Open Chronicles There Was this Guy. At the Market.

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Kallach

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"Falwood?" he asked, pausing momentarily, before shooting a cursory look at the gore-encrusted floor.

"I've been there thrice already."

Energy crept back into his voice. Kallach straightened out, kicking one of the corpses that barred his way. The body skidded across the floor, coming to a halt when it collided with one of the walls. The room echoed with an audible crack.

If the body wasn't dead by the time he punted it, it sure as hell was now.

"Back then, I was still learning how to invoke magic from outside sources. To draw it out of plants, earth, and animals. "


Blood surged to Kallach's head, causing his countenance to become more animated. He had the impression that his mind was a beehive, with each thought producing its own buzz. Many ideas merged into one another, forming a type of static, but they all shared one thing: they hinted at danger, or more accurately, different kinds of perils that Kallach believed lay ahead.

He made a hissing noise as an exhale fluttered past his thin lips. Armed guards were about to barge through the doorway, or so had Kallach anticipated.


And to make matters worse, he thought that they were planning an ambush and would wait for Violetta and him to open the door before impaling them with a dozen pikes. Such an assault would lack the potency needed to kill him, but Violetta...


He gestured strangely at the door, and it opened without him having to touch it.

Kallach gave himself a cheek-slap. Nobody entered, not yet at least. The sound of steel clinking in the distance was certainly coming from the city guard's brigandine armor, yet it was faint enough to provide some glimmer of optimism in this otherwise bleak situation.

We should be able to make a break for it.

Should, could, and would, however, are not synonymous. As soon as Kallach snapped his fingers, a shining blue halo appeared above his head. Tiny sparks leapt off of it, indicating just how unstable the spell was.

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 
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Violetta Amrita Primrose

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She wasn't sure what he'd meant by that. Was he just informing her? This was an assumption she was making based on the scenario, but it seemed the magic he had used had... done something to him? It could have just as easily been the fact that they killed people today. Was never a positive feeling. You just got numb to it.

When she approached the door, it opened wide on its own. She turned and saw Kallach had done so with his magic. He also slapped himself while seemingly conjuring another spell to do something. Violetta's expression turned concerned, and she hesitated.

"Kallach," she said "Do not feel you have to use your magic to aid us in our escape. It looks as if it's wearing on you. I know the Falwood well, and we can outrun them. But we have to move, now."

The sound of clinking metal drew ever nearer. It wouldn't be a whole minute before they were descended upon.

Kallach
 

Kallach

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"Although I appreciate the sentiment, you shouldn't be too concerned about my magic."

To obtain a better look at the street, Kallach jutted his head out and, straining his neck, focused on the nearby buildings.

*Thwack*

*Thunk*


The amount of time he had to avoid the approaching crossbow bolt was only a few milliseconds. It moved commendably quickly, whistling all the while. The fletching brushed Kallach's scalp as it whirled past him. The pure friction would've surely rubbed his flesh raw had he any less hair on his blocky head.

So close, he thought as the bolt pierced the heavy wooden door all the way, stopping only after two-thirds of it had exited the other side.
Kallach arrested the shaft with his fingers before snapping it off.


Broadheads, goddamn.


"And besides, things aren't that simple."

"Crossbowmen are flanking us as we speak."

"Here, have a look."

He handed her the broken shaft. The fletching was missing, but the razor-sharp broadhead tip remained firmly affixed. It glinted maliciously even in the dim lighting of the tavern. An implement of murder, crafted with the intent of sheering through flesh and causing gnarly lacerations that'd be nigh impossible to mend.

In a way, it was almost surreal to look at. As if some madman had decided to stick a knife blade to a bolt.


"I could redirect all the magic to myself and thus increase my durability, but that won't help you. Those guys will turn you into a pin cushion. "


"Which would disappoint me greatly, considering that I've already gone out of my way to kill people for you."

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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As nauseating as it was to consider herself weak, Kallach was right. She was mortal and magic-less. Arrows of that make would shred her skin like paper. May even take her horns out if they connected with them. If they were being flanked then this wasn’t just going to be a matter of skill, they were going to need a lot of luck.

Violetta pondered a moment on what they should do. She’d dragged him into this. Though he hadn’t needed to eviscerate the men he’d fought after displaying his physical might as enough, she was still grateful for his aid. And felt guilty for needing it.

