Forum Tea Expert
Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Location: Tea shop
|Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:23 am Post subject: Brennen Character Short
|He supposed it was silly of him to dust everything so thoroughly before he slept. Using the magic to choose when he would spend his time, his spirit floating through the astral waves of the world, observing the world after a fashion. It was necessary for it. The others were all dead, and he alone possessed the secretive knowledge of magic. Ocala would help, she said, and through the empathic link he shared with the immortal, sensed her conviction. She was a useful ally. But immortals were useful almost by virtue of their immortality. She could do so much. Without her immortality, he would be dead. He was living entirely on borrowed time.
But he kept dusting. He was born just over five hundred years ago, now, yet he had only lived for somewhere in the realm of thirty. A trick, he confessed to her. An illusion of long life, an application of magic that suspended the body in time while the spirit was elsewhere. It had disappointed her that whatever power had created her, whatever power gave her infinite life, eluded his knowledge. He couldn’t tell her why she was alone, only that he knew that it was not intended, but it was certain.
In the end, he supposed he disappointed them all. He still felt the sting of hers from across the bond. He told her the truth, he knew what she was and where she had come from, but not why and how she had come to be, but only after he made her bind herself to him, so that he might live, so that the energy in her immortal life could restore his broken body. He had needed her, and so he bargained. He had not lied, that time. But he had done something close.
Lies. He was practiced in their use. Manipulations and schemes were his greatest weapons, such that his allies dubbed him the Shadow. He explained himself at the end to the one who needed to hear it, made no apologies for it, and accepted the blame lay upon him. He bore responsibility for the girl’s death, even if the final choice had been hers. He set her upon the path, deliberately, though the path was meant for others. That she learned the truth and still kept at it only professed his faith was well placed, even more so when she succeeded. But it cost her life. It had cost many lives. It nearly cost his, only a contingency united with a grand stroke of serendipity saw him alive now. Ocala did not like him before, and did not appreciate his plan for her. That she now felt what he felt seemed to mitigate it, the knowledge that he questioned himself assuaged her wrath, if only slightly. He could feel her bitterness slide like oil just underneath her disappointment.
Still, he dusted. It was an exercise in futility, really. He would awake covered in dust. His books would be too, after the spells of preservation wore off after decades of his sleep. Yet it was part of his ritual, he had finished penning a record of what happened, the truth of it all, and shaved his head and trimmed his beard, he would dust everything and then suspend his body while his spirit flew abroad. He supposed it was a cleansing ritual. He would record truth despite living in deceit. He would then clean everything in place of his filthy soul. He hoped that it rubbed off onto him. He would need it one day, when he was asked to account for himself.
He was limited, as any man was. Magic was power, some believed. He thought of it more as a tool. His mastery of it was greater than even Trian’s, his master had told him. Yet, for all the power, he could not protect the world alone, nor did he trust in power alone. Power was power, and power corrupted. Using power to fight evil was like his dusting, you may gain momentary respite, but it would come back and cover all that you had worked for. It was and continued to be his belief that to fight evil, you must use goodness. Counter corruption with purity. It was why he had done what he did. And so the world was safe. They had finally broken the cyclical nature of the world, freed it from the endless repetition of good and evil, and put the creature called Dane into the Abyss where it belonged. But at cost. Great cost. A cost, it seemed, he had avoided paying, and for that, he felt guilt.
The boy’s words, that he had put her up as a lamb for slaughter, were not lost on him. It was not what he had intended, nor exactly what he had done. But appearances were certainly there. And he regretted her loss, he had cared for her. That too was no lie. The accusation that he knew, that Wizards always know, he let stand, but it was a lie. If they knew, he would not be the last of them. Trian, Nartorma, Kathryn and the girl that had been Alivia’s apprentice were all dead now, dead because of heroism and misfortune. He alone survived, and because of luck and forbidden knowledge. He survived because of damage to his innermost self, done when he immersed himself in the Well of Souls. He had cheated Death, broken the fate laid out before him by dipping into the pool by using the knowledge it gave him. And she was unhappy, he was certain. But he would pay his dues, he knew. Quiet death was not an option for him.
But that a Wizard always knows, that was a lie he needed. Let his foes doubt themselves, overestimate his reach, let the rumor of his power and of his supposed immortality cow the fiends. It was a heavy burden to bear, even if Ocala now was there to help. Even with the immortal linked to him such as she was, he was alone.
He finished his futile task and went and laid upon his hard bed and wrapped his heavy robes about himself to ward off the chill, reflecting once more on what he had written of the Flower, the champion of all that was kind and just in the world, and felt a dampness in his one good eye. With that, he sighed wearily, and closed it, letting the tear find its own path. He only started it on its way.
With that, his damaged and dirty soul left his body and soared through the world, seeing with its spirit eyes, keeping his long and lonely vigil until his next opportunity to repay his debts.
Delicious tea, or deadly poison?