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Kellen

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Vel Anir
Kolvar Vayra

He hated this city.

Even more than Elbion, even more than Allira. This city, Vel Anir was the worst of them all. It was here that the nobles stepped on the lower classes. Where a prince could kill a peasant and find no charges pressed against them. In Vel Anir money meant nothing, no, it was nobility.

The blood in your veins.

There was only one way to move up in this city, and it was through the use of a blade...or the kindness of those who knew none. Lips thinned as he watched the street outside the inn, skulking by the Window as a Dreadlord, one of Vel Anir's mages, walked by with a retinue of a dozen soldiers.

He hated this city, so why was he here?

Trade of course. No matter how much he disliked this place, there was money to be made. Vel Anir was known for it's forging, some of the best weapons in the world...made by Human hands anyway.

Kellen had a contact here, a man who stole a whole stock of weapons from one of the local armories. Now he just had to wait for the greedy bastard to arrive.
 

Kolvar Vayra

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The heir to house Launa had been complaining again. This time it was something about a possible stolen possession, a necklace he had sworn to give to his betrothed on their wedding night. Except it had gone missing. And Kolvar was sent to deal with it.


The elf rubbed the hidden tips of his ears. The pins were beginning to hurt. Kolvar sighed and pulled the hood of his cloak over his head. It had been a long and exhausting day. The heir to house Launa was named Ulric and he was a very impatient man. The most impatient, if Kolvar said so himself, and that was impressive considering how impatient the city of Vel Anir was. Kolvar was sent by his general to handle the situation by telling him there was a search out for his precious necklace and then getting the hell out of the Launa mansion. Kolvar had done as he was told, but barely managed to leave unscathed as the young heir had nearly sent a dinner knife through his hand.


The sun was starting to set and the sky was turning shades of red and orange. Kolvar nearly stopped in his tracks to watch the colors change, but he wanted to continue onwards and get back to the Inn. Damn the Launa mansion for being so far away from the base. So Kolvar continued walking.


The inn wrapped around the entire street, it seemed, as there was a bridge connecting the inn from one side of the street to the other. Kolvar made it to his room after what seemed an eternity of struggling through crowds of drunken peasants in the front room. There must have been some special occasion. It was rare for peasants to be celebrating.


As Kolvar entered his room, he unbuckled the sheath from around his waist and set it and the sword that lay resting in it by the door. He kept his knife hidden in his trousers, however, the fear of someone discovering his identity constantly lurking in the back of his mind. He pulled one of the chairs in the room to the window and sat in it, opening the glass doors to breath the fresh air. The sky was dark now, and full of stars. A lovely sight.


Kolvar was lost in the stars for quite some time, wondering what it would be like to get out of this damned city, before his eye caught a peculiar man stalking the streets, keeping close to the wall of the inn on the opposite side of the road. Kolvar squinted, trying to make out the man's features, but all he could see was a large bag slung over his shoulder. And the glint of a sword poking out from beneath it.


Kolvar knew those swords when he saw them. He wielded one himself. The only place a sword like that could have come from was the Vel Anir armories. The elvish man stood abruptly and shut the windows. He grabbed his sword and began buckling it to his waist as he exited the room, heading down the hallway with determination being the only thing on his mind.
 
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Kellen

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Kellen waited another fifteen minutes, his lips thinning with every second that passed.

Then finally the middle-man appeared within the tavern. He tensed, watching the young man as he walked through the tavern and over to the bar. There he rapped his knuckles thrice against the heavy wooden countertop, his expression completely neutral and unreadable.

A smile touched Kellen's face.

They had set up that signal weeks ago via letter, a sign that his contact had made it out of the armory and was now headed to the meeting spot.

It was a good way of ensuring everything was kept at arms length. Things needed to be secure, especially here in Vel Anir where you could be sentenced to death for taking the wrong step. Another reason why he hated this place so much. Too many rules, too many soldiers not willing to take a bribe.

Made for bad business.

Without any further hesitation Kellen pulled himself out of his seat, grabbing the small knife he kept on his belt and tossing down a few Allirian Coppers for payment.

Then quickly he exited the tavern and headed towards the rendezvous.
 

Kolvar Vayra

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Kolvar had watched the man with the swords enter the tavern. Again, it was crowded. There were too many drinks. The man went up to the bar for a split second, then left. Kolvar wouldn't have thought anything of it if it weren't for the tall man who stood up and followed in the same direction only seconds later.


