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Jul 04, 2020 4:52 PM
Deskyl and DZ in Arcania Artefactum
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That sounds like a bond, of the highest level - I have had only one before. He pauses, uncertain, Perhaps I could give you an idea of what I need, in a bond-partner, and if you find one before we reach that point, I coukd bond with them. And if not, a sense of 'oh, well', Some danger is not worse than the loneliness I have endured. Too, being part of something new and interesting appeals. Perhaps we will find we suit, if we give it time. 

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I have no reason to think we'll stop being able to hear each other if you find someone else. The main question there is whether you want to put up with a Sith's moodiness.

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Amusement, I have known moodiness, in my time, he sends, thinking back wistfully to a principled young firebrand who wielded him once, I shall take care to step lightly, but I do not fear a risen temper. Truly, I do not fear much. 

He pauses, Traditionally, when bonding, the Artefact and wielder trade a summary of their self. Not their memories, but their personality, their essence, that which drives them. The closer the two partners match, the closer they may bond. Near enough, and the partners may reach the point of mind speech, but only those so close in their souls as to be one person may find each others' mind where ever they go. 

I would be more than satisfied with the former relationship, He adds. The chance of the latter is too unlikely to bother with, in truth. 

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All right. If I'm trying to affix the telepathy it should only take one try; I do want to sleep first, though. For your bond - she sends a sense of herself, first, stubborn and self-assured in the kindness she values so much, confident in her strength and ability to affect the world while well aware that it's not unbounded, that there are larger threats to be avoided or finessed rather than met head-on - committed to doing the good she can, even as she knows that she has to pick her battles wisely and be careful not to overextend herself or prioritize the present over the future. Interpersonally, she runs very empathetic and a little possessive, having a strong sense of who is hers and who is not and a strong drive to protect and look after the former, above and beyond the good treatment she wants for everyone. He's not in the former category yet, precisely; she likes him, but her approach so far has had more to do with her feelings about how to treat a captured enemy or rescued prisoner, someone who she has responsibilities toward, but only temporarily, while they're in her power.

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The Blade takes this in, all she shares with him of her being. He sends back his appreciation - of her character, and her willingness to allow his request - and then -

First, power, as all Artefacts at first, greater than most, and strange in its possible uselessness to her. 

He is principled, desiring to be used to help, rather than harm. His full strength is most available in defense of that which his wielder loves, for a Blade such as him is meant to protect. 

He is curious. He wants to know the stories of the world, to hear, through his wielder, the music of its people. Some of his greatest matches have been musicians, poets, storytellers. He spends much of his time, when not asleep, composing melodies for himself, and listening to the music of the earth below, and the veil above. He is proud of his knowledge, and knows he holds in his mind history long forgotten by all in this world.

Last, that great loneliness, as she has already felt. Yet, beyond that, and older still, an ancient anger, carefully controlled, directed only where he chooses. This is a being who has had eons to perfect his control, to temper his reactions and gentle his words. He has come a long way since the bloodthirst of his first years, from the Blade for warriors to one for scholars. 

-He likes her, he adds, beyond the standard summary he has always sent. Appreciates her desire to be kind, her ruthlessness in defense of what is hers. He thinks they could get along quite well, if she desires it. 

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She's delighted to learn that he's a poet, empathizes with his loneliness, admires his learned restraint. I think so too. I'd very much like to keep you. There's a distinct sense that she considers him an equal, though, that she values him for his potential as a friend and guide.

 You need to know that I'm injured, right now - I'm using the Force to seem not to be, but it's temporary. I won't remember any of this after I've slept.

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He is pleased she agrees.

Perhaps we should wait to finalise any bond until afterwards, then. I would not wish to cause your future self alarm. 

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Yeah.

Is there anything else you want to know? She turns her attention to the Force affect bolstering her, judging its stability. I have about forty minutes, but I should spend some of it explaining you to my companion.

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I believe I am satisfied, for now. He pauses, Though. Are we somewhere safe? I may be able to keep some sort of watch. I cannot sense actively, lacking uncoloured mana, or a bond to allow coloured sensing, but I can sense passively - any combat occurring within roughly 50 meters of my physical form is very obvious. I am also able to glow, and could alert your companion in this way if this should occur. 

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We're in a fort on the border; I'd expect fighting to start farther away than that, and it'll wake me up if it does - I have passive empathy out to about half a mile, 800 meters. I might be able to learn to produce mana once I'm recovered, though, and the main bottleneck on my abilities is my attention.

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I suppose that is everything, then. Rest well.

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See you soon.

She talks briefly to DZ, explaining the new member of their party, takes a quick shower, and goes to sleep.

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Roughly mid-morning the next day, a large group practically radiating hostile intent creeps up on the fort. No one inside is alarmed.

