Private Tales Some Things Never Change

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Amos

The Afflicted
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Character Biography
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Vel Anir - The Gutters
Oralie

"We seen you walkin' through here with yer fancy clothes and shit, we know you got coin." The tough who spoke was probably no older than seventeen, but his face was marred with a dozen scars. The other two were no better than him, their clothes little more than rags and their demeanor as sour as a four month old grape. Only one of them had a knife, but that didn't matter much.

"Please, I don't want any trouble." Amos said, lifting his hands up into the air. "I swear, I don't have anything."

Fingers folded into his pockets, and he pulled them free. Showing they were empty. "I am just visiting my older teacher."

The boy who had spoken before stepped forward. Grabbing Amos angrily by the collar and shoving him back against the wall. He struck the hard brick, a cough racking through his lungs. "You're lyin you fucking 'lunger! No one wearing something like this has anyone to visit in the Gutters!"

He insisted, anger flickering over his features.

Even pressed against the wall Amos remained amazingly calm. Perhaps because he had experienced this before, because he had grown up here. He knew the Gutters, he knew the toughs that ran through it. Most knew him too, but it seemed that this gaggle had no idea they were attacking what had once been one of their own.

"I was born here, on Morrel Street. Do-" Before the could finish, Amos felt a brash of knuckles strike across his face.
 
Hood was held up high to cover Oralie’s face although a plethora of dark curls spilled out. Not being Anirian, she kept her head low. She knew how to sound Anirian enough, could hide her accent well and follow those unspoken mannerisms. Be neat, be straight to the point, and don’t touch anyone unless you knew them.

Unless you were pelting their face or gut with a heavy fist.

Even with her head down low, she couldn’t ignore the sounds of some poor fool get the snot beat out of him. She paused in one of the back alleys, keeping off of the main streets as anyone from the Gutters usually did. Tilting her head to the side, she could see three young men attacking one. It wasn’t an unusual sight.

It didn’t make it a pleasant sight. Oralie’s tongue clicked along the roof of her mouth before sliding over the points of her teeth. What would Cosmo and Aleric do?

“Whatcha lookin’ at, huh? Move it before I make you move it!” One of the boys shouted at her, showing her a fist before making a obscene gesture. Oralie turned her head back down to the ground, took a step. “Yeah, that’s what I thought, bitch.” Oralie stopped. “Hey! I’m serious! Keep. Movin’.” Cosmo and Aleric would probably be able to ignore the insult, but she had one hell of a day in the Gutters today. She wasn’t in the mood to ignore things.

Don’t move.” Oralie whispered in her mothertongue. In that moment, the men in that alley couldn’t move. No matter how much they tried, they wouldn’t be able to blink. Without saying anything else, Oralie moved, punching the young man that had cursed at her. She went for the next, punching him as well.

When those two men fell and groaned, it seemed whatever it was that bound them to Oralie’s command had worn off. Oralie collared her hands around the Scarface’s neck from behind and pulled him off from where he had caged in Amos. With a grunt and huff of exertion, she threw him down to the ground. Her dark cloak flew about her, doing little to hide the faint glow of her tattoos.

Release.” The man she had just thrown down was on his hands and knees, a hand slipping into his back pocket.

Amos
 
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Amos felt every muscle in his body stiffen. It was as though someone had taken him and thrown him into a lake frozen over with ice. He couldn't move, he couldn't speak!

In an instant a thousand things ran through his mind, all semblance of panic and fear forgotten as the scholar within him over shone everything. Desperately he moved his eyes as best he could, catching a glimpse of his savior as she struck a fist into one of his assailants.

The thug who had pinned him against the wall was torn away, thrown to the ground.

It was then that he caught sight of her truly.

A glow clashed with the hue of her skin, Amos' eyes almost immediately flickering to the intricate tattoos that decorated the woman's throat. His lips pressed together, and then suddenly she spoke in a tongue that he did not know. The stiffness of his muscles suddenly relaxed, and it was as though the weight of his body came crashing down on him.