This new man had an ominous presence around him. Something that made Kolvar's instincts shout to stay away, for he knew dangerous men when he saw them. He pulled his hood up, but his actions were interrupted by a drunken woman wearing clothing much too revealing when she slung her body across him.


"You should stay for a drink, darling!" she exclaimed, shoving her mug into his chest, "I can tell you have places to be. Just forget about wherever you need to go."


Kolvar's eyes never left the man's trail, but he turned around a corner and out of sight. The elf mumbled a curse, then took the mug from the woman and, despite his hatred for alcohol, took a swig before shoving it right back into the woman's hands. He pushed away from her, successfully securing his hood over his head this time, and ignored her shocked expression. Then he turned the corner where he had seen the man go.
 
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Kellen

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They moved fast now.

Kellen wasn't aware of the elf watching him, mostly because who the hell expected an Elf in Vel Anir? This place was as xenophobic as could be found in Arethil. The Criminal Underlord never expected to see someone like that here.

So he kept moving.

An eye was kept out for the Anirian Guard, for the black clad Dreadlords, but not for an elf. Eventually he took three turns to the left, heading down an alleyway and shifting just one more time to find himself standing directly opposite the man clutching a large bag of swords.

As Kellen turned the man seemed to jump, grasping one of the blades and immediately pulling it free. Kellen's eyebrows shot up, lips thinning. "Gods man!"

The underlord whispered.

"It's just me." He motioned to his face. "Relax."
 
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Kolvar Vayra

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The man seemed to keep going further and further into the darkness of the alley. Kolvar had been down these streets before, too many times. Memories of sleepless nights filled with the terror of what lurked around the corner slipped back into his conscious. Kolvar put his back to the stone wall and shook his head, trying desperately to rid himself of his unwanted memories.


But the man kept moving. So Kolvar did too.


He took another turn, deeper into the alley. Kolvar saw the stack of wheat bags he slept on some fifty years ago behind a cheap bakery. He was awoken that night by a man with a knife. Kolvar forced the memory down before it could go any further.


The elf's breathing grew heavier by the second, the pain of his childhood seeping into his mind like acid. Just as Kolvar was beginning to contemplate turning around and leaving the man to carry out his crime, he came to a stop. The man with the bag of swords was standing across from the tall man from the tavern. He couldn't catch their conversation while trying to calm himself down.


Once he had steadied his breathing, Kolvar drew his sword as quietly as he could and slipped behind the tall man, resting the blade against his neck.


"I wouldn't take another step if I were you."
 
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Kellen

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Kellen suddenly froze in place, his fingers tightening at his side.

Anirian Guard?

No. Not alone, not this way. Anyone from the Guard would have gathered up a dozen or more soldiers and set them in an ambush after the transaction had gone down. A Dreadlord? Most certainly not, Kellen would have felt someone like that a mile away.

The thought made him note something.

It was a feeling, the barest hint of something. Not enough for him to take from, no, too untrained, too raw. It was there though, magic. His lips thinned, mind jostling with half a dozen different possibilities of just who this could be. A Dreadlord's apprentice perhaps?

They existed through Vel Anir, though like their masters they tended to be blood-hungry bastards who only wanted to kill, not ask questions. "Easy."

Kellen said finally.

"We're only talking here." It was a bold lie, but why not try it?
 

Kolvar Vayra

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So the man was a terrible liar. He hadn't even really tried. Not that any lie would have worked on Kolvar as he was familiar with the stolen swords. He pressed his blade closer to the man's throat and scoffed.


"I am no fool," Kolvar began, "Those swords belong to the Vel Anir armories. And I don't recall either of your faces."


Both of the men were still, a mystic aura permeating off of them. Kolvar was cautious of them as his current mental state was wavering from the surge of old and unwanted memories. Yet he held his sword firmly. Then, mustering up all the possible magical ability he could in his present state, Kolvar channeled the slight breeze in the air and centered it around the strap of the bag the first man had stolen. Shifting all his attention to his spell, he slung the bag off the man's shoulder, and while there was a struggle, the bag eventually fell into his outstretched hand.


He turned his attention back to his sword, "As a soldier of Vel Anir, I am going to have to take you both in."
 

Kellen

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"So you know everyone in this city?" Unlikely, hell, impossible.

Vel Anir was a city of thousands.

