothly into a single precise lightning strike, aiming for the target she'd placed in the corner, right in the back. Her lips twitched into a bright smile as it hit the target, right on center. It had taken her a week of practice to do that. Her hand-eye coordination was...still not the best and she'd learned not to let the magic fully slip her grasp until it made contact. From there...well...lightning sought to ground itself. It followed the path.

She collapsed, like a puppet whose strings had been cut, feeling utterly worn out. She still didn't have the stamina she wanted. Or the speed of casting. And when she lost herself to the magic...she wasn't so good at watching her surroundings. An enemy could come right up to her and...she'd hardly notice until it was too late and she lay dead and bleeding out on the floor. She was thinking maybe of trying to combine lightning and fire into some form of light manipulation, that might enable her to temporarily blind an enemy or bend the light away from her to leave her invisible...but she was still only an applicant. She knew what her teachers her would tell her. It was dumb. Reckless. She should wait a few years. Do what they taught her. She still had so much to learn. But...it was hard to be too upset about it in the exhausted euphoria that followed a successful practice. She loved that sense of power flowing through her, the way her mind raced ahead of the spells, the way she momentarily felt...well...accomplished.

She looked up out of the practice range, seeking Deborah. The Keeper had been the one to introduce her to Elix and help her tame the wind to her grasp. She trained with other instructors too now, both Thayer and Sigum, while other Applicants were developing their own specialized skills...but Deborah was still her idol and the one she most wanted to impress. The woman had been the first to help her, before anyone else had seen anything worthwhile in her and...she was just...the coolest person. A Keeper, a leader, a mage and a warrior, who backed down for no one. Kendryl had tried to use her weapon, the crossbow, but...she hadn't been very good. She was kind of a sucky warrior overall, when push came to shove. Her teachers kept promising she'd get better and she had improved some...but she saw the other Applicants. They were getting better faster. She couldn't keep up. Small, weak and clumsy...she still lost just about every sparring match she fought...except when she was allowed her magic. But that didn't really count. Anyone could win when they were allowed to let the elements do all the work for them.
Edited by Atara, Oct 4 2017, 07:56 PM.
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Etlaayz
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Deborah had finished a small exercise she did with a few of her wingmates and was returning to the fort from the forest, when she saw someone in the practice range performing some magic. Whoever it was, was quite impressive, especially with that lightning bolt. Since her eyes were not as they use to be, she could not see the person clearly from this distance, but, as she got closer, she recognize the person - Kendryl! She sat on Gnash's back staring at her, dumbfoundedly. It has been some time since they met in the magic labs, although, she knew Kendryl had both the ability and determination to excel in magic, to become this good in such a short time - there had to be something else involved.

Her musing was interrupted by Yaszail, 'This is the person you were teaching? She is good.

Deborah glanced up to where Yas was perched on Gnash's head, "yes she is, but, she should not be that good." Yas chirped, 'You are good teacher.' Deborah laughed, "I wish I was that good!" She was still pondering how Kendryl could have gotten as far as she had, when a single word popped into her head - Ebon. Nevertheless, she was going to give her the benefit of a doubt, hoping she was better than Deborah had originally assumed.

She nudged Gnash on, until they reached where Kendryl was. Dismounting, she walked over and offered Kendryl a hand. "I see you have been practicing."
Edited by Etlaayz, Oct 6 2017, 01:21 AM.
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Kendryl gave Deborah a bright smile as she ran to greet her mentor. Deborah had both dragons with her this time and Kendryl bowed politely to all three, before she nodded, shaking Deborah's hand firmly, "I have. But that's the first time I was able to get the lightning bolt working like that. I've managed it in isolation before but...Well...It's hard. My aim is...not the best. As anyone who's tried teaching me archery can tell you. I have to keep twisting and guiding it until it grounds itself, because I never get the angle right the first time. I'm sure you can do it better."

Because Deborah was an archer as well as a mage and a Keeper. Kendryl had been able to summon lightning for a little while now. Once Ebon had given her a boost, and she'd seen for a moment the ties that bound it all together, it had come easily, a natural combination of air and fire. But getting it to do more than flicker randomly around her...That was harder.

"Would you like me to run it again once I have my breath back? So you can tell me where I'm screwing up? I put some of the combos together myself and...well...I'm not...you. Or maybe you can show me how you aim?" Kendryl asked, nose wrinkling a bit, "I can't seem to quite keep my focus right either. When the magic's running high..." She laughed a bit breathlessly, "I forget to watch what's in front of me."