Amos hand almost immediately flickered to the wall behind him, his breath rising and falling heavily as a cough echoed from his throat and into his palm.

As he recovered, the young scientist looked at his savior, not having the combat wherewithal to even look at the felled thugs. "I-thank you."

He said, trying his best to smile.

"That was...remarkable, truly." Amos complemented. "I have never see-"

As he was about to finish, the thug on the ground leaped up. A blade brandished in his hand, swiping directly for Oralie. "Watch out!"

Amos shouted, panic wringing his voice.
 
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Fox-like eyes were quick to see Scarface pull a blade from behind him. She spun on a heel, going to block and wrench the blade free out of the thug’s hands. She stepped back, wanting space to properly angle her body so she wouldn’t end up getting stabbed. She dodged Scarface’s first swipe, then his second and third, taking a step back each time to dodge his rusted blade.

One of the men on the floor got up, she heard them scramble to their feet and charge at her as well.

He got a hold of her, a arm wrapped around her midsection and the other around her neck in a weak chokehold. Scarface smirked, looking smug as one could be as he pointed his knife at her.

“Don’t know what the fuck you did there, but you won’t be doing it again.” He told her. Oralie’s nostrils flared, her eyes wide with rage. “Check her, see if she has anything good.” He stepped closer, pricked Oralie’s cheek with his blade. “Crazy ass tattoos.” He commented.

Oralie stared hard into his eyes. It was her neck that glowed first, then her cheeks. The young man seemed shocked then narrowed his eyes, stabbing through Oralie’s cheek.

Twist.” She spoke, blood dripping out of her mouth, the knife still embedded in her cheek, hiding her pointy teeth but not able to hide the glowing mark on her tongue. Right before her, Scarface began to contort. His body moved unnaturally, wrists twisting clockwise, legs twisting counter clockwise. In a blink of an eye, like a child playing with a ribbon and was wounding it up, Scarface twisted up and was crushed, blood and viscera splattering the small alley and everyone inside with gore.

Amos
 
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Amos let out a startled cry as suddenly blood and gore splattered over him. His panic joined by the other two thugs who had been aiding in the assault. Almost instantly the one grabbing Oralie let her go, practically shoving the islander away from himself in a desperate attempt to flee. "WHAT THE FUCK!?"

He shouted as he turned on his heel, giving no regard for his dead friend or the one desperately trying to scramble up from the floor and follow in his path.

For his part, Amos stood entirely stunned.

Growing up in the Gutters, he had been no stranger to violence. It was a way of life here, always had been. Beatings, stabbings, even outright murders were common. Growing up he'd seen all sorts of horrors, but never anything like this.

A long shaky breath filled his lungs, and he looked at Oralie with a mixture of fear and intense curiosity. "I..."

Amos began, finding the single syllable more of a croak than an actual word.

"Are you alright?" He asked slowly, speckled with spots of crimson. The words said with no small amount of caution, his heart racing in his chest and adrenaline coursing through his veins.
 
She didn’t fall down to her knees, even as she was shoved forward. Collecting herself and her balance, Oralie went to grab the knife. She closed her eyes, stealing herself. Gingerly moving her tongue, she could feel the edge of the rusty blade and— shit, she cut her tongue. A well of blood began to fill her mouth. Taking a deep breath and unable to grit her teeth, Oralie pulled the rusted blade from her cheek.

Then she allowed herself to spit out the blood that was flooding her mouth. Throwing the bastard’s blade to the ground, Oralie quick pressed a hand to her pierced cheek. She hissed, gritting her teeth now and shaking her head as if that could help with the pain.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. She had been more than stupid. Cosmo and Aleric would think she was—

Do I look okay?” She turned to face Amos, glaring at him not because of his stupid question but because of the pain she felt. Her words sounded slow and fat, her injured cheek and tongue messing up the way she spoke. She didn’t even bother with the Anirian accent. She spat out more blood onto the ground, closing her eyes and wincing.

