Morty wasn't even trying to do anything this time. He was just fucking around with some cardboard, and okay, maybe it turned into an eldritch sigil of some kind, and then it blew up in his face, and now there's people in his room.
"That's GSD for you. Gulshan's cool. Affiliated with my mortal enemy, but cool."
Ariel moves her hands in an intricate pattern, sparks trailing behind them, and conjures up a glowing envelope which sticks itself to Gulshan's door. "There. When Sky gets out of the shower, that note will tell it to come to your room and help Gav recover from the blood draw. Want to get this started?"
"Now is good. Should we use our room? Or is there a place for this sort of thing?"
"We can use your room."
Ariel follows the boys back to their room and sets up for the procedure. First she casts a cleaning spell over the room, then another spell which numbs a small patch of Gav's arm, then another which causes the median cubital vein to glow beneath the surface of his skin.
"A better nurse probably wouldn't need magic to find the vein," she admits, inserting the needle, "but I'm kind of an amateur, so I'm helping myself out a little. And there we go, we'll leave it in for about a minute and then we'll have a good amount to work with."
"You are doing a cleaner job than most healer that I know. Removing blood tends to be annoyingly messy."
Eventually they have enough.
"Okay, I don't need you to actually take off your shirt for the next part if you don't want to..."
She shrugs it off immediately.
Apparently it was the kind of shirt where you don't need to wear a bra under it! Modern clothing technology is amazing.
"My poor innocent eyes."
"Grow up, Gav!" Herod says, he is a medical professional... okay he is staring a bit, but not much.
Right, ritual. He removes his own shirt and takes some of the blood and uses it to finger paint designs on Ariel's skin. Mostly straight lines and circles. A spiral in her forehead, a spiral over her heart a spiral over her belly. Then he does the same with himself. But instead of spirals he makes a circle with a thumbprint in the middle.
"Okay, story time. Are you ready?"
"Alright... So, even back in our worlds, there is a misconception that what kinds of magic you get is straight-up about your personality - including where you reincarnate. That simplifies the reality of the situation. The magic that you get helps you being the person you are or become the person you're becoming. Sometimes this is very simple, violent powers for violent people, perception powers for the curious and so on. Sometimes, the magic needs to get creative."
He reaches out and grabs Gav's hand. Coincidentally, Ariel starts feeling a tingly of magic from the blood on her skin.
"In my past life I had a very... black and white view of what justice and retribution meant. Every action needed a consequence. Like being good meant to balance a scale. Then our country got into multiple wars and a first I kept justifying myself that they are just or unjust for this or other reason. After years of this that view started to erode, but it didn't went away completely when we died."
Gav kisses Herod's hand. The tingly of magic gets stronger.
"I am not glad that we died together. But we did and this mad it easier for us to be reborn together. Reincarnation is not instantaneous it can take years because the magic will try to find the right conditions for you to be reborn." He shrugs as to dismiss the thoughts. "Anyway, when I died I was in a trajectory to realize that exact retribution was a stupid concept, but I was not all the way there. So I got my empowering vice. The power to transfer wounds with a touch and the drawback where I obsesses over exact retribution. And I do mean exact, I spent long hours contemplating hurt myself to balance out the wounds I caused in self-defense. And of course, the circumstances are such that we end up in a war zone and recruit still as kids. From very early on, I was forced to use my power under threat and without agency... it was the perfect way to confront me with how terrible the horn for horn mentality is. It was not pleasant, and it was no the good way to achieve the conclusion, but I can appreciate that it got me there."
"I, for one, didn't need any growth so I got to stay as perfect as always and got the regeneration and reckless combo."
She can tell that he is trying to inject levity in the situation.
"Of course you're, So, where was I? Oh, I said magic me 'got me there'? That's a great analogy. Magic is not only about you now, but also the path of your life. What power you get is about where life is taking you."
The last words appear to echo in her head and she feels the power flare over her skin and the blood glows red for a moment and she feels something reaching deep inside her coming to the surface...
The room's temperature drops slightly.
"...am I supposed to... want things? I can feel... I can absorb heat, okay. But I want... My head's full of- I want to go find Vera and rip her head off. Really, really badly. More than usual."
"Alright, that feels fairly common." He does not let go of Gav's hand. "Take a step back from the power itself and try to feel it. It's specifically her? Can you tell why you want to rip her head off?"
"She tried to steal Sally from me. Tried to make her into her property. She took someone I loved and made him into a hostage, a living deadman switch, and everyone thinks it's true love. She ruins everything around her, takes good things and taints them. And she gets away with it. She always wins. And she'll keep winning, keep sucking the goodness out of the world, until I can destroy her."
It keeps getting colder as she speaks.
"Wow, who the fuck she thinks she is?"
Herod blinks at "true love" and again at "destroy her".
"Okay, if you do want to destroy her. I would recommend dialing back from the magic. It often makes people less effective at doing what they want."
Ariel grimaces, but slowly, the room warms up again.
She looks very uncomfortable. "Uh. Okay, so, the reason I don't kill Vera is that I would be arrested and quite possibly executed. Apparently, Angry Ariel doesn't really think that's a consideration."
"I can relate. It's possible to work around the drawback with practice, you can accumulate power for use for later."
"Is this Vera a noble or something?"
"Okay, good, I'll just beat the shit out of people in the sims to work it out. Gav, you're not allowed to kill people unless they're actively putting your life in danger in this country. Unfortunately."
"You said that she got away with doing a bunch of nasty stuff. It sounded like what you get from a particularly nasty noblewoman."
"They might be a democracy. At any rate, this Vera person sounds potentially scary."