But she didn’t need it. Not really. This was a fucked situation, sure, but she’d survived fuckEd situations before.

“Save yourself, Kallach. Don’t burden yourself with me.”

She said that as she put a hand on his shoulder, and offered him a warm smile. Then in a flash, she was sprinting out the front door. The first bolt came at lightning speed. She’d been ready for it and knew they’d aim for her head in order to make this as quick as possible.

A swift duck launched the bolt far over her head. She wanted to get closer, make their range useless, but alas.

She just wasn’t fast enough to dodge the other three.

One dug itself immediately into her thigh, and she screamed like hell as it did. The next met her arm. Not as painful, but held enough force to send her off balance, and pointed her center mass for the third archer to plant one of those directly in her chest, parallel with her heart. Her voice was now caught in her throat as she tried to keep moving.

Violetta could barely manage a hobble as she tried to escape behind a nearby stall. She tripped, falling on her side while the archers loaded another shot.

She’d fucked up.
 

Kallach

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"Wait-"

She didn't leave him enough time to finish the sentence. Violetta was one hell of a knuckleheaded woman. Kallach watched her dash through the doors and proceeded to get shot at by half a dozen bolts, many of which struck her with enough force to rend flesh and crack bones.

Kallach was left with no other option but to fling himself at her and hope for the best. And that was precisely what he did. The invisible field he had previously erected around himself intercepted all bolts coming his way, shattering them before they could as much as nick his skin.

A hail of splinters erupted each time a bolt connected with the imperceptible barrier.

He spat, "Fucking hell."


"You and your idiotic shenanigans."

Kallach flinched with each consecutive impact. The barrier did well to preserve his body, but it did naught for his ears. Each time the spell activated, intercepting and destroying a crossbow bolt, it inevitably echoed a loud, booming noise akin to the crackle of lightning.

He swiftly hoisted her up by slipping one powerful arm beneath her waist. Kallach gave little thought to Violetta's comfort or lack thereof as he flung her over his shoulder like a bag of flour.

"Once this is over, I'll kick your bum hard enough to leave my foot stuck inside."

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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Normally, she’d have some sort of witty retort. Now, she had no energy to say a word. She was at the whim of the situation now that she’d failed to evade her attackers. Falling onto Kallach’s shouldered split the bolt in her chest in half. It didn’t cause more pain, but the thing would be harder to get out of her skin now. That was a worry for later. She still had to survive.

The battle was fiercely one sided at the moment. Anirian patrols came at criminals in the dozen. If there’d been four out here, then there were eight more guards about to reach the scene. At least. When it came to multiple homicides, they’d be lucky if a Dreadlord didn’t show up.

She wanted to tell Kallach to run. To tell him she was sorry. That she shouldn’t have put him in this position. Whatever the truth was about Kallach’s morality, he looked a saint to her in this moment. The young man would be repaid. She silently swore that to herself.

That was all she could manage to think before blacking out atop his shoulder.
 

Kallach

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They were in the air now. They were perched atop something swaying in the air. That something appeared to be a large, comically shaped cloud made of material oddly resembling sheep's wool.

The cloud had a pair of feathery wings attached to itself, one on each side. It beats its wings at a flat pace, soaring through the skies. Many a man would be declared insane had they testified to the existence of such an oddity, a cloud that wasn't quite a cloud, but more of an odd amalgamation of fluffy features held together by magical energy.

Kallach looked over his shoulder to gaze at Violetta's unconscious form. Tendrils of fluff arose from the main body of the cloud. They entangled her in a tender embrace.

"You stupid girl..."

Wind greeted his skin as he spoke. It washed over his face like an icy tide, strong and unwelcoming. He could feel the resistance against his cheeks and the force with which it tried to push his eyes deeper into their sockets.

He grew stronger against the wind; muscles working all the more. His fingers dug into the fluff and gripped tightly with no intention of letting go.

They were moving too quickly for comfort, but they had to. Violetta was bleeding still, her voluptuous body penetrated by crossbow bolts in three separate places.

For now, she lived, but she wouldn't last much longer unless he found a decent landing spot. He searched his heart and knew it to be true.

He was no good at healing magic, and what little he knew, he wouldn't be able to perform while flying at speeds of over a hundred miles per hour.

"Why must you be so fragile? It is as if you wear your mortality on your sleeve. Is that supposed to be an achievement?"