Courtesy of Ebon toughening her skin, her knees were unscraped for possibly the first time in her life. But she had no interest in testing her new resiliency against possibly enchanted blades, "I've thought of adding a shield of some kind, but everything I've tried interferes with my offensive spells in some way or another."
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Etlaayz
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Deborah Accepted Kendryl's grip, a little surprised how firm it was. But, Kendryl has surprised her on several other occasions.

"My little Yaszail," she pointed to the Lizardling on top of Gnash's head. Yaszail perked up and said 'Hello.'
Gnash spotted something interesting and dashed off to investigate it, carrying the hapless Yaszail with him, although, Yaz did not seem to bothered by it. Deborah just smile and shook her head, "that dark green blur you saw running by, was my Gnash."

"You can if you want to. Every bit of practice helps. I will not be able to help you with your fire or lightning magic. But, I can give some pointers in magic in general." But, when she asked about aiming, Deborah smiled, "now, that is something I might be able to help you with. If I remember correctly, Lightning is a combination of Air and Fire. I might not know anything about fire, those six spells I use to control my bolts uses Air magic. It should be possible to adapt them to control your Lightning."

She reached into her pocket, only to realize, the sheet of paper with those spells was, still, on her table. In her rush to get things done, she had forgotten to take it with her. 'Yaszail, would you get that piece of paper I was working on earlier?' Deborah sent Yaz an image of it as well.

It was not long until Yaszail returned with a piece of paper in her claw. Giving it to Deborah, she returned to where Gnash was exploring. Deborah examined the paper, to make sure it was the right one, before handing it to Kendryl. On it were six Elix phrases.

"The first one makes it go forward. The next to go backwards," She had added those two not needing them for her bolts. "The rest causes a turn to the left, right, up and down." Pointing to a group of symbols that all six started with, she explained, "that are the part of the spell that creates a cyclone around my bolts. That part will have to modified to adapt to the fire magic. I would recommend you seek out a master of both fire and air or, better yet, lightning to help you."

She kind of chuckled at the thought of her helping Kendryl. It would not be long until she would be seeking help from her.

"There are no offensive or defensive magic, there is just magic. What your coming against are those side effects, especially if you are using opposing magic like Air and Earth or Fire and Water. Opposing magic can and do work together, it just takes a little extra work."

(( FYI: 'Mind speech to Yaszail which you would not be able to hear.' The colored one is Yaz's, which you would. ))
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"Oh. Hello," Kendryl said with a smile, "Nice to meet you, Yaszail. I wonder what Gnash is looking for..." She hadn't spent that much time around dragons yet, having no Keeper relatives. They did spend some time in lessons getting the Applicants familiar with them, but there was so much to do that those encounters were a rare treat and an unscheduled meeting like this one was different. She hoped she didn't do anything that would convince Deborah she wasn't a worthy student...or the Fort she was a bad candidate for Keeper. Was it possible to offend a dragon? Wait that was stupid. Of course it was. They were intelligent beings with their own language and ways, "Your Keeper is a very talented mage. She's taught me well. And you're very, very pretty."

It seemed like a bad compliment, but it was true. The lizardling was all bright orange and striking markings, like an ember given wings and form. And she hadn't spoken to the lizardling for long enough to come up with a better one.

Kendryl was sure Deborah could help her. She knew more of magic than Kendryl did and would surely give excellent general advice that Kendryl would just have to figure out how to apply, "I trust you. I'm sure you'll know if I'm getting something wrong. Besides...I'm not great at lightning either. I've just starting figuring out how to do it and as I said...aiming is...not my strong suit." She blushed, brightening at Deborah's suggestion, "That would be great! Thanks. I knew you'd have something. If you use it to aim air...I can just tweak it a bit. Lightning's made of air and heat and electricity. The tricky part is it wants to ground itself so if you leave it an out..."

She made and spread a fist, "It hits the wrong thing. That's why I like clearing all the other air and dust and stuff out before I try, so its best option is where I want it to go but...it's not very efficient. It'd be easier if I could give a charge to my target...but that's tough to do on really anything but metal and I've got to be able to touch it before I shoot and..."

