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Jun 24, 2021 4:45 PM
An Audrey becomes a Lioncourt under Savaross' "care"
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Savaross doesn't take infants when he goes out looking for apprentices; the years when they will need care and be unable to make themselves useful are a nuisance. But seeking apprentices is not the only reason he leaves the tower, and it is unwise to look a gift horse in the mouth.

He carries the babe away from the burning wreckage of the now-dead witch's abode and hands her over to the care of the older apprentices on childminding duty. 

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And the next he thinks of her as more than a nuisance, she’s grown up into a waifish five-year-old. Meticulous, but timid. She cries when she sees bruises on the older apprentices. Not the kind of apprentice he would consider promising.

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He does not, no. 

But he will do his best to teach her regardless, and she will learn that it is best for her if he succeeds. 

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She’s bright, at least. Doesn’t need reminding of things she’s told. She’s memorized the usual haunts of the other apprentices, and has a natural talent for not being found. She’s punctual. She never talks back. 

It seems like she’s trying to make the world ignore her entirely.

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This is a good strategy for avoiding harm at all times except when actually in a lesson. 

He is sitting behind a desk, looking expectant and critical, when she arrives.

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She stands at attention, with the perfect posture expected of her, and waits to be asked a question or given an order.

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"Today begin your real lessons; those on magic. The first thing any warlock must learn is how to gather the power they will use to shape the world."

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She nods sharply to show she’s attending to the lesson.

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She is given instructions on how to meditate in order to perceive the magical fabric of the world around her, and the basic technique for tearing a piece off.

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She closes her eyes, and focuses. 

She sees it almost instantly, but - 

tear? 

It didn’t do anything to deserve that, but the lesson...

She hesitates. 

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She - tugs. 

It doesn’t come.

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He is still waiting. He doesn't actually expect her to have found the pattern quite yet. 

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She doesn’t know that.

Her gaze flicks to the head of his cane, just for an instant. 

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... if she’s going to do this she had better do it properly. 

Mentally, she puts pins in all along the edge of her range - this technique is so sloppy, who does this to the world? - no time for that, she has to do this quickly, Savaross is waiting - 

She’s not fast enough.

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"Today, if you please."

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The interruption makes her drop a pin. 

Back up two, another five now, quickly - 

She has the perimeter in her head - 

She hesitates again. 

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She puts a pin in. 

(Stealing, part of her whispers.)

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She falls over, one hand slapping against the stone floor.

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... she sits herself back up.

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She has to get this right now. She knows what happens to apprentices who don’t perform. 

She puts in the pins as fast as she can, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten-leven-twelf-

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And then she rips.

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... she makes a mess of it. Only half her range, coiled up around her like a serpent of fire, all tattered and ragged and sharp - 

This isn’t good enough, is it. 

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"There, see? I knew you could do it if you were properly motivated."

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