But she didn't answer, couldn't answer. A part of him thought that she wouldn't answer even if she were awake.


Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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There aren’t many who dream when unconscious.

Violetta would have previously assumed the same about herself. She didn’t possess the knowledge she needed to understand why she did, either. But there she stood. A circle of druids surrounding a stone table. She could hear crying. She could hear chanting.

That was mostly it. The details were scattered due to her injuries. But, she shouldn’t have dreamt at all.

So why was she?
 

Kallach

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The cloud gradually slowed down to a more manageable pace; diminishing the beat of its powerful wings. Kallach only needed to peek at the expanding treeline to realize they were approaching Falwood. Given that he did not take a certain path to get there, it was obvious that he was unfamiliar with this region of the country.

The only thing he could do once things went sour was to fly the two of them in the general direction of the woodland and pray for the best. He was advised to be ready for the worst by a small voice in the back of his mind, but he chose to ignore it, nipping the whispers in the bud. In times like these self doubt would do him more harm than good.

Trees, hundreds of them, arose from the rich brown soil, disrupting the sea of earthen hues. Million verdant wands of birch swayed in the synch with the arboreal air, creating an illusion of moving water.


Under any other circumstances he would've taken a moment to admire them, but not now, not like this. Violetta was dying. Keeping her alive took precedence over natural wonders.


Kallach's jesen eye found a small clearing to land on, a patch of bare earth dominated by sprawling tree roots. It had just enough room to fit the two of them, plus the flying familiar.

He issued a command to his familiar: swoop down, it said. The familiar did as it was told and descended among the tree trunks.

The earth wasn't as bare as Kallach had thought. Wind disturbed patches of detritus littering the general vicinity, sending a cloud of dust and decaying plant matter into the air.

Kallach coughed, but remained undeterred by the minor inconvenience. He hopped off the fluffy construct with Violetta in his arms.

Her breathing was shallow and raspy. Each painstaking breath she took made his exposed forearms burst into gooseflesh.

"Can you hear me?" he whispered into her ear, hoping for a reaction.

Something, anything.

If she had slipped into a cone then there was all of nothing that he could do to help.

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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Violetta's dream vanished slowly. It went black for a while. Then came a tremor. A soft tickle in her brain. It sounded like... words? Something being asked of her. She couldn't make them out clearly.

As her consciousness returned to her in snippets, she hadn't yet remembered anything that had occurred. Vision came in blurry, and she swore she was looking at a face. Who was that?

"Grrrgghhh... Kal- ah!"

When she tried to speak her stomach lit on fire with pain. With her fleeting vision returning she saw something sticking out of her in several places. Gods what the hell happened?

"Fuck that fucking hurts... What ha-AH-happened..."
 

Kallach

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Violetta was seated by Kallach, who propped her back against one of the moss-encrusted tree trunks. To prevent her from jerking away from him, he cupped her face. He looked intently into her eyes. They had a hazy, glassy appearance. Not promising.

He lifted her upper lip and delicately pinched it before saying, "It's me."

Her gums were pale, which was obviously the result of the blood loss she had experienced earlier. Unexpectedly, fresh blood no longer oozed from her wounds, but he lacked the tools to remove the crossbow bolts. The razor-sharp blades might lacerate veins and arteries with just one careless jerk.

"They shot you, you dunderhead."

He found his anger and it was well placed. He felt it bubbling in the pit of his gut, spreading slowly into his chest. He wished to squeeze harder and throttle her. How could someone be so careless?

"You are injured, and pretty badly at that. I can't promise that you'll live through this, but I'll do my best to save you."

He touched a finger to the wound on her thigh. It came away bloodied. He relocated the stained digit to her forehead and used the grimy blood to trace a smallish sigil on her oddly-colored flesh.

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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They shot her? What did he mea-

Oh. Right. They were. They’d been in the bar. She started that fight. Violetta was getting glimpses of what had happened. The trauma from the attack still overwhelmed most of her memory. She even looked at Kallach as if he were someone she’d never met, despite her recognition of him.

The archers. She’d dodged one, hadn’t she? But there’d been many. That must be what was sticking out of her.

She was in no position to argue. But that didn’t matter. She’d told him to forget about her. Why hadn’t he? He could have been in a terrible way if things had gone further south.