Her babble cut off as Yaszail blinked in and out of existence. She'd heard of lizardlings doing it but had never it seen so close. She clapped as Yaszail returned with the papers, "Wow. That was amazing. Where do you go? When you Blink like that? Is there an in-between kind of place or is it instantaneous? Or is it a secret?"

Draconic magic was so cool!

Kendryl took the sheet and read through it quickly, mind already fixing on a few places she could modify it. She nodded, "That's a good idea. Do you have anyone you can suggest? There's usually someone at Applicant practice or in the labs who can help me with fire but...Not as many people do the paraelements and I don't want to try lightning around my class until I'm better at it. Some of them are...kind of mean. Remember hummingbird kid? They're making me drill with him and he's TERRIBLE. Everyone hates him, I think. Except one Mesai girl who seems to LIKE arguing with him. It's weird."

Kendryl nodded at Deborah's correction, "You're right. I'm not trying clashing magics...I don't know any but air, fire and a bit of lightning...But...yeah. My shields won't let me cast at the same time and someone could shoot an arrow right at me and I wouldn't even know until it hit me...How do you do it? When you're casting in battle I mean. Is it just me who gets lost in it? Is there some kind of solution I'm missing?"
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Yaszail grinned and puffed herself up with the complement, while Deborah groaned a little. Giving Yaz a complement was like throwing kerosene on a fire.

'Thank you. Mine gave me a pretty. I got mine a pretty. It makes music - pretty music.

Deborah just laughed, "well the idea was nice and the music does fit me. Just, it plays at the most awkward moments and I have no control over it. Although, it is pretty."

When Yaszail gave her the necklace, it took her quite some time before figuring out where the music came from. She knew it was magical, but, of what kind. Even Master Lori was not sure what kind of magic it was.

"Thank you, but, I will only help with air or earth magic. I have seen those that help in fields they know nothing about - usually - with disastrous results."

Deborah just smiled as Kendryl when on. In many ways the were alike, both persuaded their dreams with a passion. And, in ways the were opposites. Deborah was not much of a talker, although, she has improved much. Kendryl, on the other hand, can talk and talk, but, not like some babblers she had heard consisting of a stream of disjointed ideas. Hers made sense, being one idea being expounded on, another sigh of that spark of genius.

She continue to smile, "sounds like a lot of work."

Deborah just laughed as Yaszail, after returning from the apartment, sat there with a perplexed look while being inundated with questions.

Yaszail blinked (physically) at all the questions, 'It is no secret. I went to our home to get paper. I was here, then there, now here. No inbetween.'

"Well, the only one I know that has any experience with fire and lightning is Master Lori, although, I would be very surprised there is not someone here gifted in fire. That is a very useful ability on the battle field."

When she mentioned the 'hummingbird' kid, she rolled her eyes. Oh, she remembered him! Fortunately for him, they have never met personally, or, she would have kicked his butt clear to Grovereach, and, maybe beyond. She liked the Mesai, but, he did not have any redeeming qualities, at least, non she could see. But, upon hearing she was training with him, caused to to look in aghast surprise, "They did what?!" Her eyes narrowed, "I will have a talk with Master Arc about this. Nobody should have to deal with him"

The mention of the Mesai girl, did bring a chuckle, "I have been around a lot Mesai and it seems most of the females I met enjoyed a good challenge. Although, him..."
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Kendryl laughed and asked, "You didn't happen to get it from the pawn shop, did you? Run by a Thayer gentleman...bat wings...He sold me these cursed reed pipes...and a teapot I'm pretty sure was stolen...I tried returning it but..." She tried to mimic his voice, "No returns." In her own voice, she asked, "Do you think I should go to the police over it? I'm pretty sure it's expensive...It's real silver, with sapphires, and enchanted. I...I thought it was fake. Just...a pretty pot to make tea in." Kendryl really didn't want to go to jail over it...

Kendryl nodded in reassurance as Deborah said she was on her own with lightning, "Don't worry. I've found a few good people to help me with fire. It's a base element so there's usually SOMEONE around I can ask. Honestly- it's the lightning that's been stumping me. Given there are 6 paraelements and most mages only know one or two...it's harder to find a lightning mage that isn't kind of intimidating...I'll see if Master Lori knows anyone. I haven't really used it in front of anyone yet, like I said, because I'm not as good with it as air or fire and I don't really need them laughing at me more than they already do...But I probably have to, huh? If I want to find someone to help."

