Dominion (Arcadia-Sama/ Everly)

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  1. [​IMG]
    ~Port Ardus~

    With a soft, melodious screech, the seagulls of Port Ardus spread their wings and departed toward the Eleryn Sea, food primarily in their minds. Although a small isle, Port Ardus was lush and vibrant in nature and atmosphere. It's people, happy, despite the dangerous world they lived in. This is the story of two mages, who set out to learn the ways of ancient magic, and conquer those who brought endless tyranny and destruction to Valcia. Howl is one of these destined mages, a lowly Weaver, poor in coin yet rich in spirit, he sat on the marina of Port Ardus itself, breathing in the salty sear air and gazing at the passing by sailors and fishermen. Founded by Ardus the Leviathan, the seafaring hero of the First Age, the place was a bustling and peaceful place, much to Howl's discontent. He wanted adventure, fame and glory, so he could be a hero of the Fourth Age, as he had always aspired to be. He could not leave the isle, due to his obvious lack of coin, and he, unlike the various guarded politicians who freely transported themselves on ships between the Isles, had no political liaisons he could speak to in order to ensure free passage on the whim of a favour. He could not swim to Port Illin, for there were deadly creatures in the murky oblivion of the water who fed on the bones, flesh and even souls of men. He stood up, blowing out a dismissive breath to rid himself of this negative train of thought. He decided he would need to find a job and quick, if he were to acquire enough meagre revenue to pursue his aspirations. He could be a woodcarver. Or an enchanter. His specialized weaving magic meant he could make great things from the wood of the trees, and his magic itself could be crafted into an unstoppable sword of power, or even an axe breathing the flames of a Phoenix. He headed into town, climbing the spiral staircase, covered in barnacles and seaweed left after it lost its hold on the draping of the fisherman's anorak. He was in the edge of town, the market district. Now he had to go find a job.

    As he walked the streets, gazing into shop windows and smiling politely at passers-by, he began to take in the town once more, ravenously engorged in the scenery and hustle bustle around him. However, as he entered the centre of town, two stores caught his eye. "The Ethereum" and "Gaia's Carving." A Weaver Shop and an Enchanter Shop. He was a specialized Weaver mage, so the Ethereum spoke to him. However, Enchanting was beneficial to others, and not only himself. He thought about it for a moment, and stepped foot into the Ethereum. "Hello? I'm here about a vacancy for a job?" spoke Howl, nerves present yet not overly displaying in his voice. He waited patiently in the store that smelled of lavender and incense, for a definitive answer from someone.

  2. Annaliese Moltar had been in Port Ardus for about a week, though she had not done enough exploring to account for the time spent there. She had scarcely left the inn that she had chosen to stay in, and had no interest in the hustle and bustle of the shops. It was noisy and crowded and though everybody seemed in good spirits, it made her uncomfortable. She had the paranoid feeling that people knew she was not a social butterfly type, so whenever people looked her way or attempted conversation, she brushed them off automatically. Already she had been insulted and accused of being rude - and that was the innkeeper. Since then, she had stayed in her suite and immersed herself in her books. The issue was that her books were old and the pages fraying from being read so many times. She needed something new, something to expand her horizons and teach her more. Her former teacher had died less than a month before, leaving her a rather large pile of coin but no idea of what she was doing or where she should go.

    She sighed and stood up, glancing at her reflection out of habit. Boring brown hair, suspicious violet eyes. Thankfully most people assumed that her eyes were a trick of the light or some sort of side effect from her power. She was not yet ready to admit to her partial Elven heritage. Though most people thought well of Elves, she disliked the idea of having a reason to stand out. She grimaced at the thought and tugged up the hood of her dress, then slipped her coin purse in her pocket. Perhaps the market wouldn't be quite as bad as she thought. She might even find something to do.



    In The Ethereum, all was quiet for a few minutes after Howl's call. It seemed the place was empty.. until a loud thud followed by a male voice cursing floated out. After some scraping and nudging, an elderly gentleman appeared. It was obvious from the tools in his hands and the shavings on his apron that he had not heard Howl at all due to being busy working. He was still muttering to himself about badly placed crates and the aggravating irresponsibility of some helper who seemed absent. After setting his tools aside with a sigh, he turned and finally realized Howl was standing there. He blinked, then smiled and tilted his head.