This man was lying as much as he was, or rather, he was trying to move forward on what was little more than a hunch. Kellen couldn't really help but respect the man for something like that. It was all part of the game, all part of playing one side or the other.

"Or more likely." Kellen began. "You have this wrong. My friend here purchased those swords and we were just having a conversation."

He tried to sow doubt. "Do you really want to try and test that theory with your superiors? They won't be pleased with you harassing merchants bringing business to this city."
 

Kolvar Vayra

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Kolvar couldn’t help but laugh, “You really think I’m going to belive that story?” He rolled his shoulders back, “Why would you both be hiding in the alley to exchange these swords? If he bought them, then it wouldn’t be illegal.”


The man was trying to figure him out. No way in hell was Kolvar going to let that happen. He had concealed his identity for this long, no one but his most trusted comrade would find out about the ears that lay hidden behind his fiery red hair.


“The commander would never let anyone waltz into an armory and just buy some swords,” Kolvar started again, “There are blacksmiths for that. Now, I’ll say it one more time.”


Kolvar adjusted his grip on his sword, for his arm was growing tired.


“Come with me or I’ll leave your bodies to rot in the street.”
 
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Kellen

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Well, he tried.

Kellen had hopped to avoid any sort of violence during all of this, but it appeared that wasn't going to be possible. The man was intent on not dropping this, and truth be told he couldn't really blame him. Some men were just loyal. Foolishly so of course, especially here, but still.

It was respectable.

He was glad though that the man had placed the sword against his neck. It was sharp enough to cut, and hell he could probably even gash him a bit, but there was no way he'd manage a full swing, not before Kellen could get away.

Letting out a sigh, Kellen acted as though he was about to take a step back and closer to the man, his body language contrite.

Then suddenly a switch was flipped. The Underlord took a step to the side and let himself fall to the ground, twisting and attempting to kick the Guardsmen's legs out from underneath him before his sword could land.
 

Kolvar Vayra

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The man ducked and Kolvar swang. But his blade never touched skin. The shock if how quick his enemy was paralyzed him momentarily, but he couldn’t regain his bearing before his feet were kicked out from under him.


Kolvar landed hard on the stone street, his sword falling from his grasp. He never did have the best grip on it; his knife was were his talent lied. So he neglected his sword and reached for his knife from a hidden pocket in his sleeve. He lunged for the man as he began to stand up, but his acquaintance grabbed his by his neck and dragged him backwards, toward the wall of the alley.


Kolvar could hear his capturer laugh as his grip on the elf’s nevk grew tighter. Kolvar wrapped a hand around the man’s arm and pulled, serving as a distraction as he drove his knofe through fabric and then through skin. He knew his grip on his knife never faultered. It hand landed in the man’s side and he let go of Kolvar, clutching his wound as blood slipped gracefully through his hands. Kolvar had been put in this position too many times to not know how to handle it.


Going back to retrieve his sword, he approached the tall man one more time, his voice raspy, “You’re coming with me whether you like it or not.”
 
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Kellen

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Kellen raised his hands once more, though he'd taken half a dozen steps back as the two other men had grappled with one another. His foot now lay just besides one of the swords.

The Underlord wasn't much of a swordsman, he preferred a dagger or a knife. He doubted that he could hold his own against an Anirian Guardsmen. They were well trained soldiers, taking their teachings seriously and working hard. It wasn't difficult for him to admit that.

You had to respect your foe, otherwise you were doomed to fail.

Still, there was a way for him to win this. "Now now."

Kellen twitched his fingers. He'd thought there wasn't enough magic in the boy...he'd thought he was too weak, but he'd thrown out a blast of air earlier and maybe...just maybe.

Slowly Kolvar would begin to feel an odd sort of tug. It wasn't a physical pull, but rather a magical one. Kellen dragged at his innate ability to perform magic, pulling at him to try to leech away just a bit of his power.
 

Kolvar Vayra

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His blade pointed at the stranger's chest, Kolvar quickened his pace and began to pursue the man in front of him. The elf felt the air around him as he ran toward the man. He allowed the air to focus around his feet, propelling him slightly. Kolvar was impressed with how far his magical abilities have come.


He used to only be able to conjure a slight rustling of the wind through his hair, but now he could push entire objects and manipulate them how he wished. So that's what he did.


Kolvar was certainly tired. It had been a long day. But he couldn't stop. Focusing the entirety of his energy on the bag of swords behind him, the elf lifted each one out of the bag and pointed it toward the strange man. Kolvar could feel his energy completely deplete as he brought the swords flying toward the man. He was amazed he even had the ability to do so.