She turned her attention back to the lizardling, grinning, "That's awesome. Have you ever timed it? I wonder if it really is instantaneous or just too fast for your brain to process...Have you ever compared your abilities to a mesai psion's? Many of them have a similar power."

Kendryl groaned at the talk of Axios, "Yes they did! Apparently my physical fitness is in the bottom quartile! Which is...probably generous...but it still seems needlessly cruel! Couldn't they have found someone NICE to teach me? You've taught me tons and you don't yell at me and call me pathetic the way he does. I've been a bit tempted to use some wind to trip him...But he'd probably hit me if I did and like I said...My situational awareness is...not great. I can shield but...I'd never get it up in time."

And...she was babbling again. And revealing exactly how pathetic an applicant she was. Well...at least Deborah seemed to think her magic was progressing well.
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Deborah shrugged, "Yaszail got it and I really do not know from whom. All I know was she traded a few grapes and a bug for it. I believe she got gypped."

She could understand Kendryl's concern, "if you are concerned, then, go talk to them. But, they are pretty good at keeping a close eye on what goes on here. The last thing the fort wants is an unscrupulous person giving the fort or any of its venders a bad reputation."

Deborah smiled reassuringly, "I knew you would. Most forts have a fairly diverse selection of mages - well - with the exception of Fort Dragoon. If all else fails, Master Lori has mastered all ten elementals and paraelementals. Who knows how many elemites. If you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best." She shook her head at the thought of someone laughing at anyone trying to learn, in her book, that was not done - ever. She had thumped many that had. "If they do, tell Lori. Nobody should ever laugh at someone trying learn. If you thump them, you might get in trouble. But, if Master Lori does, they are already in trouble."

Yaszail just looked at Kendryl blankly the over to Deborah. She just laughed, "too many big words. Lizardling are quite intelligent, but, they do have a limited vocabulary. Although, my Yaz did surprise me by showing she could read a little."

Yasail puffed herself up with a very toothy grin, but, Deborah thought she earned it.

Deborah listened as Kendryl lamented the choice of her and Axios. It was time for a reality check.

"I hope you do not this the wrong way, but I believe they did that to toughen you up. And - young lady - you, definitely, need it. There is nothing he could do, that is remotely as bad as you will see in battle! Although, they try to give you a feel what it is like out there. It is never good enough. It took me a few days after my first experience before I could go back out there. And it was not a true battle just a mop-up."

She grinned deviously, "but, if you do decide to knock him on his butt, make sure you knock him completely down and have a way of escape."

She did not wat to leave it at that, "Just keep with your studies and practice and, it will not be long before I ask you for advice."

She had, already, decided to get her Earth Master and, at least, a novice in water and fire, so she would not look that bad.
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Kendryl laughed, "Wait...there are vendors who take those kind of trades for magical objects of ANY sort? Maybe my teapot wasn't stolen after all...I'll still talk to them...probably. Because I'll worry about it until I do." Because if there was one thing Kendryl was good at, it was worrying over things. It was part of how she planned out her spells, letting her brain pick at and turn over a problem until it found a solution, but it also meant that letting things go? Not one of Kendryl's talents, "If you ever do learn where she got it from...I'd appreciate a tip. Because many of your vendors are..." Out of an Applicant's price range, "More specialized in luxury goods for Keepers."

Kendryl tilted her head as Deborah talked of mages, her brain settling on, "Fort Dragoon? Why are they not able to keep mages of every element?" She had enough to study and practice already that she hadn't devoted much time to interfort politics, "That makes sense, that Master Lori would need to know how to do everything, being Spellmaster here. I could probably ask her next time she gives the Applicants a battle magic class...I don't think she hates me. And...I probably do need to talk to her about at some point, don't I?"

Talking to Master Lori always made Kendryl even more anxious than usual, convinced she was about to say or do something remarkably stupid. She knew it was irrational, that she'd been in Master Lori's classes since they chose their specialties and that it was the one class she actually did pretty respectably at but...Master Lori was INTIMIDATING.

Kendryl laughed a bit at Deborah's easy assertion though, "I grew up in a Thayer town, Deborah. There was a reason I couldn't learn magic there. I tried asking. Most of my teachers, my family, my friends...they just thought it was funny. Or uppity. Or weird. Being at a Fort doesn't make those attitudes disappear." She knew it was different elsewhere, that there was a sigum girl in her class who had attended a Thayer magic academy. But...it was hard to know who was who, "And I WOULDN'T attack them. That wouldn't change their minds. It would just make them think that I'm uncivilized and savage. And...either I'd embarrass myself or hurt somebody...I...don't actually want to hurt anyone. Even if they laugh at me, it doesn't mean it's okay for me to hurt them."

