The Strength to Lead - 06/22/20

[Eligor]

Eligor pinged Novine to join him at what was once the Silver Nexus, now instead some strange perversion of what it once was.

[Novine]

She showed up promptly and dutifully as she typically did when summoned, looking at the rather utilitarian yard with a grimmace. “Oh, I guess he made it boring more than anything…”

[Eligor]

Eligor was waiting in the front lawn, wearing what appeared to be a suit of armor with a cape attached beneath the shoulderpads and a blade taller than he was stabbed into the ground. Seems like he heard her comment.

[Novine]

Novine didn't seem to be abashed about the comment when she saw him there. In contrast to him, she was dressed rather casually.

“Well, don't you look all heroic?” she observed with a grin, making her way toward him. “What's the occasion?”

[Eligor]

“I needed practice. It is unrealistic to expect the armor I make to be reliably replicated; the costs of the materials alone would make this building seem like a trifle—so even if I manage to replicate the quality by proxy, the quantity is simply impossible.”

“But we must meet a standard. Affordable yet better than others. A notch above what can be obtained by anyone. Our mark, you see.”

[Novine]

“Yeah I guess… Can't be going out in the world and just getting stabbed real easily I guess. So what, you want me to try and break it or something?”

[Eligor]

“No. I want you to tell me how you’ve grown.”

“Tell me how you have composed your body.”

[Novine]

Novine fidgeted a bit, the subject always a bit sore.

“Well, I've been practicing with arcanistry lately for some magic I want to do but… Well, the formulas that are recorded are a bit limited so I've been having to improvise here and there. I'm getting there, but it's not nearly as close as I want it to be. My thaumaturgy has gotten a lot stronger though I think. Although… Apparently that's not enough,” she says in a pouty tone.

“And what exactly do you wanna know about my body? I've got nerves, I can feel stuff, I can taste and smell. Can't bleed though. Missing a bunch of pointless organs… That enough?”

[Eligor]

“Why did you remove these things?”

“Why did you decide they were pointless?”

[Novine]

“If you stab me in the chest with a sword, isn't it better that I can keep going without a lung collapsing? If I have as equal a chance to keep leaving no matter where I'm hit by something, that's better. Don't have to worry about protecting vital spots, or bleeding out.”

[Eligor]

“In other words, you have mistaken making something not vital with something detrimental.”

“You truly did not understand the full scope of what I meant when I lectured you on the importance of being able to fit in it seems. And in so doing have managed to even stunt yourself in your misguided beliefs. It begins to make sense…”

[Novine]

She looked a little annoyed.

“No, I get it, but what, you'd prefer it if I bleed all over the place and suffer when I get hurt like some animal?”

[Eligor]

“Not even suffering is without value. You waste the gift of complete dominion over your body. Tell me, what do you consider to be your weakness?”

[Novine]

“I dunno… I guess that I have to sustain myself with the thing I have to expend if I wanna protect myself. I have to be too careful about how much I use in those moments.”

[Eligor]

“And you considered the alternative to be…pointless.”

“Interesting.”

“Looking at your condition as needing to be one or the other, that is.”

“Tell me about your muscle structure.”

[Novine]

“It's traditional to a normal Lalafell. Movement would've been too eratic without keeping it. I can alter it, but for now it's just standard for a female adventuring type. Strong without being too much for a mage.”

[Eligor]

“You still have not realized the issue have you…”

[Novine]

She sighed and folded her arms.

“Guess not. If anything maybe… I'm just afraid of changing too much. I've gotten used to the way I am and it'll be harder to feel like myself. Hard enough keeping it straight in my mind, let alone my body.”

[Eligor]

“So you think deficiencies are what make you yourself?”

[Novine]

“….No. I want to be better.”

[Eligor]

“Then I’ll spell it out. You are currently a plant.”

“That is the issue. Being a plant directly contradicts your current goal.”

[Novine]

She looked thoroughly irritated now.

“What d'you mean, 'a plant.'”

[Eligor]

“Your body has been configured to grow over time. You do not need to eat, sleep is optional, even your very organs have been considered redundant. Over time, you will surely continue to grow as you absorb and condense aether. But your goal is not the distant future, it is now.your muscles cannot grow as you have dictated their limits already. Even if you had not, muscles need more than just aether to grow.”

[Novine]

She nodded in a resigned sort of way, uncomfortable with this determination, but accepting.

“I didn't know I wouldn't have time. I just… Thought I'd observe it all, not take part in it.”

[Eligor]

“Taking part is what you asked for. Not taking part has been causing you worry, has it not?”

[Novine]

“Yeah, but that's now. I didn't think I'd want this when I initially designed it all.”

[Eligor]

“Ah, so your pride is hurt then.”

He pulls the blade from the ground and lifts it over his shoulder.

“Come hurt me then.”