As he put the sigil on her forehead she could only muster,

”Wh-why did you stay?”

 

Kallach

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"I'm knee-deep in this muck, Violetta," he sighed. Kallach sounded almost content with the situation at hand. But he frowned still, his eyes boring down on her like a pair of icicles.

"I've had to kill people to get you out of the city. Besides the three men I've killed in the tavern, I've also disposed of twelve additional individuals, all of whom were city guards."

He chewed his lower lip as he spoke, his voice halfway between sorrow and a begrudged boast.

"So I've liquidated roughly sixteen adults, give or take, which, by all legal definitions, makes me a mass murderer."

Kallach clasped his palms, knitting his fingers into a handseal. Suddenly he felt the strength of ages flowing through every fiber of his being. He saw his magic detach from him, vividly proliferating through the air, its dark blue hues mixing with the greenery. It reached out to the plants, robbing them of their precious life force, only to redirect said life force at Violetta in a haphazard attempt to heal her.

Slowly but surely, it began mending the internal hemorrhaging caused by the forceful entry of crossbow bolts. Kallach could not close the muscle and fat tissue surrounding the wooden shafts, but his efforts were not in vain, for in repairing most of the lacerations afflicting her vital organs, he bought Violetta a precious bit of time they'd need to extract the foreign objects.



Violetta Amrita Primrose

 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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She shook her head, little that she could. This dumb man. Throwing his life away for a woman twelve years his senior. Violetta had been prepared to face the consequences, as she always was. Her fear was that others would be dragged into whatever nightmare she made for herself. Now, that was Kallach, feeling obligated by either altruism or pity.

Violetta hated that. He should have let her die rather than brand himself a serial killer.

“You’ll never be allowed in Vel Anir again. They may even send dreadlords after you.“

The healing was giving her her voice back. It was still quiet, but loud enough to be deciphered.

“You shouldn’t have done this, Kallach.”

Kallach
 

Kallach

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Kallach bit back a complaint. There was no going back, no coming from what he had done. Worst of all, he felt oddly content with the way things were.

Once assured that Violetta wouldn't perish from blood loss, he reached out and playfully flicked her forehead.

"You, of all people, have no right to berate me for foolishness."

Although spoken calmly, the words came out weighing as much as anvils. What would he give for a chance to tug her ears off. Who was she to question him? His destiny was his own! If he felt like killing people, then so be it.

"You are right. I won't return to Vel Anir. Not now, not ever. "


He forced a smile on his lips. Kallach leaned in to examine her wounds more closely. He concluded that Violetta's survival was nothing short of a miracle.

"Perhaps that is for the best. I never quite liked Anirians. Their culture as a whole feels very soulless. "

He likes the bruised patch of flesh surrounding one of the crossbow bolt shafts. This spreading purple with yellow blotches was only a superficial affliction. The real danger resided below.

Kallach gripped the bolt by its shaft and tried twisting it counter-clockwise. Immediately, he was met with resistance. His unhandy attempt at healing Violetta had prompted her body to grow connective tissue around the broadhead, near fully encasing the blades bit of metal.

It'd do no good to try to pull it out now. They could make do with no less than a real surgeon. Chances of finding one such in the middle of Falwood? Highly unlikely.

Violetta Amrita Primrose



 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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Violetta yelped at the yank of the bolt in her flesh. A pain unlike any she had felt exploded from the spot in her chest where he’d pulled. She’d had half a mind to bash his head with her horns for the violation. But, he was trying to help. And fighting a sorcerer was not on her list of things to do today.

These bolts had to come out. If they lingered in her flesh any longer than they could poison her greatly. That would be much harder than an impromptu operation. She felt around at her overalls looking for a carving dagger she often carried with her. This was a quick reminder that she’d left her fucking great sword in Vel Anir. May as well mourn it now. There was no getting that thing back.

With just a couple pats, she felt in. Reaching into her pocket she handed it handle first towards Kallach.

“For the record, I can say what I please. My foolishness doesn’t overwrite your own. Now, if you’d be a gentleman, please, cut me open.”

A bit of her feisty personality was returning. She was hoping more than anything it may ease the conversation into something less daunting before Kallach placed yet another blade into her skin.

 

Kallach

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The knife was well cared for; six inches of cold steel polished to a near mirror edge. Kallach felt the rosewood handle slipping into his grasp. His fingers coiled around its smooth surface, squeezing tightly. It weighed heavily in his hand, an implement of murder, or salvation, depending on the one wielding it.