Kendryl looked at the lizardling in amazement at Deborah expounded on her abilities, "Sorry, Yaszail. I wasn't trying to confuse you. I...haven't spoken to many lizardlings. I didn't know any of them could read. But...maybe that's human arrogance talking. Why shouldn't you be able to read, when you can do things we could never imagine?"

Kendryl knew full well she needed hardening. She wasn't strong. Or confident. Or brave. She just didn't see how AXIOS was supposed to change those things by making them run and saying terrible things until the supervising psion made him stop, "Sometimes, I swear it's almost like he WANTS me to hit him. It...confuses me. And I know I'm still too soft. It just...seems like this punishment is worse for me than it is for him. Some days, I think I'd rather they just left me in the woods for a few days and let THAT toughen me. I might die but..."

She sighed, "And now I'm being melodramatic. I know I need extra fitness training, that it's good for me even if I hate it. I just wish it was with literally ANYBODY else." She paused, "Well...not Master Lori. Or any other magic instructors. They...don't need to see that. But a more encouraging mesai who doesn't think the sun revolves around him!"
Edited by Atara, Oct 21 2017, 02:08 AM.
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Yaszail was really enjoying all the attention she was getting. 'Not Thayer but Mesai. He say he knows man who likes bugs. He say mine was very rare. Why anyone would buy a bug... I go to forest and find lots of bugs. Maybe I look for other bugs. He might give me gold for them.' Yaszail looked over at Kendryl, 'You find pretty bug maybe he trade nice thing for it.'

Deborah just have to laugh - bugs and grapes - they were Yas' interests. But, the thought of someone actually paying for a bug was quite humorous.

"It takes all kinds. Yes they tend to be, but there are places you can get some pretty good stuff for cheap, especially, if you know how to barter. They start off high on the assumption you are going to talk them down, but, they are more happy to take your gold."

"Fort Dragoon is in an area that has weak magic, how they made a fort there amazes me since magic is used to make a fort. The only thing I can think of is, when they made the fort, they used all the magic there."

"Lori is the best option for any magic questions and, no, she does not hate you. I doubt she hates anyone."

Deborah looked truly surprised, most Thayer she has met have respect for Sigum that learn, or, attempt to learn magic. "That is not the experience I have had. Although Thayers can be high-and-might, but, they tend to respect those Sigum that attempt to learn magic." She shrugged, "it could be I can be bit more intimidating than you. I am glad you would not attack them, that would get you in trouble. I was more suggesting Master Lori or Master Arc disciplining them, such as a hundred push-ups with their knuckles."

'I like big words even if I do not know what they mean.'

"Yaszail is - exceptional. Most dragons do not learn to read simply because they do not have a need for it." Deborah was definitely showing off her bias and pride for her most favorite Lizardling. Oh, she cared and loved her Gnash, but, her Yazsail was her first and was with her through the tough times.

"He does seem to like a confrontations. I would never promote a direct confrontation with some one like Axios. That would only end up badly. Oh, I seriously doubt if you would die out there. You are quite a bit stronger that you think." Deborah looked at Kendryl, as if she was trying to divine something from her, then a small smile formed on her lips. "I have an idea that might help, I take you out into the wilderness and spend a week roughing it. Of course, I will have to arrange it with Master Arc, but, I suspect, he would approve. We could even take several other girls with us. It could be fun and educational."

"It could be that is why you were put there, to help remind him he is not the best thing since sliced bread," she smirked while pointing to herself, "I am."
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Ah! Now that made decidedly more sense, Kendryl thought with a smile. There were collectors for everything and sometimes even the most unlikely of finds could have their uses, "What sort of bug was it? Alive or dead?" She wondered what sort it was, if it was a rarity native to the island or something with use in spells and potions. It must have been quite the bug, to merit such a trade, "He sounds like an honest man, to give you what it was truly worth."

Many would have assumed a lizardling had no way of knowing what it was she had found and tried to take advantage. She was fairly sure the Thayer she herself had patronized would have done just that...Especially after the pipe incident...She couldn't blame a man for trying to earn a living, but surely something such as those pipes could have been sold as a magical curiosity without trying to pass them off as something they weren't.