The wounds weren’t fatal now, but the blade was no good. An infection would happen, and she’d need to go to someone to get help. The issue wasn’t money, but rather more people seeing her appearance. Her tattoos were unique, but even moreso was her sharp pointy teeth. She didn’t need word getting out about a islander with bronze and gold tattoos and vampire teeth getting out amongst the gutters.

She should’ve just kept walking. What a disappointment she was to Cosmo and Aleric, all their future plans would be ruined because of her and if she couldn’t be useful then what good was it to keep her around? They would have to toss her to the curb and then she’d be stuck in the godforsaken gutters of Vel Anir dealing with all these too-good-for-you Anirians and be treated less than human and worse than a stray dog.

Amos
 
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Amos frowned for a moment, forcing himself not to take a step back as Oralie practically glared at him. His head shook slowly from side to side. "No."

He admitted.

"You do not." There was little argument that this had been his fault. She had rescued him, and because of that she was now paying for it. The wound on her cheek wouldn't lead to her death, but the rusty blade might. "Please, but I can help."

Amos said, trying to summon what little courage he had. He might not have been a Doctor, but he knew enough, and had the resources to see she wouldn't pass from sepsis.

Forcing himself not to look at the splattered remains of the thug that had thrown him against the wall Amos took half a step towards his savior. He gestured towards the exit of the alleyway. "My mother's home is just around the corner, I can treat your wounds there."

The woman who had raised him was not technically been his mother, but she was the closest thing he knew. They would be safe there.
 
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Oralie continued glaring at Amos, her fox eyes narrowed and ablaze with annoyance, if only to hide her fear. If there was one thing Oralie didn’t like doing was trusting Anirians. But looking over at Amos, despite his height and towering over her, she couldn’t help but think of how skinny he was. He reminded her of her older brother when he had gotten his growth spurt, that spring he had been shorter than her and by the fall he was towering over her but looked like a gangly palm tree because of it.

Your mother,” Oralie said, mouth thick with blood, using her hands and fingers to wipe at the dribbles along her jaw and giving up. “Sees me and stays quiet? Or is she the sort to whisper?

Oralie needed help. She knew as much. But at the cost of her identity? At possible risking Cosmo’s and Aleric’s? She’d suffer through the pain and whatever infection she’d get and hope her skin wouldn’t fall off. Or worse, that she’d die.

Amos
 
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Amos frowned for a brief moment. Wondering just why this woman was so keen on protecting her identity, but it was not a question that he would ask. "My mother keeps secrets better than most."

A fact that could be attested to by dozens of run away Dreadlords.

His adoptive mother had for years functioned as a part of the underground society which aided Initiates and even full Dreadlords from fleeing Vel Anir. Before the Republic had come along and given the mages of the city a new choice.

It was, at least in part, the reason why Amos did what he did. Many of those who had stayed at their home had shown him their magics, and it was that which sparked his interest.

"Please." He said, slowly moving to leave the Alleyway. "Follow me, I promise you'll be safe."

For whatever the word of a stranger counted.
 
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She scoffed, only to soon regret it. Oralie had been lectured by her elders that she had a face that showed exactly what she was thinking, or feeling. They used to tell her to be respectful, and often that would elicit only more of her attitude. She would be punished, but it never changed. Soon enough the elders gave up. Let her use her face, before long she won’t be able to speak.

Of course, I’ll be safe.” She knew she was being indignant, she knew she should thank the beanpole for offering to help her. Her pride, or maybe it was her hate towards anyone that seemed Anirians, wouldn’t let her back down. Even if Amos had yet to do anything aggressive. “I don’t need protecting.” She looked Amos up and down, clearly saying ‘unlike you’ with just her frown and arched brow.