[Novine]

She looked over to him and seemed conflicted for moment, but she relented, fiddling with the ring on her hand that deployed her armor, black shrouding her swiftly.

“Fine.”

[Eligor]

“Oh, need your armor for little me? I thought you won with the soldier?”

[Novine]

Her expression darkened a bit, the eyes that were likely narrowed hidden behind her visor. “Yeah, well, you got all dolled up, so I figured I'd return the favor,” she retorted back before she put a hand to her arm and began to channel her aether, a smallish, luminescent butterfly flying from herself, fluttering innocently in front of her. She spared no extra time in swiping her hand wildly in the air and drawing a jagged bolt of levin in the air that flew toward her father with a thrust of her hand, the spear piercing directly through the butterfly and causing it to change colors to match the sparking aether that had just left its form.

[Eligor]

He angled his blade in response as if he were aiming to deflect it, but twirled out of the way right before impact, sort of dancing around the attack and closing the distance a bit before thrusting the long blade for Novine’s shoulder.

[Novine]

Novine had anticipated her distance was far enough to avoid such an immediate counter attack, but she should have known better as her father's blade closed the distance swiftly enough, snagging the armor at her shoulder and shoving her roughly to the ground with the force. She let out a surprised cry before growling in irritation as she crouched low. With a wild swipe of her hand, a volley of needle-like ice shards zoomed toward him, while the butterfly simultaneously sent a quick-moving orb of lightning at him as well, flapping erratically around the area. Novine didn't seem to be able to control its position very well.

[Eligor]

This time he actually did block the magic with the flat of his blade, observing the frost encroach across the surface of the metal briefly before swinging the flat of the blade for Novine’s cheek in a wide arc.

[Novine]

The girl took the blade soundly to her bare cheek, another resounding cry of pain coming from her as she found herself on the ground again, a shaking hand reaching up to her cheek to make sure it was still in tact as it ached. The air around her started to ripple as steam came off her body, her anger coming to a head now. Channeling lightning to her feet, the Lalafell launched herself toward him recklessly, her arm extended and hand laid flat and imbued with a blade-shapes coating of aether over it, intending to plunge it into his thigh. The butterfly also sent its own orb his way almost as an afterthought, it's attack frequency linked to her own attacks.

[Eligor]

He is unable to move or scream as the lightning hits him—apparently the armor is not insulated at all—and proceeds to begin smoking, his long cape catching fire from the intense heat building up. He had apparently managed to weather the worst of it somehow by redirecting the aether surging through his body into the ground. Just as the attack passed however the fairy followed up the assault, and in response he thrusts his finger towards it, a small compressed ball of air on his fingertip.

[Novine]

The feeble butterfly was easily dispelled as it was blown away, Novine not practiced enough to maintain the construct. Having him in close quarters, she shot a small spear of ice for his foot, hoping the sharp point would make an example of his armor.

[Eligor]

Still suffering from the effects of the lightning, he could not yet move well. In response to the icicle coming, rather than move he dropped his blade, managing to block the attack in time with its descent. This was not the end however, as strangely the blade continued to move, spinning in the air like a windmill before flying in a piercing motion towards Novine’s abdomen.

[Novine]

Novine found herself soaring backward yet again, grateful she chose to don her armor as her assailant's skill in creating it was her only protection. Nevertheless, she was repelled backwards rather pathetically as she landed prone. Laying there on the ground she began to laugh a little before pushing herself back up to her feet. She grinned before opening her mouth and sending a concentrated jet of fire from it.

[Eligor]

He was still recovering from the lightning when a wave of flame engulfs him. There is a sound like hot metal dropping onto the ground and sizzling, before a second wave of black smoke seemed to be extinguishing the flames and encroaching further across the yard, spreading outward towards Novine.

[Novine]

Novine was engulfed completely by the smoke, unable see anything as the scorching heat of it sent her nerves screaming. Soon enough she was on the ground curled in a ball as the smoke at last dissipated. She appeared to have lost the will to keep fighting for the time being.

[Eligor]

The smoke soon faded, along with the flames that had consumed Eligor. The flames had taken their toll on his armor as it was little more than a few loosely connected melted fragments now, revealing a now scorched tightly fitting set of underclothes underneath.

“Next question.”

He tears off the rest of his remaining armor before throwing the scraps to the ground.

“What will you do if you cannot harness your Magics?”

[Novine]

She stayed silent for a moment before replying in a rather bratty tone, typical of an angsty teenager.

“I dunno, nothing.”

She pushed herself up and pointedly faced away from him as she examines her body, her armor peeling off of her and retracting back into it's impossibly small vessel around her finger.

“Use a gun maybe.”

[Eligor]

“And if the Gun is taken?”

[Novine]

“Claw 'em, bite 'em, run away… I dunno. What d'you want me to say? Any weapon can be taken.”