    "Well, well. Hello. Looking for a puppet, lad?" he asked, his voice a bit loud to make up for his own hard-of-hearingness.
  3. As he waited in the shop, gazing in awe of all the materials around him, metals for weaponry, vials for poison and canisters for gases of many different varieties, incendiary, toxic, paralysis and also fear inducing. Shaking his head in acknowledgment of the shop owner, he smiled himself, a wide grin as he explained his presence and need for being here. "I'm not here for a puppet, mister." Howl said, before showing the man his hand, a tattoo of a shield surrounded by a lion chasing it's own tail. "I have my own." Howl added decisively before a finger was placed on his palm, readying the incantation to summon Asmodeus, his defensive puppet. "Rise great serpent of hellish intent, coil yourself around the unworthy, and tear them limb from limb. Protect the worthy with the blood of the lamb." He exclaimed as with a wisp of smoke and a sudden kerthunk! the puppet known as Asmodeus was summoned into existence, Howl now channelling and pooling his magic power into his finger tips, strands of this blue, aura-similar magic extended to the arms, back and legs of Asmodeus from his left hand. "This is Asmodeus, my defensive grade puppet. He comes with lightning rods in his hands which can act as both defensive against lightning mages and offensive against any mage, especially those of aqua mage specialisation. Also, he has four unfolding metal prongs in his chest which summon a magic ward into existence, protecting me from projectiles of the magical variety. I came here not to buy one. No, I came here looking for a job, and I feel I'm suited to it, due to my expertise in designing puppets. I'm willing to put in the hours of work I need to gain enough coin to travel to the mainland."
  4. "Well, well. This is a nice piece of work, here," the elderly shopkeeper mused. He examined the puppet thoroughly, then gave an approving nod. "I sold one a bit similar to this a few years back, but the lightning rods would have been a useful addition. I'll have to keep that in mind for next time.. yes.. So. A job. Well, I would certainly love the help. As for passage, you'd need to work a week or two here to afford that. I would recommend a month myself, if you plan on eating along the way and don't want to sleep in the street while you're working for me," he suggested, then he paused as a customer wandered inside. "Take a look around, I'll be right back."

    As the shopkeep wandered off to see about helping the man who seemed quite interested in one of the premade puppets, Annaliese stepped into the shop. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light that was a bit strange after the bright sunshine of the outdoors, she pulled down her hood and eyed a puppet near the door. Hm. Interesting. She had toyed with a puppet or two while in training, but she had never gotten the hang of them. Instead, she chose to directly use her own life force to See and affect that of her enemies. She had been told repeatedly that she was doing things the more difficult way, but she could not help what was easiest for her. Plus, it made her unpredictable and seem unarmed. She shrugged off the thought and stepped further into the store to take a better look around. Though she had no intention of buying anything here, that did not mean that she could not admire the beautiful handiwork that was obvious in the wood pieces. Somebody had put several long years into this shop.
  5. "Thank you, sir." stated Howl as the shopkeeper admired his handiwork. "I'm skilled in the art of puppetry design, so I could help you gather the metals I found in order to design lightningrods. I'm willing to stay a week in order to get enough coin. It'll give me enough time to scout out regular ships to the mainland and hopefully allot me some allies in the process also." Howl explained ash he pondered the man's speech about the need for food for the trip and the cost of living arrangements in an inn of some sort. As the shopkeeper moved to deal with a potential customer, Howl idled about the shop of his own accord, examining some of the Combat and Defence Grade puppets, some coming with mortal cannons, some with canisters of nerve gas, and even one with a similar warding shield to Asmodeus. Some were painted in fearsome samurai features, some even came equipped with blades. He was in awe of the puppets as he then bumped into someone while in a daze of completely uninterrupted wonder.