Oralie didn’t need protecting, but she needed help. And so she did go to follow Amos, pulling up her hood high and over her head, posturing herself so her tribal tattoos couldn’t be seen. She didn’t feel the need to remind Amos that he shouldn’t try any funny business, not because of her confidence, but because his face was earnest. Too earnest.

It didn’t make sense if he grew up in the Gutters. And that was rather suspicious to not have that aura of a starving dog. “Lead the way.” She said, a hand pressed to her cheek.

Amos
 
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"Of course." Amos parroted in agreement, nodding his head and not intending in the least to countermand Oralie. It was more than clear that she did not need protecting, but unfortunately even someone as strong as her couldn't fight off an infection without help.

Certainly not one from a rusty blade that had lived all it's life in the Gutters.

Without another word Amos quickly began to lead them through the remainder of the slum. This time he tried to avoid any of the...obvious spots where someone dressed like him might catch an earful or a fist. It took them almost ten minutes, the route a bit longer, but at least no one else stopped them.

He motioned Oralie into an alleyway, and there they walked into they reached a small ramshackle building.

Had his companion grown up in the Gutters, she might have recognized it as the schoolhouse. If it could really be called that. A knock echoed out, and with creaking hinges the door opened. Revealing an older woman, who notably looked nothing like her adoptive son. "Amos! What are you doing here?"

"I came for a visit, Mother, but I ran into some trouble along the way and..." The woman looked over his shoulder towards Oralie, a frown pulling at her lips before she quickly stepped aside and motioned with a wave.

"Come in." She said. "Quick, come in."

Amos stepped inside, the door remaining open just long enough for Oralie to follow. "You should have come during the day, Amos."

His mother chided.
 
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Oralie had seen this building before. She had never gone inside, never asked questions about it. It was a building like all the others: needing repairs, needing timber, hot during summer while cold during winter and probably with three or four leaks during the rains. She hadn’t ever looked twice at it. It was just a building like all the others.

Now it seemed it would be her saving grace.

Oralie stood behind Amos awkwardly. Her posture was stiff and her head was low, but it was clear that she kept looking up underneath her brow. When she finally stood at her full height and was no longer hunching over, she looked at the woman and then scowled at the back of Amos’ head. A part of her felt like it was a trap: this was his mother?

Yet, with no other options, Oralie stepped inside the building and pulled down her hood. The door shut behind her and Oralie was tempted to turn around and see if she could lock it. She resisted the urge well enough, but as she stepped further into the small room, she couldn’t help but to look around and see if there were any weapons lying about.

A hand was still pressed to her bloody cheek, and despite the pain (especially now with the adrenaline wearing off) Oralie nodded in agreement.

He should have.” Oralie said, glancing back at Amos just in case he was sneaking up on her so he could choke her out.

Amos
 
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"Yes, I know." Amos wasn't a fool, at least, most of the time. "But that would have ruined the surprise I have an-"

He shook his head. "It's not important, I ran into some trouble, and this woman saved me."

Amos' mother glanced at Oralie for a moment, then to Amos. She frowned and nodded her head, immediately understanding. The Gutters were dangerous even for those that had lived there for their whole life. One couldn't be too careful.

"Unfortunately she was injured, so I just need a few things to help her." Another nod followed, and Amos began to list a few items. "And a needle and thread of course."

He stepped over towards Oralie, gesturing towards the corner of the room where there was a large table. From his pocket he pulled a strange metallic tube, an orb of glass on one end.
 
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She was stiff and awkward, and Oralie couldn’t help that the more she realized how stiff and awkward she was the more she became just that. One probably never would have expected her to have spent any time in the Guard, or any time in Vel Anir. She felt like a foreigner.

Mostly because this was foreign to her. Amos was indeed a stranger. Sure she had helped him out, but not from the kindness of her heart. She had just had a bad day and those three guys were the cherry on top of her shit-tastic sundae.