Kolvar took one last lunge at the man as he brought the flying swords down and thrusted his own blade in the man's direction.


That's when he felt it. The air around him felt strange. He felt like he was no longer in control of the swords in the air, no longer in control of his own body. His limbs were no longer his and he lost control of the swords no matter how hard he reached out for them. Kolvar grunted in pain, the snap between him and his magic sending a slight shock through his veins.


He dropped to the ground, his limbs too weak to move from the loss of magic and energy. He looked up at the man whose magic felt too powerful.


"Dammit."
 
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Kellen

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Kellen was slightly surprised by the result of all of this, mostly because he didn't quite understand his own abilities.

They were there, he could use them...but control was often fleeting. The man's abilities now lay within him, but the truth of it was that Kellen had absolutely no idea how to actually use them. In this occasion simply leeching off the man had been enough, but it appeared mostly because he'd over taxed himself.

Lucky break really.

Still, there was absolutely no need to let him know that.

The blades came crashing to the ground as the air wrapped around them fell away, the other man went next. Even with a terribly loud clatter ringing out around him Kellen managed to keep his face a perfect mask. He waited a moment, glancing around for a moment, then he took a step forward.

"I don't want to kill you." He began slowly. "We're the same, you and I."

Slowly the Underlord looked at the man, squatting down besides him on the ground. "You're no noble. I know you Anirians send your Nobles into the military, but you...you're no noble."

"You're just like me." He mused. "A commoner. Peasant. Someone from the streets, right?"
 
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Kolvar Vayra

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The man's words echoed through Kolvar's head. "Just like him." Of course he was. No matter how hard he had tried to conceal his identity, this was inevitable. His ears were still hidden, but the pins holding them to his hair were beginning to loosen. He was lucky the man hadn't seen them.


A peasant. That's all Kolvar ever really was. That's all he was ever meant to be. His years of hiding in the very alleyway he lay in now would never leave him. His every day was haunted by his memories and here this man was, telling him they would always be there, reminding him of what he truly was. An outcast. Forbidden. Unwanted.


An elf.


He would never be accepted in this city. He would never be accepted by anyone. All the evils that lay hidden in this alley would be who made he who he was. They were the closest to family he had experienced since his mother left this cruel world.


Kolvar mustered up the last bit of strength he had left to lift him arms and push off of the ground. He crawled to his knees and looked the man in the eyes. He laughed. It came out throaty and harsh. It made him cough. He spit some blood onto the stone street. His attempt at magic must have taken a much bigger toll on him than he thought.


The elf wiped the blood from his mouth. He might as well address who it is he truly was. It wouldn't change anything.


"Damn right," he spat, "I am exactly like you."
 
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Kellen

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He could practically see shame in the man's eyes. Was Vel Anir that bad? He knew they were more harsh than Alliria, but...lips thinned for a moment as Kellen eyed the guard.

Self hating peasantry.

It was a staple of almost every big city. Nobles and Merchants alike enjoyed preaching about 'social status', and some places claimed that anyone could be anything as long as they tried. It was a lie of course, one told by the upper classes in order to keep stability.

Kellen had learned that long ago. It was why he'd turned to crime, why he had decided to forgo society and do what got him paid. Sure it could throw him on the gallows one day, but if he enjoyed his life...what did that matter?

"There are worse things." His voice was soft now, the smile disappearing from his face.

Kellen knew full well the pain of being stuck somewhere, of being forced into something you didn't want to do. Did this man even want to be a soldier? Did he want to fight? There was no way of knowing without asking, but a question like that didn't seem like something he could ask.

For a moment he paused, then slowly he began again. "It grows tiresome though, doesn't it?"

Kellen looked almost forlorn.

"Always listening to them." He glanced up at Vel Anir's citadel, the palace that towered over everything. "Always following their lead, fighting their wars, groveling at their feet."
 
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Kolvar Vayra

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Kolvar scoffed, "What do you know?"


He grabbed his sword from beside him and used it to prop himself up. Gripping the blade to support himself, Kolvar faced the man, courage in his eyes.


"I have no choice!"