    "I'm sorry miss, I apologise for my intrusion." spoke Howl politely, bowing in polite etiquette toward the woman a he gazed upon her features. She wore a blue hooded cape, and was something of a stark beauty. Her eyes were unnatural, yet enticing and piercing, alive with a potential flame that could set her driving force alight. She would be someone who Howl should not mess with. "How did you come across this fine shop?" Howl exclaimed, acting almost as if he had been guaranteed employment with the puppet engineer. "I myself am a Puppet Weaver of no repute, unfortunately. Howl." He stuck his had out lowly for the woman to shake if she wished to. "Howl Abandon."
  6. Annaliese had been standing off to the side, examining a puppet that seemed to have Elvish markings when somebody quite literally ran into her. She stepped to the side slightly to keep from falling over, blinking in surprise as she turned to face the person in question. It was a boy. He seemed about her age, she would guess, though he was several inches taller than she was. He also seemed quite a bit more sociable, she noted silently as he apologized and asked her about how she came to be there before mildly insulting himself and giving an introduction. She gazed at him in silence for a moment, internally debating whether or not she should respond, but she knew that she had to at least make an effort. Nodding once, she took his hand in her own to shake. Her fingers were slender and smooth, though cold as though she had been building a snowman a moment before.

    "My name is Annaliese. It is a pleasure to meet you," she said, her voice quiet and a bit distant, though that was mostly because she was wondering if she should tell him something about herself. It seemed a bit personal to share that she was a Weaver too, but he had said it first and it seemed discourteous not to respond in kind. Finally she settled on simply responding to his direct question and ignoring everything else that he had said. "I came here quite by accident. I was avoiding people," she said honestly. There had been a rather large chattering crowd blocking the road and she had no desire to get any closer to them. The shop had seemed silent in comparison, though she of course realized now that it was not as empty as she would have liked.
  7. Howl gave a smile now that all the introductions were done and decided to show her his puppet. "I have two puppets in my possession." Howl pointed to Asmodeus with a long finger. "This is Asmodeus the Defensive. It's got a fairly standard anti-magic warding system, with lightning rods in order to absorb and reflect lightning magic against lightning mages themselves. It could be upgraded, but for what it is, it's extremely useful. My other creation, Eurynome the Offensive, I only use in the direst of situations. You could almost say Asmodeus is my showpiece, Eurynome is my masterpiece." Howl exclaimed as she introduced herself. "Annaliese, that's an interesting name you have there. Suits someone as interesting as you, miss." Howl exclaimed with sociable, not romantic, flirtation. "I myself came here for the purpose of coin and travel, and you travelled here to avoid people. Something is akin in our desires, m'lady." Howl exclaimed, trying to sound more grandiose than he actually was. "So what are your plans? Do you wish to travel?" He exclaimed, wondering why she was here at Port Ardus. She didn't look like one of the citizens.
  8. After eying his puppet with interest, Annaliese looked back up at him and blinked in surprise when he complimented her. That was.. odd. She wasn't used to that sort of attention in the least. Of course he wasn't really being forward or rude in any way, it just caught her off guard and made her stare for a moment. He found her interesting. Not cold or antisocial or rude. Interesting. She rather liked the sound of that. It was a much nicer way of putting things, and even though she found herself quite boring, she wasn't about to correct him. She pondered that for a long moment, nearly missing his questions. They seemed out of place, but then again, she wasn't overly familiar with the normal flow of conversation. Was he overstepping his bounds in asking? Probably not, but she wasn't terribly certain that she wanted to answer. She didn't know him well enough to spill the entire truth, but she didn't see any harm in at least giving him part of it.

    "Yes. I am leaving the Port soon," she said, surprising herself. She hadn't honestly made concrete plans to leave, but now she did see the intelligence in her response. Of course she wasn't going to linger here. There was nothing for her, and it was much too crowded for her liking. Sticking around would only irritate her and would serve no purpose as far as continuing her training, which she was now forced to endure alone. Hopefully she could find a place with books to study that didn't have too many people once she left this place, but she wasn't too sure which direction to go. She'd have to buy a map once she left this shop.

