Private Tales A Revival

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer


Remains of a Man
Character Biography
His breath came in sharp gasps, glassy eyes flicking open as his lungs struggled to fill themselves with the stagnant air of the castle. He felt the individual stones of the ground brushing the rough, grimy skin of his cheek as he struggled to move, shifting his weight back and forth in a desperate desire to rise from the cold floor beneath him. Where was he? Why had he come here? All of those memories lie swirling in flux within the cavernous recesses of his addled mind as he recovers from what he could only assume was yet another bout of his consciousness giving way to that silent killer that spread it's filthy roots inside of him further and further with every passing dawn.


Janus Carrux had once been known as perhaps the most prodigious mind-mage in all of Arethil, having come from humble beginnings of being raised in a city of slavery to being appointed one of the three heads of Trastus Academy for Magic. Trastus was built as a settlement for aspiring mages, founded by Leorn Trastus in 348. Its crowning achievement, the Trastus Academy for Magic, was non-profit. It instructed any who were willing to adhere to its rules, and who demonstrated some level of talent. Having graduated at the very top of his own class, the then-young Janus had opted to remain in Trastus to instruct the next generation. The place was his home, and he wanted to see it thrive...

So then what had left him here, lying naked and cold on the floor of his bedroom, perched atop the tower which had once been under his protection, had been his responsibility to teach and mentor? He could scarcely find the torn scraps of the memories anymore; they seemed to flutter and evade him like butterflies.

No, even his own dwindling was not an excuse to forget his sins. The state of this place, the desolation of Trastus and it's academy... it was all his doing. Despite the disgust it brought to the back of his throat, he knew that it was also one of the only constant thoughts that allowed him to maintain hold of his dwindling mind. The guilt that wracked his body every moment of every day was a tether that held him to reality. Now, as the man rose to his feet at last upon wobbly legs, the sun began to peek through the stained glass window over his bed that he'd thrown himself from.


Collecting himself, he collected a small bit of clothing, a simple black linen shirt with trousers to match, before he threw the heavy black robe folded neatly at his bedside over his shoulders to wrap around his form. Even in it's current state, Janus, or Orion as he now referred to himself as saw to it that the very basic of maintenance and upkeep was maintained in Trastus. This place, cursed empty as it was, was his home.

It was all that he had.

Exiting his champers, he stepped out into the central room of the tower. The tower had several classrooms, his personal library, a laboratory, and of course Orion's chambers. The base of the tower was a circular sitting area, and the walls were lined carefully with a staircase that ran up the length of the tower, and one could make it outdoors at several points along the way up. There were three towers, entered through the room joining them at the bottom, known as The Hall of Reflection. Each of the three towers was under the instruction of one of the three Heads of Trastus. the Tower of Orion, was the leftmost and most well-maintained tower by far, even in comparison to the Hall of Reflection, which itself had seen better days; It was a large domed room, with walls of dull gray with a circular platform raised in its center. Lights that seemed to glow without fire hung from the walls, activating in response to Orion's presence. Bookshelves sat against the walls disheveled, tattered banners hung from the roof, and the air was dead silent. In addition to various small passageways snaking out in several other directions, there were three doors out of this main area behind said platform, each spread a distance apart enough from each other to make one assume they each led to one of the three towers.

Now, Orion opened the tall ebony doors leading out of the academy, the moss-covered stone streets and dilapidating homes and shops greeting his gaze along with the sunlight that had brought him home from slumber. He expected nothing different, nothing happened in Trastus anymore. Those who hadn't been here when his sin had been committed had heard of it from those who had, and word had spread about this place.

This town, this academy, was both a home and a prison. How very fitting.
Dusty boots, and an optimistic attitude. That's all Kaida needed in, well that and her vials, various trinkets, and all manner of various things in her backpack. She was far from home, but curiosity continued to bring her farther still. She was a dragon after all, what in this world did she have to fear?