Kendryl hadn't even considered the possibility of haggling on her own trip to the market. In her own relatively small hometown, most of the merchants knew her family and when she went to fetch their supplies, gave her the price without any such gamesmanship. She blinked and answered honestly, "I didn't even think of that. Do you think...you could maybe suggest a few other shops I can try? I'm pretty sure mine cheated me...He sold me something cursed and lied about what it did, in addition to the teapot of suspicious origin. He had the cheapest stuff I could find though and I did some great boots for the hatching. I'm pretty sure they're not magical at all and even if they ARE badly made, they're still pretty."

Kendryl hadn't known that about Fort Dragoon, "That's a shame. I suspect you're right though. If they already knew it had little magic...wouldn't they pick somewhere else?" It was hard to imagine anyone choosing to live without it. Even those who couldn't cast spells themselves could benefit from the charms of others and Forts were...Forts. They weren't exactly limited in their choice of location.

Kendryl shrugged at Deborah's comment and nodded. It was hard to imagine anyone telling Deborah no, on anything, although it was a relief that Lori probably didn't actually hate Kendryl, "Yes but you're...you. I'm...not. There are probably a lot of things people say to me and not to you because nobody's scared of me. Even a little. And I know not everywhere's like Ket. It was a good place to grow up but...pretty conservative. The sort of place where Thayer are Thayer and Sigum are Sigum and everybody accepts things the way they are. It's just...people like Ket do come to Forts too and if I meet one and tell one of the masters? What if it just makes things worse?"

She let magic flicker across her hand, watching sparks of lightning jump from finger to finger, leaving nothing but smooth, unbroken golden skin that few knives could cut. Little tricks like this came easily now, but she was still Kendryl, "I always thought if I could just do magic...If I could just be good at something...Everything would be easy. But...even now that I know a few magic tricks...nothing else has really changed. I wouldn't even consider fighting Axios. He'd just knock me out before I could even cast a spell."

Kendryl was just as happy to return to showering the lizardling with praise. She really was very clever, "Big words are fun. And the more you hear, the more you'll understand. Knowledge is never wasted."

She smiled at Deborah, "She definitely is. To learn what nobody else bothers with or thinks she should. I always thought I wanted a dragon or a wyvern, something to carry me high above the clouds and be strong when I can't, but a lizardling who likes reading?" Kendryl all but beamed. A lizardling like that might understand her and not laugh when she said something a little...weird, "She may ACTUALLY be the coolest dragon in the world."

She brightened at Deborah's next words, "You're right. I bet meeting you would deflate his ego faster than anything the rest of us could even dream up."

She wasn't sure she WANTED to spend a week roughing it as Kendryl had never really been the outdoors type but..."If you think it will help, I'll go." She wanted to be better, even if it meant going outside her comfort zone a bit, "So long as Axios is NOT invited. Do you think I can get out of some of his training sessions from hell? And...share a tent with someone nice?"

She wouldn't mind a week of having somewhere quite to back too where nobody would glare at her. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad, "I can study up some wilderness skills and pack a mage kit. And maybe a slingshot. I may not be much good with weapons...but even CHILDREN can use that one, so I'm sure I can too."

The more she thought about the idea, the more it grew on her.
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

Yaszail just blinked (visibly), 'It was a dead pretty bug. Blue and green with yellow legs.' Poor Yaz was confused by all this interest in bugs. Bugs were - just bugs. You eat them. What worth, it was a bug. She thought he was strange to trade a pretty for a bug. But, he did, and she was happy to give the pretty to hers, even if it did make music.

Deborah gave a wry smile, "if you got those boots from him, I would probably be suspicious of them as well." Her smile returned to normal, "when you plan another shopping trip, come and get me. I will introduce to some friends I know. They give deals to Applicants and Cadets. They know you do not have much money, unless your are from a rich family, but, they do want your patronage when you do become a Keeper."

Deborah shrugged, "I always wondered why they put it there. It is not all that far from the Whiteburn. But, I guess they look for places that can accommodate the diverse kinds of Keepers here."