    "Alright, lad, now where were we?" the elderly shopkeeper interrupted, coming up to them and smiling at the boy. "Are you ready to begin? I have plenty for you to do out back and I'd like to get you started right away... Ah, forgive me, miss! I did not see you there. Are you interested in purchasing today, or simply browsing?"

    "Just looking, thank you," Annaliese said quickly, shaking her head slightly. Talking to two people at once was a bit much, and she stepped back slightly before managing half a smile for the pair of them. "I have to be going. It was nice to meet you, Howl," she added, bowing her head before pulling her hood up and slipping from the suddenly claustrophobic feeling of the shop. Eugh. How did people manage to keep that up? She had seen some ladies speaking to several others at once! The very idea made her head spin. She frowned and walked back toward the inn, deciding that the map could wait until she ate lunch.
  9. Howl smiled at her pleased look as they continued to talk. He needed money. He needed to leave also. He wanted to protect this world from devastation, and unite all the people within this nation, to help them protect themselves from the evil that leapt from the darkness, destroyed families, changed men, and possessed the weak of heart. He needed to make sure that no one could be harmed again. Since the dawn of those creatures, those malignant, evil, tumorous beings, the population was culled for the feeding and even simple amusement of the beings. He would purge the world of darkness if it was himself only as a metaphorical one nation army.

    As the shopkeeper arrived, Howl smiled dutifully, nodding. "I'm ready to begin, sir. Whatever you need done will get done." Howl stated obediently, excited to see what tools the man had to upgrade the arsenals of puppets, hoping that once his job was over, he could get parts for free or at a discount for his service. "So, what IS there to do?" Howl asked, keen to begin his first job.
  10. Annaliese ate a simple lunch of hot potato soup and bread, then found a shop with a map. She made the purchase with hardly a word before retreating back to the inn to lock herself in her room. Ah, this was better. Solitude. She relaxed and set her cloak aside, then sat down at the desk to study the map closely. For all of her learning and books, she honestly wasn't sure if there was a place to go that was better than any other. Sure, this port thrived, but it was helped along by the fact that no awful creatures were on it and it was an island. Other places were not as fortunate. She frowned and sat back in her chair, glancing over at her bag of coin. That wasn't going to do her any good if she couldn't pick a destination. And what place would be good to travel to alone? Perhaps if she sought out the Elves.. They may offer her a place to stay, to continue her learning in peace, but she wasn't certain. She had never been to visit them and she had always rejected her heritage. It was a long journey, but perhaps worth it..

    She considered that, then stood and walked over to the window to watch the people walking along the street below in the afternoon sun. Her mind wandered back to the shop where the boy had spoken to her. He seemed rather nice, if a bit too talkative for her liking. Maybe he would have an idea of which ship in the harbor she should use. After all, he had mentioned travel. Perhaps he had plans to leave as well and knew which captains around were more likely to accept a passenger. She'd rather speak to just one person than ask around and be pointed in a million directions. Yes, that was it. She would simply ask him about it.. tomorrow. For now, she simply sat on her bed and lost herself in a book that she had already read several times.


    The shopkeeper chuckled, seemingly amused at Howl's enthusiasm. Gesturing for the boy to follow, he wandered to the back of the shop to show him where the puppets were made. Tools were laying everywhere, along with bits of wood and crates. It seemed the old man had no sense of organization or cleanliness, which honestly frustrated him, but he was too impatient to take the time to clean it all up properly.

    "First, I need you to go to the smithy. I need several things for a custom piece I'm working on, and I'd also like to stock up on the steel sheeting if he's got any," he said, handing a hastily written list of supplies to Howl, along with a small sack of coin. "Get everything on here, then go and find something for dinner. You'll be cooking, but if you do a decent enough job of it, I may be convinced to let you use the storage room upstairs to stay in so you don't have to find an inn. Now go, and don't be all day about it!"
  11. "Ah, the smithy. If I come back again and I meld into your shadow, blame the soot and dust of the irons." Howl joked in light humour as he accepted the job he had to do, smiling at the thought of getting to stay in the Weaver shop if he made a good enough meal. He knew one or two family recipes, and he hoped they impressed the man. Wandering out the door of the Weavers, he breathed in the fresh sea air, once again, pleased he could have it as his sensual backdrop. As much as the odd smell of wood was interesting to the senses, along with metal and the vials, he enjoyed nothing more than the smell of fresh sea air. Walking north, the incline started to steepen as he reach the foot of Mt. Ardus, where the smithy resided, in what would have been the residual heat of the inactive volcano.