The auburn haired girl had spotted towers on the distance, and much like a cat, she followed her piqued curiosity. A simple white tunic and soft leather breeches, and a backpack that should be much too large and hefty for her, she had everything she needed.

It took her longer than she would have liked to reach her destination, but she practically quivered with excitement as she reached a seemingly dilapidated town. Odd, yet absolutely exciting. She took a sniff, taking in any potential scents of people present. Nary, a smell but must and rot.

Nosy, and excited, she began poking her head in buildings. Odds and ends, but no real finds yet. She lost track of sense and time, her only focus on exploring. Kaida almost forgot about the spires she had originally spotted!

Today, something different was in the air.

Today, the death in the air was not concrete. The solidity of nothingness that permeated every inch of Trastus was being penetrated. Life, flickering through the air like a butterfly through a graveyard; beauty amongst the macabre. The man clad in black pursed his lips, glossy eyes turning solid for the briefest moments as he felt it in his bones. There were feet stepping against the stone-laid roads that now conceded to overgrowth. A visitor, the first in such a long time...

The miasma in his head became a twisted storm of emotions, rage, sadness, wonderment, joy. All of them mixed together in an incomprehensible stew that trickled through the valleys of his brain, sending his face into a twisted expression of apprehension that froze itself upon his features long before his boots carried him towards that crackle of electricity among the mire.

Even through his addled mind, Orion knew the abandoned city much more thoroughly than any outsider did, and it took little time until his cloudly blue eyes were roaming the young woman who eagerly tromped through his demesne. A walking head of auburn. Human, she seemed to be.

"You walk in Trastus, doomed and forgotten." The voice of the once esteemed instructor boomed with authority as he stepped forward from his intersection to begin walking towards her, the silver trinkets that hung from his belt clinking softly against one another. "There is no bounty to be gained here. No riches to be pilfered. The only thing you will accomplish by stepping foot near these towers is your own demise."

It wouldn't have been the first time bandits or looters had attempted to search the Academy for valuables. They never expected a powerful mage to reside within the walls, and it had become a regular part of his day to scour the town for unwanted occupancy.
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Digging through dusty tomes, and dirtier dishes may not be exciting to most, but their was learning to be had from these! No corner was left unexplored, too curious was the little dragon lass. She was absolutely covered in dirt and soot, but a determined grin never left her dimpled face.

So enthralled was she, that she didn't hear the footfalls of the man that approached her. Imagine surprising a dragon of all creatures! Kaida paused, sniffing the air as she turned to study the man that smelled as stale as the village.

"Trastus." She tested the name in her tongue, storing the information carefully. His voice was deep and full of authority, but she merely tilted her head at him as he approached. She carefully set down the dusty bowl she had been holding and waited for him to finish. Boy, he certainly was defensive of an old empty place!

"So, what you're telling me is that if I don't leave, I'll have you to deal with?" She tilted her head to the other side and put her hands in her hips. " I really don't think the ghosts of this place mind if I look around. I'm not hurting anything, just exploring. If there isn't anything of value, what's the big deal?"

Already suspicious eyes narrowed further at the youth's brazen insolence in the face of his decree. He'd thought, for a moment, that perhaps she was not like the others who dare cross the walls surrounding his tomb, that maybe she valued her life more than she did adventure and broadened horizons. Evidently, he'd been incorrect.

A mere smattering of his power would be enough to leave the ignorant child a black smear on the cobbled stone roads beneath them both. Nay, a smidge! If she so insisted on questioning him, then it was a black gloved hand that would raise beside his head, glimmering with humming magic, soft blue trails dancing between the tips of his fingers as he gazed at her small frame almost boredly.

"I've given you your opportunity. What happens next is your own responsibility, girl."

The attack, if that's what it was, never came. The strange man merely stood there, watching her, a look of confusion washing over his face as he heard the echoes again, saw the shadows dancing before him, embracing the woman as though she were one of them.

What's the big deal?

She's a child. Will you do it again, Janus?