She eyed Amos said items that she couldn’t recognize. Other than needle and thread. Everything else was beyond her comprehension. Some of it sounded like from a language that wasn’t common, or maybe from a language long since passed.

Oralie said nothing, but she followed after Amos’ instructions, following him to the corner of the room. Keeping an eye on him, she saw the strange item he pulled from his pocket. Was that maybe something of value that those thugs were after? Her eyes narrowed, blatantly staring at the metallic tube with that globule of glass.

What is that?” She asked, clearly keeping some room between her and Amos. She still didn’t trust him, even if she were about to let him sew her check back together.

Amos
 
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Amos turned almost immediately as he began to set out the tools he'd require, frowning for a moment as Oralie offered her first question. "This?"

He said, moving the stick so that it was right in front of her.

Behind him his mother was gathering a few things, most without having been asked. A bowl of hot water, what appeared to be a bottle of liquor, and some towels. Amos apparently didn't even notice, a hint of excitement turning his tone.

"I call it a Light Stick!" He said with a child like glee, flipping it up so the small bulb was at the top. He then reached down and gently twisted a nob at the bottom.

As soon as he did, light began to flicker into being within the bulb. A dull glow at first, and then a bright shine that would have put most torches to shame. The light was white, though took on a hint of yellow as it traveled further away from the bulb.

Behind Amos, his mother let out a gasp, and the young boy turned with half a grin on his face. "Dear Kress, Amos! How!"

The elderly school-teacher said, the shock evident on her face.

"My work has been going well!" He said cheerily, forgetting about Oralie's cheek for just a brief moment. "I cannot take all the credit, Kaeden had the idea for the filaments, but it's been working quite well. A single crystal can light the bulb for almost two weeks of full usage and we think if we increase the w-"

Amos cut himself off, clearing his throat. "Well, suffice to say, our experiments are having results."

He said with a chuckle, half looking back at Oralie.
 
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The islander eyed the light stick with suspicion at first, but it quickly changed to awe. The moment light emitted from it, Oralie was hooked. She had seen plenty of light magic before, but only from a staff or wand or dreadlord. This light magic was unknown to her, it needed no runes nor incantation to call it forth. Only moving certain things to certain places and then light would appear.

She didn’t understand what Amos meant by filaments, but the crystal made sense. Plenty of rocks around Arethil had magical powers. So to Oralie, she saw this as magic instead of science. The idea of chemicals and metals merging together to making a entirely new product hadn’t even occurred to her.

Rudely, she grabbed the light stick from Amos’ hand— which was too easy to do and further confirmed her suspicions that Amos was not a fighter. She began inspecting it, holding it this way and that and even close to her face which caused her to squint.

Cursed speech was an unusual magic. She couldn’t say light and have light appear, but certain words seemed to trigger it. Like crush or twist, words that many wouldn’t use in every day speech.

This magic. Anyone can use it?” Oralie demanded to know, momentarily forgetting about her injured cheek.

Amos
 
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Amos relented almost instantly as Oralie grabbed the light stick from him. Half a lifetime of practiced victimhood having trained him to know it was a better idea not to resist. Though he could not help a quick utterance of; "Careful!"

Though what Amos and Kaeden produced was astounding, much of it was still rather sensitive.

Both of them were working nearly day and night on making their inventions more hardy, as they would need to be for common usage, but such things took time. The light-stick was one of only three that the duo had managed to get working. He would hate to see one break.

"Yes." The researcher said with a nod as his mother approached, taking a slow, and rather careful look at the invention Oralie was now holding. "One must simply twist the dial at the bottom."

He gestured to the end of the stick. "If you would..."

Amos motioned next to her cheek.

"I need the light to clean the wound." Otherwise the little schoolhouse would have been far too dark.
 
