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Aug 05, 2020 9:25 PM
a Raafi is summoned to Halkegenia
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"...this is my not knowing if I've succeeded or failed. The only thing you can do about it is let me finish the ritual or... not."

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"Ah. " He gives her a gentle squeeze. "I think that's a decision we should make together, since it has such permanent effects for both of us. Not just whether it's going to happen - I'm pretty sure it is, at this point - but how, and how things are going to work afterward. And I want to talk about it now, while I'm still in my right mind. It's not - I understand that they'll be upset. But this isn't something to rush into, even if they are. We can figure out later what to do about that part."

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She shudders uncontrollably at 'pretty sure it is'.

She gulps. "I'll... continue failing all my magic classes but also have to hide behind my family name while you travel around getting me in legal trouble?"

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"I was imagining I'd stay here for a while, first. Long enough to figure out how to avoid the legal trouble, at least."

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"That would... be good," she says meekly. "I'd... provide you with anything you asked for."

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"Don't worry about it; I don't need much. I do want to know what things will be like, though - what I'll be doing all day, what you'll be doing all day."

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"You wouldn't... I mean, I think if I tried to order you around you'd just laugh at me? So... you could just... be around. Follow me to classes. Come sit with me at dinner. Sleep-" her voice cuts off with a strangled squeak.

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"Indoors, preferably, but I'll make do if not. It's not a problem, I spend enough time on the road anyway, I'm used to it."

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"Yes. Indoors. It is customary for the familiar to sleep in the student's dorm room with them. For both the law and propriety, it doesn't matter that you're human." She is doing the crushed-inflection thing again.

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"I see. We can get a screen or something."

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"If you like."

 

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"Um. What else?"

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"On my side - I do devotions every morning, around sunrise, usually just before it. I like to do them walking but it's not strictly necessary. Takes an hour; I don't mind company but I don't expect you to join me, and certainly not every day. I don't get my magic for the day if I don't do them, though it isn't a problem other than that if I skip a day here or there. Fharlanghn expects me to help anyone who asks for it with travel; that'll lose me my clerichood entirely if I don't - I don't have to go to ridiculous lengths or anything but I can't just ignore them, I have to put an effort in if they need me to. At home people would recognize me as Fharlanghn's cleric," he pats the wooden amulet he's wearing around his neck, "and know to ask; it might not come up here at all. And I can't stay in one place too long - the rules around that are a little complicated, it has to do with my state of mind about it, but even doing everything exactly right, the limit is a year. Not that I'll want to stay anyplace nearly that long, I generally get antsy after a few months even if I'm otherwise happy. Don't - try to stop me from going, that won't end well for anyone."

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She nods solemnly. "I understand."

Well, she thinks she understood all of that. That was a lot of words and her brain is kind of runny right now.

She takes a breath. "I think the most important thing for you to understand is that, legally speaking, my familiar is me. If you commit a crime, I am the one who will be punished. And... there really is nothing I can do about that. My only recourse would be to overpower you directly, which... isn't a concern for you, since I'm a useless weakling and a failure as a mage."

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This gets her another squeeze. "I'm not in the habit of committing crimes, I think we'll be okay. They'll be able to figure out that I'm someone's familiar even if you aren't there?"

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Don't react don't react don't react.

"The r-runes," she reminds him. "You could maybe hide them? But also, my family is... well-known. And my entire class knows about you."

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"I'll want them under my shirt, if we have any choice about it at all. And - I guess I stand out a little ethnically, here, but I wouldn't expect this to be anyone's first guess about where a foreigner is from, if that's all they know about me."

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"O-okay."

She manages to meet his eyes, and tentatively picks up her wand.

"...does that mean...?"

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"I think so," he nods. "There's more that I want to know but I don't think any of it could change my mind. -I suppose it might not go without saying that it'd be rude to try to make me more loyal than whatever the runes do by themselves. I'm - sort of assuming that we'll end up with some kind of working relationship in any case, but this is already moving very quickly, it won't help us for it to go faster than it has to. But - I'll run, I think, if you try it. It's not a reason to wait."

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"We... already know that I can't actually stop you from leaving..."

She takes a deep, bracing breath.

She doesn't stand up, just shifts up onto her knees and scoots around to face Raafi where he's sitting. She hesitates.

"So, um, I just have to chant the last stanza, and then, um, kiss you."

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"All right."

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She is blushing again, big time.

She raises her wand, putting the tip to his chest. Magic stirs in the air.

"My name is Scyelen La Rafale de La Vallière. Pentagon of the five elemental powers! Bless this man and bind him as my familiar!"

And with that she lurches forward and presses her lips to his. It is only half a second later that it occurs to her that, technically, she didn't need to kiss him on the lips.

For Raafi, the kiss detonates like a lightning strike. A lightning strike that races from his lips and from his chest, down his right arm, to the back of his right hand. For a couple of seconds, it feels like a literal branding iron is pressed to his skin.

When the pain fades, a short series of angular silver lines stretch across the back of his right hand.

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He shouts, when the pain hits, and reflexively tries to teleport away, but it's too much; he can't hold the spell. He pitches over, instead, curling in on himself, breathing heavily for several seconds even after it passes and then giving a confused, disbelieving whimper.

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Scyelen yelps as well. She was not expecting that!

She panics a little, "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm the worst that wasn't supposed to hurt I'm sorry!"

But... she did it. The runes exist (where they exist gets a look of mild dismay, she couldn't even do that right) but he's her familiar. Her life isn't over. She lurches forward and hugs him.

 

On reflection, he can now speak the local language without translation magic.

Also, the loyalty effect was clearly designed for unintelligent animals and is barely affecting him.

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He tenses when she hugs him, but only for a moment, and then he shifts closer. He's slow to uncurl, moving like he expects it to hurt when he does, and trembling, gently. "It's - it's all right. I'm okay." He doesn't sound very okay but he does sound sure of himself about it. "Just - few minutes."

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