Even now it rules you. You do not even try to resist.

The raven-haired man winced, the glossy cover of his eyes seeming to melt away as whatever darkness had such a ferocious grip on his mind and body relinquished him, at least for a moment. The swirling eddy of magic in his palm dissipated in the blink of an eye, and his hand dropped back to his side as he sneered down at the stranger.

"Your foolhardiness will end in your death someday, child. Look, but touch nothing. These ghosts have seen and felt enough without being disturbed further."

She felt no fear as she stared the strange man in the face, her eyes unblinking. He seemed to think he was big and scary, that she would turn tail like a whipped dog. It seemed he never got challenged, and a spark of interest traveled up her spine. Who was this guy? why was her here? Why was he so protective of dust and old memories? What was this place? It wasn't on any map, and she had never read of it anywhere. The gears in her brain turned and for a moment she hadddd even forgotten he was there.

The hum of magic brought her back, and her eyes lit up. He was threatening her, and yet she wanted to see what his magic did. She waited, unmoving as she continued to study the somber man. There was more to this, and she was determined to figure out what it was. His words would probably induced quite a different reaction to others, but she just nodded. "Okay, lemme see your magic then mister."

He dropped his hand and she could see confusion cross his face, he seemed far away all of a sudden. The hum of magic left the air, and she seemed to pout a little. "I'm not a child, I'm a dragon. I'm not scared of you or anyone else. I never intended to disturb anything, I put everything back the way it was." She gave a huff and narrowed her eyes at him. "What happened here anyways, I've never heard of this place."

Confusion within his own mind was an unfortunate reality that the Mage had become accustomed to, but it had been ages since another being had said something that had befuddled him even more. A Dragon? The child's claim surely was little more than fantasy: Not only had Dragons not been seen mainland in generations, but the idea of a fearsome beast choosing such a meager form was laughable.

He paid no mind to it, choosing to ignore the declaration as he turned his back to her, the black cloak draped across his shoulders billowing rather dramatically in the low wind. Despite his anger, her claim as to her intent rang with truthfulness, and while he disagreed with her presence, slaying her over curiousity would have made him every bit the monster he feared he was.

"What happened here anyways, I've never heard of this place."

The corner of his lips twitched as his eyes stared at the mossy stone beneath his boots. Yes, this place was but a faded memory now. How few must even know of the splendor it once held...? Through the miasma of madness in his mind, the pang of guilt and remorse rocked him, and his body swayed unsteadily before he turned towards the distant towers, looking up at them with nostalgia glassing over his eyes.

"An accident. One that cost the lives of many, and made those spared fear for their safety."

Slowly, he would tilt his head to look at her through one eye.

"Your name, child?"
Kaida had the distinct impression that the weird man before her did not believe her one teeny tiny bit. She shrugged to herself and wiped more dust off her hands and onto her worn trousers. There was something distinctly troubling about the man, but she wasn't afraid. Not much did scare her, she was a dragon remember. She was slightly disappointed he didn't show her his magic, but maybe he would later! She liked magic, it made her scales itch in the most delightful way.

He looked as if he were about to fall, so suddenly was he unsteady in front of her. "Hey! Are you alright?" It had barely left her lips when he righted himself. He seemed lost in a world she wasn't a part of, and she had a feeling there was more to him beneath the surface. The spark of curiosity thrived again, her eyes lit up with a new goal. She wanted to figure out this new mystery, and he was a part of it.

Questions bubbled in her mind, threatening to spill over as he tilted his head to look at her. She grinned as she met his one-eyed stare with her young and ambitious one. She thrust her thumb to her chest and proudly answered. "I'm Kaida, squire for the Knights of Anathaeum!" She stepped up to stand next to him, her chest heaving with the excitement of the mystery before her. She looked up at him, closing one eye to match him. "And what should I call you?"