[Eligor]

“Once again you forget the blessing that is your body.”

“Learn how to fight without weapons. You must become dangerous from every perspective. Every possible scenario.”

“The potential for you to deliver death should never be in doubt.”

“Stand.”

[Novine]

She looked over her shoulder at him, this grave speech triggering some kind of concern in her features, but she said nothing of it as she stood and turned back toward him.

[Eligor]

“You must learn how to convincingly lie.”

“You have just failed to defeat me. You have hurt me, but your victory was not domineering it was incomplete. And at the rate you are going, you will forever find such a goal beyond your reach. A truly pathetic state of affairs.”

“Now convince me this does not bother you. Show me a genuine smile.”

[Novine]

She eyed him with that grumpy look as he started speaking, but expression turned into one of almost embarrassment. Novine was many things, but an actress and liar was she not. She felt stupid even attempting it, knowing she would likely get lectured about the failure, but she sighed and gave it a try anyway.

[Eligor]

“Hmm…interesting. All this time, and you’ve not acquired this bad trait. This is not a bad thing, but it is bad if you wish to be effective in my role. But I suppose we will have to work on that over time.”

“And now perhaps the most important physical lesson for today….are you adept at applying makeup?”

[Novine]

She looked taken aback a bit. “Oh… Yeah. I'm fine with that.”

[Eligor]

“Then can you make yourself look like a man convincingly?”

[Novine]

“It's easy enough for a Lalafell, so yeah, I could.”

[Eligor]

“Hmmm…we will see about that at your next practical lesson.”

“For now, you’ll have to take notes from this and be satisfied.”

[Novine]

“Why do I need to look like a man anyway?”

[Eligor]

He falls to his knee, a steady stream of smoke and steam rising from his body out of nowhere.

“Disguising yourself is necessary for the work you will need to do. You will need multiple faces. Multiple identities. And all of them must seem completely real.”

“There can be no doubt that these faces are real people. So much so that should you need it, you can abandon this life to take up another.”

“And this….” He gestures to his body now, “is the power and value of lies. It can be applied everywhere just like a sword. Like an old man pretending that he is unbent and unmarred by being set ablaze. Appearing as if he were an insurmountable wall, even if it meant taking that heat and enduring it within his body. You will need this always. When you lead your people, you must appear at times otherworldly, and at others impossibly simple and relatable. When you battle, you must sometimes suffer even more damage to keep up proper appearances. At other times, you might be required to lose for a grander purpose. This ebb and flow of lies will consume you, become you. For others, it will be the truth.”

[Novine]

Novine looked to him with a look that was very close to awe, admiring his fortitude. She nodded her understanding. “So… All of these faces.. these lies… The people I'm leading. How can I keep leading them if I'm a different person? Wouldn't they think I'm some crazy mutinous traitor?”

[Eligor]

“Who said they would need to know? Did you know before today?”

[Novine]

“Did I know what?”

[Eligor]

“That I employed disguises.”

“Or do you somehow think that you as a leader will become too inconsistent?”

[Novine]

“I guess I didn't. I'll… I'll make it happen. It's important so… I'll do it.”

[Eligor]

“You keep saying you will…so make it happen. You wanted this burden.”

He attempts to stand but stumbles back and slides down the nearby pillar. He appears to have fallen unconscious. His body is still smoking and steaming.

[Novine]

Novine rushes over to him and kneels beside him, shaking his shoulder.

[Eligor]

He does not stir, but aside from his astoundingly hot body heat, he seemed to mostly be fine—if quickly on the road to rapid dehydration.

[Novine]

She looks at him and sighs, not able to stop thinking about how he at least looks peaceful like this. But rather than let him lay there unconscious, she opts to hold her hand over him and conjure a light shower of water over him to at least cool him down some.

[Eligor]

His body seems to cool down, but containing the residual fire aspected aether inside his body has obviously taken a toll. He does not seem to be on the road to waking up terribly soon.

Suddenly a lalafell woman in a suit and shaded steps near his unconscious form, her neatly cut black hair resting evenly on the sides of her face. She wouldn’t have been an unfamiliar sight either. Rain or shine, the woman could be seen standing vigil outside of the college, to the point of appearing as a statue. She did not speak, but her aura gave credence to a no nonsense image emanating from her like a superpower.

[Novine]

Novine looks to the woman. “Um…. Can you help me get him inside somewhere to rest?”

[Eligor]

“I can take him to his room. I am used to it.”

She lifts his unconscious body like a princess before wrapping him up in a cloak like an unsightly corpse.

[Novine]

“Okay I'll… I'll leave you to it then. Thanks…” she says, watching after her as she is unsure if she should follow.

[Eligor]

The woman turns and walks off without wasting any time or any further words.


Home –> Roleplay Scene Index –> Discord Roleplays

Home –> Character Index –> NovineEligor