Remember Kallach, it's not the blades, but the people, who kill.

He waved the knife through the air, testing its balance point and marveling at the blimps of light reflected back at him by the flat of its blade.

"That is easy for you to say. After all, if you die, all my efforts will have amounted to nothing."

He conjured up even more tentacles this time, but they were tiny compared to the positively hulking monstrosities that could tear a man apart with a flick. These nimble tentacles moved across Violetta's body, entering her wounds and slowly spreading the flesh agape. In doing so, they slightly separated the now healed tissues from the still embedded crossbow bolts.

Kallach followed them, slipping the knife into the ice-pick grip before getting to work. He pushed the slim blade into the newly formed crevices, cutting around the crossbow bolts. Slowly but surely, he separated each bolt from its cocoon of connective tissue, all the while avoiding any major blood vessels.

"These crossbow bolts are something else. First, they slice through your flesh like jello, and then they get lodged deep enough where I can't just yank them out."

"Well, not without killing you, at least."



Violetta Amrita Primrose

 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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Kallach wasn’t even gonna give her something to bite? Fuck.

Guess she’d bite herself.

The pain was like no other. A lot worse than she remembered but her adrenaline was going then. Now it was wide awake surgery. She was there to be saved but in this exact moment she’d never wanted more to be dead.

She was hearing his words but they weren’t registering. Something about bolts? Killing her? Violetta had no idea how long this would take and while she tried to stifle her screams it was useless. She brought her teeth down onto her own arm, chomping quickly through her own skin and flesh. Blood trickled as the veins in her forehead went large and her eyes went to the size of dinner plates.

This was the single most excruciating thing she’d ever felt.

Kallach
 

Kallach

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Kallach painstakingly went through the motions. He took the bolts out, making certain that no metal shavings or splinters were left behind. The last thing he wanted to deal with was blood poisoning.

He had a lot of help from the tentacles. His own fingers couldn't possibly match the speed and accuracy of their movements. Each tendril behaved as though it had its own mind, creeping into the flesh, dodging major arteries, and wrapping itself around the wooden shafts.

It was a bad situation all around.

Although the bleeding had largely stopped, Violetta had shed enough blood for her thighs and torso to be covered in an unsightly layer of coagulation.

"If it makes you feel any better," he said brusquely, gazing at her spasm-wrecked face, "I once had my arm torn out of its socket."


Kallach shuffled back, having removed the last of the crossbow bolts. His tentacles moved in, slathering a gooey substance over the gaping wounds. Like super glue, the slime quickly hardened, clogging up the openings.

Where previously, blood had flown in rivulets, there was now nothing. Nothing, except a number of oddly-shaped lacerations left by his impromptu operation.

Kallach looked at his hands. They were bloodied all over, but it wasn't his blood that covered them. He remembered how it came thick and strong, flowing through his fingers as they clasped the ripped flesh. He felt the blood move over his hand, the thick fluid no warmer or cooler than his own skin.

After a few moments, it had darkened, gaining a brown hue reminiscent of rotten cherry.


Violetta Amrita Primrose
 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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She wanted to recognize the amount of work he was going through to keep her alive. Even if he was being kind of an asshole about it, he was doing far more work than he was asked. The pain was still impossibly horrific, but she was growing used to it. The tentacles moved in confusing ways but there were patterns to what they were trying to do. She could better prepare herself for the agony as time went on.

She stifled a chuckle at his sentiment. "Awful. That the worst you've had of it, then?"

She didn't imagine Kallach going down easy. Though, getting your arm ripped off might hinder just about anyone.

Violetta was getting drowsy. The blood loss was clearly catching up to her. She was soon going to have to fight to stay awake.

 

Kallach

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Kallach crossed his arms under his chest and weighed the question. He quickly skimmed through his memories. Was it the worst he had experienced? Probably, he thought to himself.

"I'd say that's about right."

He shrugged his shoulders. Standing on his tiptoe, he could feel the luxury of his straining muscles. There was strength in them still. More than his frame had any right to hold.

He lifted his face, letting the light and shadow dance across his skin. Bees hummed in and out of the pennyroyal. He inhaled its minty smell and kicked about, delighting in the sound of his feet sliding through the leaves.