She had more questions that demanded answers, and the man had no clue just what he had invited to his realm. Invited being a particularly strong word, that she wholeheartedly ignored. "I want to know everything"

Knights of Anathaeum? What did Arstenvale have its people snooping out so far for? If the order was anything like the last vestiges of his recollection told him, Orion wanted nothing to do with them. Even in the brief lucidity of sanity, her story befuddled him. The tall figure ignored her concern for his well-being, sullied and calloused hands brushing at his robe to free the flecks of dirt from its surface.

"You may call me Orion, Kaida. Though I expect you'll be departing when you realize there is nothing here for you."

She could want to know everything all she liked, but the Illusionist had no intention of answering those questions so willfully. Her curiosity came at the cost of decency, especially when she'd heard that lives had been lost. Orion turned, cloak billowing behind him as he made his way back towards those three towers that loomed in the distance.

"The details don't concern you." He sternly emphasized, though hearing her footsteps erratically following behind him, he would relent with some smidgen of information. "This place was a school of magic. This city was built to give the students and staff a place to live. Trastus Academy was meant for those not fortunate enough for the Colledge of Elbion, and not foolish enough to try Vel Anir as an alternative."

The way he spoke, it was almost as if he'd rehearsed his words. His eyes flicked in a rather bored manner to buildings they passed, to what looked to once be a large inn, and next to it, an herbal shop. "Instead of taking tuition from students, the school was funded by revenue from the town itself."

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Kaida was entranced as she followed the man, she drank in every detail and hung onto every word. The fact that he had relented and gave her the tiniest morsel of information made her want to swing the door wide open.

"How come it's not recorded anywhere? Atwater anywhere I've seen. It's not even on any maps." She continued to trail him, his scent becoming more familiar to her. "You smell old." It wasn't meant to be rude, but he smelled older than he looked, she wondered if he had been part of this town.

"If there isn't anything here, why do you stay?" Maybe there was treasure he didn't want to share, she only wanted to see..not steal. She hoarded books and maps, not gold and trinkets. Kaida hurried to keep up, tripping herself and falling to the ground in a heap. "I'm never gonna get used to human legs." She lamented loudly as she scrambled to get back to her feet.

The strange girl continued to insist upon outlandish remarks. Even if it was true that she was a Dragon in human form, her thoughts were disjointed and unorganized. Of course, even Orion was not so conceited to think he was one to judge on that front, but she made statements and asked questions before he'd had time to respond to the last ones.

It was frustrating, nearly infuriating.

But it reminded him.

It was nostalgic.

With patience unbecoming of a slowly maddening illusionist, Orion kept walking, waiting for her to finish all of the words she had held in her chest. Only when she seemed to quiet down did he stop, turning on the dusty heel of his knee-high boot to face her once again, black coat billowing rather dramatically behind him.

"If you wish to have answers, you must exhibit patience. Mine is not infinite, Kaida."

Slowly raising a hand, each finger adorned with silver rings, Orion points to the three towers in the distance.

"I was one of three Headmasters of the Academy. I maintain what is left so that it is not lost forever."

It was a partial truth. Orion knew there was more, knew that it was guilt that chained him to these empty streets. For it was he that had damned this place to its current state, and it was his responsibility to die here when the time came, in the mess of his own creation.

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Kaida's eyes widened as big as saucers as he turned to address her. He was so cool! No one back at home had this amount of flair a day mystery! It only made her more determined to stick around.

She looked down as he admonished her, but was quick to agree so she could hear more. "I understand! I'll try harder!" More than likely she would have to be reminded again, such was the nature of a youngster.

She exclaimed ad he spoke of the towers, a glint in her eye. "I knew you were old! I could smell it!" She was not trying to be offensive, childish exuberance taking hold.

She paused then, questions starting to burn on her tongue again. "Can I see them? Please?"

The more she spoke, the more it felt as though his students had never left. For one who claimed to be Dragon, a creature of considerable age, she was full of childlike curiosity and an appetite for knowledge. Despite the protective instincts so tightly wound into every fiber of his being, Orion could not deny some desire to sate that hunger, just as he had so long ago.

