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Aug 08, 2020 8:12 AM
a Raafi is summoned to Halkegenia
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"I'm not sure yet that I'm staying - or rather I'm not sure yet that I'll come back when I leave, that's really not in question, I've been Fharlanghn's cleric since I was your age - the god of travel. But I'm not - you gave me a scare, but I don't think this is beyond what I can work with. I'm not mad about it."

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The girl seems to fold in on herself.

"Oh. Okay. I... wasn't really expecting the ritual to work for me in the first place. Nothing else does. So I wasn't really expecting to have a life after today anyway."

She manages to focus her eyes on Raafi. "They'll probably hunt you. Maybe you should murder me before you go. Might scare them enough to give you a head start. At least then... I'll be good for... something."

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"-no." There's a note of finality in it, for all that he's still speaking softly. "No, I'm not going to do that."

"You could come with me. I don't know what your wilderness is like but looking after two isn't much harder than looking after one, most places. Or we can stay here a while and figure it out." He kicks his feet, idly, thinking. "It mostly comes down to what you want to do. I can stay a month or so, at least, probably."

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The girl looks utterly horrified at the idea of living in the wilderness.

"I... have to finish the ritual. That's the only thing that really matters."

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"If it's really just some runes I don't think I'll mind. If they'll have any kind of magical effect I want to know about it, though."

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"I don't know. All other documented summons were of animals or magical beasts. Can't really ask them."

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"Mm. What kind of timeline are we on, I can cast a divination about it but I don't have the one I'd want to use prepared today. I suppose this is worth using a scroll on, if we need to."

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"Prepared? Scroll?" the girl repeats in confusion.

She shakes her head. "I.. don't think its a matter of timeline. They could probably call what's already happened a failure and kick me out tonight, just Professor Colbert is nicer than that."

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"Scrolls are a way of storing spells - I have some, but I won't have a way to get more unless I figure out how to get back. What's - how are they going to decide, do you think, whether this is good enough? What might affect that?"

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"I... think that if we leave this balcony without completing the ritual first, they expel me and... someone, the church probably, hunts you down and tries to execute you for... some religious-sounding crime."

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"Good thing I'm not much for civilization, if they're going to be like that about it. Okay, this sounds like it's worth the scroll. I'm going to need some space, here-" he slides to his feet and takes a black cloth from one of the pouches on his belt; when he spreads it on the floor, it shimmers slightly and turns into a pit leading to a rough stone room furnished with various kinds of storage and heavily cluttered with stuff, not just on the shelves and clothes rack but in baskets and bags on the ground.

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The girl stares in surprise. She's never seen one of those before. What element even is that sort of enchantment?

She peers down into it from above, not entering, but watching curiously to see what he does.

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"I'll show you around later, maybe. If this all works out all right."

He flies down into it, hovering slightly rather than picking his way through the mess, and examines one of the shelves where several long, round leather tubes are stacked. It takes a minute to find the one he's looking for, and he tucks it under his arm. "Is there anything else we might need to do in the next few hours? I don't like pulling this out when there are too many people around, I'd rather get things out now if I'm going to need them."

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"Um..."

She has to think about this, and she's not in a state to be thinking very clearly at the moment.

"After the summoning rituals are done, we're... not expected anywhere until tomorrow."

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"All right." He takes another moment to pocket some potions from another shelf - more than the pouch he's putting them in seems like it should hold, if she's watching closely enough to notice, it's not a very big pouch - and grabs a walking stick from where it's hanging on the wall, and then flies back out, landing neatly at the edge of the pit and putting it away before he does anything else. "This one takes a little longer, don't interrupt me until it's done or I might lose the spell." And he steps back a bit, takes the scroll out of its case, and begins to cast.

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She nods and tries not to fidget.

 

Raafi's divination works as well as can be hoped, and reveals to him that the runes in question will:

Amplify and reinforce any feelings of loyalty he feels toward this girl.

Imbue him with immense strength, speed, and skill should he take up a weapon in defense of her life or in pursuit of her goals. This second part is definitely not normal.

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He relays this, and: "I have to say I'm not thrilled with that."

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She wishes he would either agree or just shove her off this balcony and end it already. The waiting for him to decide is almost worse.

She simply nods.

Maybe if she were less of a failure she might be inclined to try to persuade him. But she has never been any good at speaking up in her own defense. He already has all the information he needs to make a decision.

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"Hey. I'm not going to let you die over this, all right? The mind-affecting stuff isn't great and I want to talk about it before we do anything, but that's all, okay?"

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Her gaze snaps up to meet his, a glimmer of hope on her face.

"O-okay? I'm... not sure what there is to talk about. That's more than I knew about the familiar bond, and I read. A lot. I, um, what do you want?"

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He sits crosslegged on the floor of the balcony and pats the ground beside him. "I want - to make sure you know what you're getting into, mostly. It seems like you have some ideas about how this is supposed to work, and - I'm a cleric, I have responsibilities already, I don't know that it'll work that way. We saw that already, a little - it's not just that I won't want to stay, permanently, it's that I can't, I lose my magic if I push that too hard. And that's probably not the only thing."

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"You, uh, what? That's not how magic works!"

For a moment she looks almost angry, then she drops down to sit with her legs folded outward, just going limp and dropping in place, all the fight going out of her.

"It doesn't matter anyway. I don't care that you're a heathen, that you'll probably get me excommunicated and I'll be helpless to stop you because I'm a failure in all aspects of my existence. Nothing you could ever do to me would be worse than... this."

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He puts an arm around her shoulders. "I don't think your magic is like anything I've heard of, either. We're going to have to see if we can figure out what happened, sometime. I don't have to talk about my god, anyway - I'll need something to say when people ask about my magic, but it doesn't have to be the truth if that'll get us in trouble. I think we'll be okay that way, probably."

"Tell me more about what's going on here?"

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For a long moment, she physically can't answer. His arm is around her. He's touching her. Don't react don't react don't react don't react for the love of Brimir don't react he might stop.

"...everyone is waiting," she says, squeezing inflection out of her voice. "I went last, and Professor Colbert can't dismiss the class until I either succeed or fail. The fact that you're a noble is probably the only reason the Professor feels he can justify this much leeway. I'm sorry. I don't know what you're asking."

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He doesn't stop.

"I don't think that's what I meant - maybe it is, I guess. You said nothing I can do would be worse than this, and I don't know what 'this' is. Seems like I might want to do something about it, whatever it is."

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