"It was an unfortunate accident. I had a run-in with a special-grade aberration."


"The bastard took off my whole left arm; severed it right about here."

He poked the spot where his anterior deltoid met his pectoralis major.

"I never had the chance to recover my limb. Had I stayed any longer, the aberration would've likely torn me in half...lengthwise."


Kallach rolled up his sleeves before flexing his left biceps. There was an observable degree of discoloration between the two. The flesh on his left arm was but a shade darker than his right.

"Thankfully, the boys back home were kind enough to graft me a new arm."


"Still, I was the one who had to pinch all the blood vessels and numb the pain. I'd dare say that the bit of medical science I picked up back then is what saved your life today."

Violetta Amrita Primrose

 

Violetta Amrita Primrose

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She knew the word aberration but whatever he meant by ‘special-grade’ she could only assume. Kallach was a dangerous man, she’d gather that already. But to think anything in this world could tear an arm off him re-struck fear of the unknown into her heart. The monsters that walked Arethil could get out of hand, it seemed. She was lucky to not have encountered such a horror.

“Ha, seems some things can even make a man like you moorrtallllllll…”

Violetta’s eyes flickered shut. Her head lulled backwards and she nearly fell flat to the earth. Through her hazy vision she could see the blood that was coming out of her and what had already. Her heart should have raced then, but it simply didn’t have the pressure.

She was beginning to black out again.

 

Kallach

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"Huh. Out like a candle."

His eyes narrowed. Kallach caught Violetta before she could slide off the tree trunk and bang her head against a rock.

"...again."

He traced the contours of her face, moving the hair aside so that he could more easily observe her eyes. Violetta's features were strong. It was as if they were molded from granite.


It felt like he was touching a hunk of stone; firm everywhere and cold too.

Cold...

Right. She had lost a good deal of blood. It made sense that her body temperature would drop as a result of that.


With his eyes closed, Kallach cradled Violetta's unconscious form.

Why had I gotten myself into this? For what gain?

You never stood to gain anything in the first place, he countered, arguing with himself.

A fly landed on his forehead. He swatted at it. Annoyed, Kallach allowed his magic to separate itself from him. It seeped out of his body, invisible, but present nonetheless. It expanded outward, permeating the air, its shape changing like an amoeba's.

Now, as other living things passed through his aura shroud, he could feel them. Their life force brushed up against his. Furthermore, he may have had a better understanding of their bodies than they did. He could tell when something would breathe in or out. Their hearts beat in harmony to a rhythm that he couldn't decipher.

Kallach believed he sensed someone behind him. Someone, not something; a tinge of sapience, a...a person!

He glanced back, but all he could see were the tree trunks and what little underbrush persevered under them. There was little light to work with. Like leeches, the high-seated canopies absorbed the sun's rays, reducing what little reached the ground to a feeble flicker.

But he didn't want to rely on his eyes any longer. Someone was present. That much he was certain of.

Violetta Amrita Primrose
 
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Violetta Amrita Primrose

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“Tis‘ quite the magic you wield, Kallach.”

An unfamiliar voice beckoned from the space he’d been sensing. There was no sound as they made themselves present. Not a rustle nor a footstep. They just seemed to walk outside the realm of aural connection as they showed themselves to the two in the middle of the Falwood.

A greying, old woman with walking cane in tow appeared smiling at the young mage. She eyed the body of the tiefling in his arms briefly before looking back towards him.


“Now, Kallach,“ knowing his name alone was likely to be surprising to him, and she spoke it with such humorous confidence. “You weren’t the one who put this young horned thing into a comatose state, were you? That’d be awfully cruel of you, don’t you think?”

 

Kallach

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Kallach looked at the stranger. He wasn't astonished or upset by her appearance, but his expression betrayed him. He appeared intrigued, halfway between genuine curiosity and surface antagonism.

Not only that, but he fixed his gaze on the elderly lady. Kallach moved Violetta closer to himself, pushing her drooping head against his bosom.

"No," he answered flatly.

"I'm many things, but cruel, isn't one of them. Though I admit that my anger often gets the better of me and that I can be exceptionally violent under such circumstances."

He stepped forward with no intention of yielding ground to the strange woman.


"Who are you?" demanded Kallach, his voice brimming with newfound strength.


Violetta Amrita Primrose
 
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