For now, the voices in his mind receded, and the ghost of a smile settled over his lips. He should not, and yet... he yearned to cling to this nostalgic feeling, if not only for a short while... There was a comfort here that warmed him in a way he hadn't felt in so long...

He nodded.

"Very well, Kaida. I will show you what remains of Trastus Academy."
Turning again, he set off for the towers, leading the strange girl down the empty streets towards the massive structure ahead of them as he began to tell her more, "The city was founded by Leorn Trastus in the year 348. The idea behind the city was that it could be a utopia for practitioners of magic, so long as they dedicated themselves to peace and abstained from violence or crime. The Academy itself was actually built last, the surrounding city wasn't finished and fully populated until 350, and the Academy opened proper in 356."

Pausing for a moment, Orion spread his arms to gesture to the rest of the abandoned buildings that surrounded them. His words sounded almost rehearsed as if he'd repeated them to thousands. "The buildings closest to the Academy were constructed first, serving as the homes for Mr. Trastus and his colleagues as they began their endeavor. As more and more people heard of his aspirations, they built outwards to accommodate the growing population"

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Kaida celebrated quietly as he agreed to tell her about Trastus and the academy. He was strange, an older than he appeared, but she felt no fear being in his presence. This was a treasure trove of new information, and she wanted to hear it all.

She dove into her pack as they walked, pulling out a book and bit of charcoal. She flipped to a blank page and began to write down what he was telling her in shorthand.
In her down time, she would transfer it with ink and quill, but this would have to suffice.

"So it acted like the Elbion college?" She continued to scribble her notes as quickly as possible, all while trying to keep her own feet from tripping her up.

When he finished, she continued to follow Jim, a question burning on her tongue that she hesitated to ask. Still, she couldn't help but blurt it out. "How come you don't just rebuild and bring people back?"

Orion tilted his head in acknowledgement of the comparison she'd made. It was apt, but there were fundamental differences. "The College is attended by paying tuition and is run by a Foard of many powerful men. There are many who cannot afford such an education, regardless of their innate talent. That is why Trastus was founded."

Orion again gestured to the shops that lined the streets around them, empty and barren. "We did not ask for money in return for enrollment into our Academy. Only that you worked to earn money for the city and did your part in our community. We believed that all who hold magical ability deserve to be instructed on their use, for both safety and quality of life."

At one point in time, it was something that Orion had believed incredibly strongly in. That money could be an obstacle in controlling one's innate abilities was a farce. he and his colleagues had truly wished to better the world with an abundance of knowledge, lessening the dangers of mages learning forbidden magicks through unsavory manners.

"In lieu of a large Foard, we instead opted for a trio of Headmasters and Headmistresses, each with equal power, so that no stalemates could be reached. Each Head was also responsible for a third of the classes being taught, as well as their instructors. The last heads of the Academy before it's dissolution were Seralina Trastus, Regulus Earningway, and Janus Carrux."

Then, at her final question, Orion stopped suddenly. Once again his muscles stiffened, his mind threatening to to crumble apart as the ugly reality of why he did no such thing was again brought to the forefront of his mind. He looks down, careful not to meet Kaida's gaze as he replies sternly.

"None would return if I did such a thing."

Kaida followed him closely, writing in her book as rapidly as he spoke. One day she'd have magic do the writing for her, but she was not yet advanced enough for such things, she was still technically a baby after all, at least to others of her kind.

With a flourish, she wrote down the names of the headmaster. It seemed however, her question upset him? He paused, and she could feel the tension in the air again. Not sensing the urgency to move on, she frowned.

"I don't see why not. No one even reme this place, I'm sure if you started to bring people back to learn here, it could go back to the glory it used to have. Besides, a lot of people could benefit from the kind of program you had here."

Orion shakes his head, dispelling any such thought of the idea. Kaida did not understand, nor did she need to, the gravity of what had happened in this city. Still, she would continue to pester and prod until she was satisfied with his answer. Crossing his arms across his chest and clutching the dusty black robe to his chest, he shivers with the resurging memories.