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Deskyl wakes as soon as they enter her range, and takes just a moment orient herself and alert DZ - incoming hostiles, twenty approaching, reinforcements, that way, tell command - before dashing out of the room.

The group is midway between their reinforcements and the ward when she appears, leaping over the wall and landing in a momentary crouch before standing to look in their direction and light her 'saber.

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There's some people on the wall who are very concerned by this action! They go on alert, but hesistate to pull the alarm yet.

The enemy is invisible, and unnoticeable - covered in a cloak of illusion mana, carefully tricking the minds of any who look their way into thinking they aren't there. The cloak is being held up by a person in the middle of the group, assisted by her Artefact - a Book, one of the rarer types, though more common among Illusion-aligned ones. 

When she lands before them, they halt, uncertain. As far as they know, no one should have been able to notice them coming - except maybe a very powerful sensor who was actively sensing in their direction for some reason. 

The way she's looking straight at them is hard to deny, however. The Book wielder lets the cloak drop off of most of the others, keeping it up only over herself and two more, carrying something large and heavy, who attempt a retreat back to the reinforcements. Two of the mages revealed begin incanting spells, preparing to face her in combat, while the others turn their attention towards erecting some defenses. 

This must be a different force than the ones who attacked the day before, given how much they're underestimating her. 

(At the appearance of the enemies, the wall guards decide they should perhaps pull the alarm bells after all.)

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Whatever that is, if it's valuable enough to retreat with, she wants it.

She zooms toward the group, 'saber guarding, planning on leaping over them.

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Well, they knew she could sense them, but they'd rather hoped the others would stop her from coming after them. Out of options, Book mage drops the cloak, turning to attack her with a wave of Illusion magic, incanting a second tier illusion spell meant to get inside her head and make her fears appear before her.

The other two mages pick up the pace. Between them they carry a large box of light-eating-black metal, carved with barely glowing runes which still manage to stand out on their background like stars against the night sky. 

Behind her, someone on the walls sends a fire spell crashing into the enemy mages. Their hastily erected defenses weather it, barely, and then they begin returning fire, and frantically erecting more. 

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Her defenses against this new magic are imperfect, and the spell takes, but her training holds; she ignores the suddenly-appearing Sith, her danger sense assuring her that she's not about to be attacked. The book mage, on the other hand, goes down quickly, and she continues on to the retreating pair.

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Their speed increases to a sprint, but it's not enough. One drops the box, trying to turn and face her. The other staggers without his support, dropping the box on the ground and falling half on top of it. 

The reinforcements have noticed something went wrong. They begin advancing up the hill, mages in the second rank raising floating rocks to catch any spells coming their way. Not that this will be their problem. 

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There's well over a hundred of them, enough that even a nonmagical force would represent at least a small threat; she'll complete her objective and retreat, for now. She goes for the box, letting its carriers attack or retreat as they prefer.

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Neither wants to attack, exactly. She absolutely destroyed the Illusion mage, and neither of them is an Artefact wielder. Both scramble out of her way when she moves. 

The box is very heavy, and Will Not Be Moved by magic. Any attempt to do so just does not work. 

(The mages behind her are still holding out mostly by virtue of having retreated deep inside a hastily made stone bunker. The soldiers on the walls are keeping them under fire while they wait for a decision to be made by command about whether they should sally out and attack, or hunker down and wait the enemy out.)

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Unpleasant. She takes a moment to consider the problem - she could lift the box herself, probably, boosting her strength rather than moving it directly, but without being able to use the Force to steady it, she'll be very vulnerable getting it back to the fortress. She could put something under it and levitate that, but she doesn't have anything to hand, and finding something and setting it up will take too long. She could stand her ground, but she's flagging fast; even a battle that she'd attempt most days sounds distinctly unappealing today, with only this much indication of its importance.

With no way to get it back to the fort, and the decision made not to defend it here, her options are to leave it for the enemy, or destroy it. It's not a hard decision; she slashes at the box with her 'saber.

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Once her saber cuts through a rune, the glowing ceases, the box realeasing a wave of force just strong enough to tug at her clothes. The two enemy soldiers, still retreating from her towards the rest of their forces, look horrified at its destruction. 

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Oh, she can probably pick it up now - the runes might still be of interest, even with it disabled.

She heads back for the fort.

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The box will be moved, now. 

The wards are on aggressive mode, but without mana they don't read her as a threat to be dealt with. She can reach the fort and be over the walls without any interference. 

Once she gets inside, she will find Jaim coordinating preparations for a sally from just inside the gate, his elites arrayed around him. He glances up when he sees her. 

"I apologise for the interruption of your rest," he says, "If I had known we were to be attacked, I would have warned you. Thank you for alerting us, however, and sending your companion to tell us the details."

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