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The woman listened to Amos, although she gave him a suspicious scowl in case twisting the dial meant that the light stick would explode in her hand. Carefully— more careful than she had been in a long time when handling something of importance— she turned the vial and true to Amos’ words, light came out. And the more she twisted the dial, the brighter it became.

The light fought off the shadows from Oralie’s face and showed off the intricacies of her bronzed tribal tattoos.

Her fox-like eyes were wide in wonder. She didn’t know how she could use this magic wand— or light stick, whatever he called it— without giving it some of her own arcane might. Bronze eyes went back to Amos and almost reluctantly she handed the beanpole back his light stick.

She had almost forgotten about her cheek.

Right.” She said and grit her teeth together, her jaw tight and jutting out towards Amos. “Get it over with.” Oralie said.

Amos
 
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Amos smiled at Oralie, taking the lightstick gently before motioning for his mother to step closer.

The elder school teacher did so, looking at her adopted son with no small amount of pride. Gently he handed her the light stick, shifting the knob so the light was bright enough to illuminate Oralie's wound but not enough to blind him.

Just a few seconds later he began his work. Dipping a rag into some of the hot water and gently beginning to dab at Oralie's cheek to clean away some of the blood. "These tattoos."

Amos began as he put down the now bloodied rag, picking up a needle and thread.

"They are remarkable." Though he had never seen their like in person, the shape and pattern were distantly familiar. Perhaps some book he had once read in the great Library at the university. Clearly they were connected to her magic somehow, though he thought asking about it was a step too far.

His savior hardly seemed the type to...open up.
 
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She was tense, gritting her jaw and glowering hard at Amos despite the fact that he was administering aid. Her hands were in tight fists, skin taut against her knuckles and Oralie steeled herself for the worst. There was a flush of shame that washed over her for the basic fact that even getting her cheek cleaned by the ginger touch of the beanpole in front of her hurt.

But she wouldn’t make a sound, even if it stung and she wanted to flinch. She would be strong. The pain was similar to when she had gotten her first set of tattoos. It was a celebration then. Now, in this dingy schoolhouse, with her cheek readying itself to rot, Oralie felt nothing but melancholy.

Until Amos spoke.

For a moment, Oralie softened. She stopped glaring at him as if he had been the one to stab her and closed her eyes. She tried to readjust her body, pulling her shoulders back and jutting out her chin, but it did little in mitigating the pain elsewhere.

Yes. They are.” Oralie said murmured, her eyes still closed. She preferred this rather than looking into Amos’ earnest face. It was hard to seem him as the enemy when he was scrawny and had such expressive faces. She was certain Amos was the sort who couldn’t hurt a fly. “Moko kauae, the facial tattoos for women. it should be on the lips and chin, but I am the ninth daughter of a… king.That was their word for it, but how could she express that her father was much more than just some man with a fancy title?

There was no trade tongue word that could correlate to her native tongue for what her father was. Perhaps that was for the best, like a little secret for only herself to know and keep.

It shows my status in my tribe, the role in my tribe, my ancestry, but most importantly, my abilities.” Oralie paused. She hadn’t spoken about her tribe or home in years, and there was a ache in her body. Bone deep, this ache made her feel empty and hollow. She missed Aina O Ka La. She missed her people’s island. She missed her tribe. She missed her family. She missed her father.

If only she had been wiser, if only she had stayed on the island. Oralie bit her lower lip, nostrils flaring. There was no reason to think of it now. If she wanted to feel pathetic, she could do it when she was alone.

Amos
 
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"They are beautiful." Amos said as Oralie finished her explanation of the markings, the earnestness in his voice marking the sentiment.

Amos had always had a fascination with magics, ever since he was a boy.

It was why he worked so hard alongside Kaeden to bring their dream to reality. The researcher had no talent in magic itself, even those studies which the least of all sorcerers could attain did rather nothing for him. Yet his mind was sharp, and through dedication Amos had brought magic into his world in his own way.