Deborah folded her arms and listened to Kendryl - really listened. When she mentioned magic tricks, one brow went up, soon joined by the other when she said nothing changed. As soon as she was done, Deborah, replied, "by now you should know, there is not a," she put her hands up forming the 'quotes' sign with two fingers each, "classic Sigum, or Thayer or Mesai for that matter. We are all as diverse as can be. Those that refuse to accept that - well - it is their loss." She refolded her arms, "now about those magic tricks and nothing changing. That was no trick I just saw. If you open your eyes and look around you would see there are those that like you for who you are. The are not friends to Kendryl the Mage or Kendryl the Applicant, they are friends with just plain old Kendryl. So nothing has changed? I say a lot has changed, but, do you see it? The big question should be, do you like youself? For, if you do not, that makes hard for anybody else to."

Deborah only hoped she was not to hard on Kendryl. There were times a person needed a hug while there were other time a swift kick was needed. This looked like the latter. Although, whe she praised Yaszail calling her the the coolest, she felt a bit guilty. She could see Yaz was soaking it all up.

She gave a chagrined look at the thought that anybody would actually believe she thought that, "um - that was a bit of sarcastic humor? I have long since stopped believing that after meeting those that were better than I was." Thougtfully, "although, kicking his butt has crossed my mind on a few occations and I have only seen him a few time. How you all can stand him is a testiment to your worth as Applicants."

Deborah could sense a strong curiosity from Gnash. Looking up and around she realizes he was nowhere to be seen. Slapping her forehead ending up in a gesture of 'why me', "Great! I just lost a Wyvern. Yaz, would you find out what Gnash is up to and try and keep him out of trouble." Yaszail flew off into the forest.

Deborah laughed, "Definitely no Axios. This will be a girls only outing. I will be bringing my hunting crossbow, just in case. Although, the area I am thinking about should not cause any problems. I will inform the Kodakai we are there, there is a small pond in case we want to go swimming and plenty of fresh water and food, so, we will not starve. You might want to invite that Kodakai I have seen you with."
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Kendryl nodded. Not a pet then. A trophy or an ingredient, perhaps. Blue and green with yellow legs. Huh. She'd never seen the like. But every tropical bird and butterfly seemed so much brighter than the ones she'd known before, as if sunshine and sea and bright tropical flowers had infested their very bodies, "I'm sure it was very pretty. And must have been quite the find. You're lucky. Or have good instincts. Or he's eccentric. But I'm glad you got a pretty charm out of it, whyever you did."

Kendryl smiled at the invitation, "The boots aren't magical. Worst that I imagine will happen is they fall apart. Which I'm okay with. I only need them look pretty for a little while." She just wouldn't wear them until that day and would hope they held up for long enough for her to go to and from the hatching sands.

Kendryl shifted uncomfortably under Deborah's harsh gaze and scolding. Was...was she generalizing too? She didn't mean to be...Her eyes dropped and she admitted, "I...don't. Not most days. I try but...nothing ever seems to go right. Every lesson...everyone else is always better. It's been a season and I still can't win a fight. I'm still thoroughly ordinary. Boring. Weak. Nobody. And if Fort Zephyr can't make me somebody...I have friends but...I think they see things that aren't there. I want to like myself...to be someone I can like but...I'm not YOU. I can throw fireballs now, summon lightning bolts, make wind blow and you know what happens when someone like Axios or someone else does something I know is wrong, to me or someone else? Nothing. Because I don't want to get hurt. And I don't want to hurt them. How am I supposed to be a great warrior when I'm always weak?"

She shrugged, trying to get her emotions back under control. It wasn't Deborah's fault. Kendryl didn't like herself because there wasn't much in her to like or dislike. She was bland and ordinary and not meant to be here with people destined for heroism. She tried to keep her voice from wavering as she said, "That sounds nice. Her name is Chinakai. She's awesome. Brave and fierce and still kind. You'll like her."

She reached for Deborah's hand and said, in a small voice, "It's not your fault, Deborah. You taught my everything I wanted to know. I just...don't know what next..."
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The crazy one (Deborah is just weird).

'Lot of pretty bugs. Hard to find the prettiest. Sometimes I find rare bug. Most taste good, some taste bad.'

"Some times magic is not all that visible. See this choker?" She touches the one around her neck, "the clasp has the power to lock and unlock unmagical locks, but, unless you are told about it, you would never know."

Deborah was getting quite ticked by this 'woe is me' attitude and was beginning to wonder if Kendryl was worth all the effort. she could feel Dee trying to take over. She tired to keep a lid on her almost missing what she said about the Kodakai.

"That is good."

But when Kendryl, tried to touch her, Dee came roaring to the forefront. Both Gnash and Yaszail sensed the change and came rushing back to Deborah.