    Walking in, he was taken in by the sheer heat of the place, sweltering, and the building itself smelt of ash, sweat and dust. "Hello, I have a request from the Weaver for Metal?" spoke Howl, politely smiling at the blacksmith who was covered in sweat and soot, ignoring him while he fixed a sword. "Hello?" Howl asked once more, keen to get an answer.
  12. "Hello!" a cheerful, yet feminine voice greeted him from behind.

    A girl was standing there, looking highly amused. She was about an inch shorter than she was, with white hair that seemed to fly in all directions despite the brown cap she wore in an attempt to tame it. Her eyes were a bright green, her ears pointed slightly, though it was hard to tell beneath her thick locks. She wore a pair of brown canvas pants with plenty of pockets and loops for tools, and they were already streaked in grime. Her shirt and vest were both small, leaving her arms and belly bare so that she didn't overheat in the forge and could easily move around. She grinned at him, tilting her head.

    "He can't hear when he works. Plugs his ears to stop the ringing. Come on," she laughed, taking his hand with one of hers, which was clad in a thick black glove that was immune to heat. She tugged him over to the side, away from the heat and noise. "Hmm. You aren't the usual boy Erund sends over here. He must have fired him.. again. Oh, oh! Before I get what you need, look at what I made," she said, seeming to jump from one subject to the next with no warning. Delighted to find somebody interested, she picked up a pair of sticks and held them out. Dangling from the slender rods was a puppet made entirely of shining metal. It was in the form of a baby dragon, with brass gears for eyes and a tiny tail that she made wag with the flick of a wrist. "Isn't he adorable?!"

  13. "Hi!" Howl exclaimed with enthusiasm as he saw the energetic snow-white haired girl. After listening to her explaining the situation of the blacksmith's deafness, his plugs decreasing the amount of noise pollution he could concentrate on within his palace of metal construction, he now knew what was going on and grinned widely when she showed him her dragon puppet. "Are you a weaver yourself? Or planning to train to become one?" Howl asked, learning that the name of the Weaver Shop owner was Erund. He should have asked, but was too caught up in getting paid in order to do so. "That's a very interesting puppet. You should come down to Erund's shop and I could help you give it an arsenal if you're wanting to become a Weaver by trade." Howl exclaimed smiling, remembering his demonstration of Asmodeus to Erund not half an hour before Annaliese had left and he was from then on in employment. "I'm Howl Abandon! What's your name?" He asked simply and politely, happy to have some more person-to-person conversation with someone who wasn't deaf by choice.
  14. "A weaver? Me?" the girl asked, laughing. She shook her head quickly. "No, no. I just made it because it reminds me of home. That big oaf over there took me in, but I still remember what home was like back in the forests. No ocean there! Just seas of trees and waves of flowers. There were dragons, too. I remember them. But they weren't as small as this one, I don't think.." she mused, looking down at her puppet. After a moment she shrugged and smiled at him. "I'll get your stuff!" she announced, plucking the list from his hand and scooting around the shop easily.

    She hummed to herself as she went, her movements holding an easy grace and confidence as she carried a box in one hand and plucked things from shelves in the other. Erund got nearly the same thing every time. Silly predictable old man. She smiled at the thought, sealing the top for easy transport and dropping the crate in front of Howl with a small poof of soot.