He was angry. No, he never once enjoyed being part of a military that would hang him in the streets once they discovered he was an elf. There was only ever one person who treated him with decency, and he was a foreigner himself. The military brought him comfort. It brought him a bed and clean clothes. It brought him food and fresh air. All the alley gave him was fear and pain. Kolvar was thankful for his newly found comfort, but the military was just as shit as the alley in its own way.


He hated the people of Vel Anir. He always will. But he needed them.


"I owe everything to the military. I need them to keep me alive," Kolvar glared at the man, "Of course I hate fighting for the people that threw me in the streets, who made me into a man I hate being. But I have no choice."


His emotions were taking over him and he knew it, but at this point he was too tired to care. He had to return to camp tomorrow morning, but he began to think that if he were to die in this alley, he wouldn't mind that much.


"If you're going to kill me, now's your chance."
 
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Kellen

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"There's always a choice." Kellen said as he looked around the alleyway, pity still in his eyes.

He understood the other man's struggle, knew where he came from, the feelings of immense frustration that must have weighed on him at all times. Kellen knew it well. He'd been the same once, before he'd taken the extra step, before he'd pushed his own fate forward.

"Always a different road." He frowned. "Not just the ones they've built."

It was obvious whom he was referring to. "They tell you there's only one way. They tell you that you have to serve. That if you're faithful and do your work you'll have a shot. That you can be something more than you are."

He glanced towards that palace once more.

"It's not true though, none of it is." A smile touched his lips. "They want to keep you down here in the pitwith the rest of us."

Kellen looked back down directly at Kolvar. "But one day they'll look down and realize the pit is full. That there's no more room, and those below are making their way out."

His words were cryptic, but intent clear. "Whether they want it or not."

Rebellion.

Revolt.

Whatever you wanted to call it. Kellen was only a criminal, he was only an Underlord in Alliria, but that didn't matter. It was another stepping stone, another path that forged into something much greater. Eventually he would get what he really wanted.
 
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Kolvar Vayra

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Kolvar rolled his shoulders back, attempting to work out the newly formed kinks in his muscles. He was starting to regain some control of his body, but the impending fatigue that rang in his ears kept him from moving.


"So what?" he tried, "You want to to become some crime lord? In Vel Anir?"


He couldn't help but chuckle, "There is more this hell hole has to offer and as long as they don't know anything about me and who I am or what abomination I came from, I will be perfectly fine."


Kolvar looked out at the stars and let the sounds of people drinking late at night fill his senses, "All that matters in this world is being able to hold for your own. I'm doing fine."


It was time that he had head back to the inn; he couldn't keep this act up much longer, "I suggest that you pretend none of this happened and let me clean it up."


The colors in the alley had all started to blend together. Kolvar couldn't distinguish one brick from the next. A blackness began to creep into his line of vision, but the man was ever so present.


"I will allow you to leave."


Something felt wrong. The anxieties in his mind were taking over and a weight unlike any he had felt in a long time pressed down on his chest, squeezing at his innards. Kolvar's breathing sped up.


Something felt wrong.


In an instant he felt like the lost child he once was, hiding in the shadows of this very alley. The walls he had put up to keep every memory out crumbled. The glue holding each brick together cracked and the bricks began to fall. His memories overtook him. With one last glance, he tried to reach out to the man.


"Please," he hated how much he sounded like the beggar he chose to forget, "Go."


And then he crumbled just like his wall. His grip on his sword loosened and his legs gave out. Kolvar fell to the stone floor.
 
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Kellen

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Kellen raised an eyebrow as the man collapsed onto the ground, giving him no time to explain his ambitions.

He supposed it was probably for the best. Su had always told him that he tended to ramble, especially when he felt passionate about the subject. It would be the death if him if the wrong guard caught him.

Luckily, it seemed he hadn't run across that particular guard just yet.

No, instead he found this one. He had called himself an abomination, an odd mark even for a peasant in Vel Anir. Usually they were the loyalist type, those that couldn't even see what was in their path. A frown touched the criminal underlord's lips, his eyes narrowing as he squatted besides the unconscious man.

"More to you, is there?" He mused, glancing to the scattered swords around him and his dead business partner.

The deal was done, he supposed, but perhaps his business in Vel Anir was yet to be concluded.

Kellen smelled opportunity here, and with no small amount of effort he reached down and grabbed the other man. The magic he had stolen helped a bit, allowing him to lift the man as he began to drag him back to a safehouse.
 