With a deep exasperated sigh, she spoke in a cold voice, "If you think so low about your friends, that we are bunch of qwibuses, then maybe we are! You are weak, pathetically weak! Why I try and you do not..." Deborah froze as she heard what cam out of her mouth. For a long time she has kept a tentative balancing act, but, for the first time in a long time, she had lost it. The only other time is when she heard Atxertzis had fallen and almost died. She had lost it then as well. What had happened? The horror of what she had done reached down to the depths of her soul. She dropped to her knees with a totally aghast look on her face as tears started to flow. she never wanted to hurt Kendryl, not like this. She fell to her knees and wrapped her arms around her, sobbing uncontrollably.

"Oh! Gods! Please forgive me! I - I - I." For the longest moment she said nothing, just hugging and sobbing. That is when she realized what had happened. Kendryl had slipped through her defences and was part of her, like Atxertzis was. She had quietly fallen in love with her as a daughter, like Atxertzis had became her son. She would do anything for them, even fight the Gods themselves.

After she got control of herself, but, still crying, she let go of Kendryl and sat down on her legs, her hands dropped to the ground. She looked small, pathetic and vulnerable. Not anything like Kendryl has ever seen in her. By this time Yaszail had wrapped herself around her neck trying to make her feel happy and protected again. While Gnash nudge her cheek. With a weak smile she patted Gnash on his cheek. She Looked up with red tear filled eyes and a broken voice, "I hope you can forgive me. What I did was inexcusable, but, it can be explained." She was about to tell Kendryl something she had never told anyone else. "When I was young some renegades set fire to our house while we were sleeping. My parents to save me covered me with their bodies and was burnt alive." She touched the scar on her right arm, "that is where I got this. My mind shattered into three personalities: Dee, Deborah and Deb." She sighed, "you just met Dee. I hunted down those that did this to me. When I realized I was becoming just like them, I set the last one free. My dad told be about a wonderful place he came from, so, I sought it. Eventually they found me. It was a Mesai village and, with the help of some Sigums and Thayers, they were able to put me back together again. But, as you seen, I am not wholly cured yet, nor, will I probably be." She looked down at her hands. "So, if you do not want to be with a crazy lady - I will understand."
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Something was happening. The dragons felt it. Kendryl saw it, in the way something in her mentor's face shut down, squeezing all warmth away. When Deborah spoke again, cold, hatred, disgust...Kendryl fingered the starts of shielding spell. She knew she might someday push Deborah too far, be too much trouble, not worth the effort...But she'd seen Deborah enough to know...it wouldn't be like this. She didn't know what this was but...it wasn't Deborah.

She spoke only a few sentences. Maybe they should have cut Kendryl to the bone...but it was nothing she hadn't thought a thousand times. But hearing it in another's voice...She realized it wasn't all true. Her friends saw something in her that wasn't there, yes, but that didn't make them dumb. It made them her friends. Everyone needed someone to reflect back the best bits of themselves, who they could be, even if it was pretty lies. Truth matter, but so did what people believed, the lies they told themselves...because they were a guide for the future.

In a moment, hearing her own words reflected back dark and twisted, Kendryl understood something. She'd pictured herself as a great mage and she was well on her way to becoming it. It had been a lie, a lie reflected in her own eyes and Deborah's...until it wasn't. Potential, true or not, needed someone to see it before it could be realized. And that was what friends did- when they saw you as a better version of yourself. They showed you who you could be. And Kendryl needed to figure out who it was she WANTED to be and let her friends shape her, as she shaped them.

And then Deborah grabbed her, sobbing, complete and utter devastation in her voice, as if she'd been torn apart from the inside. Kendryl hugged her back, cool and gentle, and soothed, "There's nothing to forgive, Deborah. You're my teacher. You're allowed to scold me. Are...are you alright?"

She listened, eyes wide in surprise as that idea that someone like Deborah could be vulnerable. Had ever been weak and young and afraid. Was even now haunted from the outside. Tears welled in her eyes on Deborah's behalf, "Why would anyone do something like that to your family? That's terrible!"

She looked down at her hands. Mesai had taken a Sigum in? At least there were still some good people in the world. Better people than many of the ones she had known, "I'm glad someone found you and gave you a new family. But I'm sorry. Not that you exist the way you are but...that you can't always control your own mind. It sounds terrifying."
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