"I am afraid I know embarrassingly little of talents like yours." He admitted quietly. "My fellow Anirian's tend to have the a tactless, shortsighted, and awful nature of ignoring that which we cannot understand and is not our own."

He frowned as he spoke the words, knowing just how true they were.

Vel Anir had never been open and accepting, even in this new Republic a wall still stood as a bulwark against outside influence. A habit which Amos detested, and frequently tried to buck against by attaining books from Alliria, Elbion, and the Empire. "I would greatly appreciate learning more."

Amos said, gently piercing the needle in his hand through Oralie's skin. Knitting her wound back together. "If that's alright?"
 
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I disagree,Oralie said after letting Amos’ final words hang in the air for some time. “Vel Anir loves might and magic, even if they don’t understand it it’s fine as long as they can use it.” She sounded bitter but Oralie was bitter about it. She didn’t care if she let her opinion be known to any Anirian. She despised what the Kingdom— or Republic now, as if it mattered— did to her and her tribe.

She despised how the dreadlords ran around doing whatever they pleased, even initiates didn’t face consequences for their actions. Oralie understood that was what happened, when a stronger nation overtook a weaker one. It didn’t mean she had to like it.

But you are right about one thing. They are beautiful.” She conceded to Amos’ genuine proclamation, although she couldn’t hide the clear suspicion in her bronze eyes. “Even if they’re mostly a warning to others in Aina O Ka La of my magic.” Oralie winced then, the adrenaline fading and making the wound in her cheek seem far worse than it originally did. Or perhaps it had always been this bad and she had just been able to ignore it.

I’ll answer a question that you want if you answer one of mine.” Without waiting for Amos to agree to such a thing, she continued on. “Did his knife go through my tattoo?

Amos
 
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Amos listened carefully to every word that Oralie said. They were not an answer to his question, not directly, but the young man had learned early on to listen and comprehend. Even if his new…friend didn't answer him directly, what she did say offered clue after clue.

That was enough for the young scientist. Though in truth he couldn't help but simply agree with her first point. "I am afraid so."

He said with a slight frown. Agreeing to the Islanders request without so much as thinking about it. A question for a question was an easy trade in his mind.

A slow and steady breath filled Amos's lungs as he slid the needle once more Into Oralie's cheek. His hands showed a shocking amount of steadiness as he stitched her up, something that might not have been expected given his obvious condition. Still, he moved quickly, sowing Oralie up with surprising deftness.

"It will heal, I think." He said in complement of his own work. "But you may have to return the marking at a later date."

His eyes flickered to hers. "Will that interfere with the magic?"
 
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Oralie’s face fell. No longer were the planes of her face stern and terse with jaw jutting forth and lips frowning. Her eyes were soft and somber, her bronze eyes losing their fierce fire. Even her high brows fall and seem to sink into melancholy.

It does not interfere with the magic.” She said, her voice losing the gruff confidence. She kept her gaze downward, suddenly intrigued with looking at her hands. Mapping out the lines on her palm and inspecting the long nail beds of her fingernails. Oralie rubbed over her rough and dry knuckles with her thumb that felt just as dry.

Are you done now?

Amos
 
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It was impossible not to notice the sudden shift in demeanor. Amos watched as Oralie deflated almost instantly, as though someone had kicked her puppy. "Almost."

The scientist said, frowning for a moment.

Had he said something to offend her? Amos didn't think so. His patient was gruff, but the flow of their conversation had been going well, he'd just asked about the tatt-ah. Yes perhaps that explained it.

He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could his mother began to speak.

"Are you alright, dear?" The school teacher asked softly. Her expression was one of pure concern, she did not know Oralie, but that didn't matter much to Ethelia Savrren. She was a good woman, always had been. "You look like someone's been at your winter grain."

Amos glanced at his mother for a moment, but added nothing else. Instead he placed the last stitch and gently pulled away. "If you want to talk, were both great listeners."

The older woman offered with a smile.
 
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