"There was an accident. People lost their lives. Now the name of Trastus is tainted and forgotten, shamed by those who once cherished and loved it." He would not lie to her, but he would neither tell her the entire truth. With luck, she would be satisfied by a cursory tour and depart to leave him to his insanity before she learned the hard way just how terribly he had failed, how twisted he'd become.

"I remain only because I do not wish for it to wither away into nothing. Because it is all that I have remaining. I would... appreciate it that you not suggest such an action further, Kaida."

Kaida tilted her head, more questions burning on her tongue. She wanted to know it all, and she knew he wasn't giving it to her. She fidgeted, trying to resist the urge to press him further.

She studied him for a long time as he finished speaking. He seemed so sad and lonely. She was lonely a lot too, she didn't fit in so well with the other squires, they didn't know how to act around her. It wasn't their fault though.

She pondered for a moment longer and then without further hesitation, she wrapped her little arms around the sad, strange man. She released him hastily, looking up at him with thoughtful pity. "You must be really sad losing all your friends, lonely too."

Then, just as a child, her attention was directed elsewhere. She chirped excitedly as she caught site of an apothecary, she'd definitely be visiting there! "Can I see the towers now?!" The whole interaction nearly forgotten in excitement.

Orion's body tightened as the girl unexpectedly embraced him, a surge of panic shooting across his brain. She was too close to him, far too close. He was a danger, and he could not be trusted so near another person. The memory of what he'd done and the sins he'd committed on those who had been so foolish as to trust him was remarkably fresh in his mind. Had Kaida not been so quick to release him, she would have found herself shoved away.

The man was grateful for the self-proclaimed Dragon's short attention span. Kaida's momentary fascination with one of the many abandoned businesses gave him a little time to collect himself, rebuilding the barriers keeping his more twisted thoughts at bay and slowing his quickened breath and drumming heartbeat.

This girl did not deserve to die, and he would not be the one to risk inflicting such a thing upon her.

His fingers clutched at his robes, willing the last bastions of his sanity to remain strong enough to venture forward, to fulfill the obligation he'd now made to this strange visitor. "Y-yes." He quickly stammered, moving onwards without waiting. "The Towers. Come."

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Kaida was oblivious to the emotions that had run through the man she probably should have been more wary of. Typically she could pick up emotion, but so full of questions and curiosity kept her from the important things in front of her.

She rarely talked to anyone, she didn't fit in much at home. She was clumsy and different. Other squires didn't know how to befriend her and knights just thought her a nuisance. Talkative and loud, not how many people were in Anathaeum.

The sun had started to dip, the clouds golden and lazy above them. A frown of disappointment found her, as she realized she wouldn't get to explore as thoroughly today as she wanted to. She was itching to scour the towers.

"I want to know everything about them! Thank you for bringing me, I'm very excited!" She swing her arms back and forth as she marched slightly behind him, her pep rarely gone no matter the circumstances.

Orion remained relatively quiet until they had finally reached the base of the Towers, two tall ebony doors leading into the Hall of Reflection pushed open slowly, creaking with age as they revealed the chaotic room behind them. Orion felt a pang of some sort; some tug of apprehension at bringing somebody to the Academy when it was in such severe disrepair; In keeping the Towers intact and unpilfered, he had succeeded. In keeping them pristine? He had failed.

The entrance hall had seen better days: It was a large domed room, with walls of chiseled gray stone brick, with a circular table placed in the center. Lanterns that seemed to glow with bright light without fire hung from the walls, activating in response to their presence. Bookshelves sat against the walls disheveled, books strewn about the floor and the table. Tattered banners hung from the roof, and the air around them was dead silent.