    "There. All set," she informed him, handing him back the list. "And I'm Anariel. It's so lovely to meet you. You should stay for dinner if you aren't too busy doing whatever Erund says. Your name makes me think of a wolf," she continued on, seeming to say whatever popped into her head. She rummaged around in a small box, soon pulling out a shining silver brooch in the shape of a howling wolf that she had meticulously crafted herself. Moving carefully yet quickly, she stepped close to him and fastened it to his shirt with a smile. "There."
  15. "Aw, it would be nice to see a fellow Puppet Weaver." Howl exclaimed with a comical sigh. As he listened to her, he tried to picture where in Valcia she meant, but with his limited knowledge he could not picture the place, despite the viscerally stimulating description. "It's nice to meet you too, Anariel." Howl exclaimed with a genuine smile as she explained the plans he could take part in. "I'm not sure. Maybe I could have some, and take any leftovers back for Erund? If he likes what he tastes, I get to sleep in the shop and not on the streets, which is a bonus." Howl added as he was gifted with a wolf brooch for his jacket.

    "Thanks, Anariel." Howl spoke, happy to have received a gift for simply showing up. Leaning in, Howl gave Anariel a hug for her gift. "Honestly, you didn't have to get me anything, though I appreciate the thought. I think I might stay for dinner once I get this stuff back to Erund." Howl explained, hoisting the box so it was safely clasped in his hands. "Bye Anariel, BYE BLACKSMITH SIR!" He spoke and then announced in a shout, before giving the door of the smithy a boot, the wood structure swinging open as he began the more treacherous path down to Erund's shop. The cobbled streets provided deadly opportunities to trip over and the box to scatter it's contents, however, with the agility of a feline, Howl managed to navigate these narrow and cobbled death-trap streets and reach the shop once more. "I'm baaaaaack!" Howl exclaimed lyrically as he entered the shop, the bell ringing as if he was a visitor instead of an employee. "Anariel asked me to dinner, Erund, so I'm going to go over to the smithy again and I'll bring you back some leftovers. I'm laying my hope in the fact Anariel could be a good cook."
  16. Anariel giggled and watched him leave, then looked over at the blacksmith. The man had glanced up for half a moment, then gone back to his hammering. Silly creature. She shook her head with a smile and walked over to the door, waving to Howl's back before closing it and going about her duties. There were lots of daggers to be made from the order list, and those were her specialty when it came to weapons and things that weren't just small and intricate. She grinned and picked up a heavy hammer, getting to work.

    Erund looked up as Howl came back in, taking the box from him and starting to unpack it so that he could get to work. When the boy mentioned Anariel cooking him dinner, the old man couldn't help but laugh.

    "Anariel offered to cook for you? Well now. You must have done something right. That girl can cook anything. I always told her to quit mucking around that filthy shop and open a restaurant, but she wouldn't leave that smithy if she was paid to! Her heart's in the right place, though. Tell her I want a full plate, no skimping. She knows what I like. Go on now, don't keep the Elf-darling waiting," he said, waving the boy away with an amused smile as he got to work on a new puppet.
  17. "Yeah, she did Erund. I guess I did, so I'm going to have to rush on if you don't mind me leaving you to your own devices." Howl exclaimed as he examined the brooch once again, it now softly illuminated in an orange glow. Orange suggested fire magic. Was the brooch enchanted with some form of fire magic he didn't know about? He would have to see. "Erund, I'm going to step outside for a moment before I go." Howl declared as he stepped outside, willing his magic to connect with the magic of the brooch. Like a synapse, the two tendrils of coloured magic joined together, invisibly, and suddenly, in a flash of blue flame, Howl rose off of his feet.

    He was in the air. The flames surrounded him. Changed him. He grew horns and his cloak was torched and tattered in the inferno of magical destruction, his molecular structure filled with the flame of a thousand blazing sun spheres. What magic was this? His feet changed also, they became shoes in their own right, curved, flaming themselves. He felt like he could fly. He felt like he needed to escape the flames he had been given. He knew also the name of this magic in it's raw stage. Atronachiium. The power of the Being. They were elementals, borne from the elements of nature. Wood, earth, sky, storm and flame. He was an Atronach of Flame. The flames receded to reveal his true form, the true form of the brooch.