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Kolvar Vayra

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His dreams were filled with the stone streets he feared so much. Kolvar was young again, just a child afraid of the world, and he was running. He'd go faster and faster but with each turn he made, the alley only seemed to get bigger and bigger. His breath grew heavy and his legs grew tired. He made one last turn, only to reach a dead end.


Tears streamed down his face as he dropped to his knees. For a moment he pleaded to his God of air, Caeli, for his life. He prayed for him to lift him out of this alley and fly him far away, but his knees stayed planted on the stone streets. The footsteps that pursued him got louder, booming in his ears. It was in that very moment Kolvar lost his faith in Caeli. The stories his mother told him of his God grew dark.


Just another memory.


The man had caught up to him, hovering over his small frame. Kolvar was only ten. Only a child. This couldn't be happening to him. As the man reached down and grabbed his long, red hair, he gave a sob. Then, when the man gave a sharp tug, yanking him backward, Kolvar woke up.


He sat up with intensity and gave a hiss. A sharp pain shot through his head, wrapping around his skull.


"Dammit," Kolvar whispered, massaging his temples.


He was in some sort of safehouse. The bed was slightly uncomfortable, but got the job done. There was a bedside table with an empty mug and a book. Kolvar didn't bother to read the title. His sword rested by the door along with his coat and boots. Someone had helped him into bed.


Panic. Kolvar's hands shot up to his ears, hoping the pins had stayed in. The pin in his right ear had popped out, but he found the pin resting on the pillow. It must have fell out while he was sleeping. Kolvar sighed and took out the left pin, rubbing at the tips of his ears. Wearing pins all the time hurt.


He felt around the holes in the tips of his ears. They filled him with regret. An ever present reminder that he could never be a real elf. Kolvar heard the creaking from outside his room, but refused to cover his ears. They hurt too much.


Kolvar heaved a heavy sigh and held his head in his hands.
 
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Kellen

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The safehouse was located on the outskirts of Vel Anir, not inside the walls, but close enough to several paths through them...or under them.

It wasn't Kellen's safehouse of course, no, he had no real assets here. What he did have though were friends. Anyone who hated the nobility could make fairly easy friend in Vel Anir if they tried, and Kellen had always been more on the personable side when it came to folk.

"He's a guardsmen."

A voice called out through the small hallways joining the Elf's room. "Yes, yes he is, though not the sort one would expect."

Wry amusement seemed to float through Kellen's voice.

"Besides, there are guardsmen in your company too." Lips thinned. "I've seen them."

The other voice seemed to grow quiet at that, not loud enough for Kolvar to actually hear. Kellen said something back, and eventually the sound of a laugh could be heard as the other man's fears were apparently quieted.
 

Kolvar Vayra

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Voices sounded from outside the door. One Kolvar recognized as the man from the alley. The other was foreign. With yet another sigh, the elf gave his ears one alst massage and picked up the pins, threading them back through the holes in his ears and securing them in his hair. He couldn't check his reflection, but by patting down his hair, he could tell his ears were hidden.


Slowly, Kolvar swung his feet over the side of the bed. Even just that action made him realize how exhausted her was. Every muscle in his body was sore and when he reached for his magic, he couldn't conjure up even the slightest lift from the air around him.


Kolvar pushed off on the bed and slid from the sheets, his feet delicately touching the floor. When he stood, his head began to spin. He grabbed onto the bedside table to secure his footing and when he thought he was balanced, he took a step forward only to fall to the ground.


His knees banged against the wooden floor hard. Kolvar was sure there would be a bruise within the next few minutes if there wasn't one there already. He realized just how numb his body had become from the past night's encounter. He tried to push himself up, but he'd already made too much noise.


"Dammit," he muttered, trying desperately to pick himself back up.
 
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Kellen

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The noise was obvious to anyone inside the building, and a few moments after Kolvar fell to the floor Kellen appeared in the doorway.

There was a smug smile on his face, now more easily seen in the light. "How the might have fallen."

He chuckled dryly, clearly not really meaning it. What the man had said in the alleyway had already denoted him as nothing more than Kellen himself was. Less so, really.

"Probably shouldn't be out of bed." He advised. "Exhaustion can be...harsh."

Kellen knew what effect his abilities had on mages.

Once, back in Alliria, he had accidentally killed a man by taking too much of his power. The act had not been on purpose, but it had happened nonetheless. It was part of why he'd had to learn to control it, why he'd taken such care in traveling through Vel Anir.

Draw from a Dreadlord and he would be dead in a heartbeat.