In addition to various small passageways snaking out in several other directions, there were three doors out of this main area behind said table, each spread a distance apart enough to make one assume they each led to one of the three towers. "The three towers are entered here, through the Hall of Reflection. Each of the three towers was under the instruction of one of the three Heads of Trastus. My tower, the Tower of Orion, is the leftmost tower."

Orion led her quietly to the base of the towers, and she could feel her excitement start to bubble again. She knew that this was important. It was important for her to add to the library at home, and it was important that he was letting her in at all.

She practically clung to him as he opened the large ebony door, the wood was beautiful despite the aging. She ran her fingers along it as she stepped inside, the scent of mildew and stale air was unmistakable. Still, the excited girl barely spent any time thinking about it.

She sneaked under his arm as he finished speaking, her hands itching to look at the book cases. "Is that where you stay mostly? In your tower? Are there important things you keep safe there? Can I see them?!" Again, she rattled off her questions, not pausing to wait for answers. Fingers skimming dusty tomes, seeing plenty that she had never laid eyes on before.

Once again, the self-proclaimed dragon began to spin off questions far more rapidly than he could answer them with any real accuracy. Even with his attempt to show a modicum of patience with the girl, it was difficult to pace himself when she was practically bursting at the seams with excitement and anticipation. Still, Orion had dealt with the youthful spirit before, if not long ago.

"So long as you show restraint..." Orion spoke slowly, diplomatically. "I won't deny you the privilege, but I must insist you not run off alone. Stay very close to me, Kaida." The books she perused would not be of any harm to her, but he couldn't say the same of many other things that remained within these walls. He walked to stand behind her as she combed over the rows of dusty times laid upon the shelves, crossing his arms and barely restraining a smirk of amusement at the sight.

"It was not simply where I lived. My tower contains all of the classrooms that were under my purview, as well as the facilities it was my duty to upkeep." In truth, he hadn't explored the other two towers at length until he was all that remained here. Now his knowledge of these halls was intimate, and his guardianship just as fierce. "As for safekeeping, this entire place is important to me. I'm extending you a considerable measure of trust in being here..."

Kaida paused her wandering fingers, a heat filling her cheeks. She had forgotten again; she couldn't help it! This was the most interesting thing she had found in a long time! She brushed her dusty hands on her pants, accepting the admonishment as he gave it. She turned to face him, ducking her head in apology. "I'll try harder to remember to slow down."

The dragonette listened closely as he explained what she had asked. He was slow and deliberate, making it well known that she indeed had to learn patience. She nodded her head solemnly as he told her to stay close, desperate to earn his favor. Not many had the ability to keep her reigned in, but she liked the mysterious man that was showing her a glimpse into an unknown past.

"I promise I will do my best to be respectful of you and your things. I know I get excited easily, but I promise I will do better." She gave him a doe eyed expression, expressing her inherent need to be accepted. "I have another question, can I ask?" She was oblivious to the fact that in asking if she could ask a question, she already did ask a question. She waited though, trying her best not to blurt things out again.

At the very least, she was making an effort. Orion recognized that, and lowered himself into one of the strewn-about seats that littered the messy hall. His chest and back ached, not from the trip, but from the flesh he'd seared to keep himself in line. Those runes would need to be redrawn soon, he feared, but they would last until he'd appeased this child.

"All that I ask is your effort, Kaida. I've worked very hard to keep this place safe, and there are things within these walls that could compromise that if you tamper with them, regardless of your intent." This had been a place where magic was taught, and while all magic faded eventually, many of the remnants within Trastus had not yet reached that inert status.

It both baffled and frustrated Orion, how only a short time with a young woman so reminiscent of a student had him smiling for the first time in years, how at peace his addled mind felt in the presence of a curious knowledge-seeker. That his panacea could be the one thing he could never truly have again, could never attain with a clean conscience, was the cruelest of jokes.

Kaida gently proposed another question, with far more eloquence than before. Nodding his head, Orion gestured for her to continue, crossing a leg over his knee and leaning forward to display the attention he now devoted to her.

"Go ahead, and then we will enter my Tower."