    He looked at Erund one final time, before wrapping the tatters of his cloak around him. "I'm an Atronach and a Weaver. Let us hope this is a good thing." He stated, before walking back to the smithy to show Anariel the result of the brooch's power.
  18. Annaliese was sitting on her bed, her legs curled up in front of her with a large tome resting against her thighs. Her purple eyes were narrowed as she focused on a particularly intricate diagram, and she decided she wanted to test it. She glanced toward the door, ensuring it was locked. It would not do for somebody to walk in when she was at her most vulnerable. Content, she relaxed and gazed at the wall, one hand pressed to the pages of the book to keep her grounded. Her eyes faded to a pure white and she gazed around her, seeing the shining threads connected to every living being in her vicinity, even those outdoors. Threads connected people to others, ones they had met, ones they had yet to meet. There were threads for life force as well. It would be so easy to just start plucking them, snapping them and taking them for herself, for power..

    A disturbance in the air stopped her train of thought and she blinked, dropping her hold on the power with a shuddering gasp as her hand lifted and her eyes refocused. That had been close. She had almost.. No, she wouldn't think of it. Frowning, she glanced toward the window. What had she felt? Something in the city had changed. It was powerful. She wasn't sure if it was friendly or not, either. Perhaps her plans had to be moved up. She could not dally around and hope that nothing happened. If she had sensed the power, there was no doubt it had been able to sense her too. She frowned uneasily and quickly got up to start packing. She had to leave port, tonight.


    Erund blinked and stared at his new apprentice/helper, stunned by the change. Had Anariel meant to give the boy such a brooch? Probably. Elves were so strange. He just watched Howl walk off, not saying a word as he mused the new developments.


    Anariel was still hard at work in the shop. She didn't expect Howl back, but she honestly had forgotten about him as she got lost in her work anyway. Her arm came down over and over again, adding a killing edge to the blade she was perfecting. The blacksmith had already left for dinner and would be back later, confident in leaving his adopted daughter on her own as she knew what she was doing just as much as he did.
  19. Howl now was an Atronach, layered in the tatters of his old outfit, scorched and smouldered by the flames of his rebirth as an Atronach. Walking to the blacksmith, he smiled, wondering if Anariel would take her gift's reaction to Howl somewhat positively. He had ripped open the fabric of magic energy itself and acquired a new magic to add to his roster, the Atronach of Flame his blessing. His spade like tail whipped itself and cracked, vibrating the air around him as he walked. He couldn't believe the elven girl had given hims omething so raw and powerful sealed into such delicate and tiny brooch. He'd have to show her the effects of the brooch itself, unless she took him for a Thaumiel and decided he needed to be speared head first on the nearest wall. He had arrived at the foot of Mt. Ardus, to the blacksmith shop. The flames that licked him receeding in his shyness, his demonic form still fairly present. Knocking on the door, he awaited her answer. "Anariel...?" He exclaimed, poking his eyes and nose in. "I' for dinner." He exclaimed, fright evident in his voice, unwilling to come further forward into the recesses of the smithy, in case Anariel decided he was better dead than alive.
  20. Anariel was humming to herself, because doing so helped to drown out the faint dings of the hammer that she could hear even though she had plugged her ears to keep the slams from giving her a migraine. She had no idea Howl was back and continued working, her tanned skin shining in the firelight from working so hard. Finished with the blade, she picked up a pair of tongs and lifted the blade, twirling it around before tossing it into an icy bath to cool the metal. She grinned to herself, juggling the tongs for a minute before setting them aside. Maybe now she could work on a personal project. She turned around to grab a spool of sterling, then blinked as she saw Howl. Well there. She smiled and took the plugs out of her ears, then tilted her head at him.

    "I see you liked my gift just fine."


    Annaliese soon finished packing, still feeling uneasy. What had changed? It was a sudden burst of power, as if the being was already there, or had appeared in the port. She glanced at the door for the hundredth time in the span of a minute, but nobody knocked or burst in. Perhaps she was wrong and the being hadn't felt her at all. Maybe it hadn't been paying attention. That was good. She could stay.. no. Putting it off was a mistake. She sighed and picked up her bag, pulling her hood up as she unlocked her door and walked down the inn stairs. Now she just had to find a ship and a willing captain.
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