Blood Rites

Terreille => Pruul => Topic started by: Fate al Izar on Feb 24, 19, 11:21:50 PM

Title: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Fate al Izar on Feb 24, 19, 11:21:50 PM
Fate al-Izar stared up at the Pruulian sun. It was ever present, as constant and sure as the fact that sandworms could not be harmed with Craft.

Until it wasn’t.

The Territory Council had ordered a Healer’s School to be created at the Vaya Temple and they had directed Fate to run it. Fate. The girl that had learned her Craft at an orphanage , on the streets, and then in the Mines. How was she qualified to run anything? The gnawing doubt ate at the young girl as she paced around the large classroom she had been assigned. Some of the chosen Healers from the Clans and Tribes were going to show up today. Most of them would be older than her no doubt, training in their Craft for years. Settled in their Clans. Respected.

Nerves washed through her. How was she going to do this? She had learned this Craft out of necessity. Out of sheer desperation. She didn’t know how to teach. She didn’t know how to save all of Onn.

At least the Sandworms had finally dispersed from blockading Onn. Travel was still extremely dangerous, but Clans and Tribes could leave—take mountain paths or take their chances in the dessert. Until each Clan had a Healer that truly knew this Craft though, it would still be too dangerous.

Fate took a deep breath and waited for her pupils to arrive.
Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Delara al-Latifh on Mar 02, 19, 11:59:45 PM
Normally Delara would have been ecstatic to get an invitation to a lesson on a new type of Healing Craft.  She knew she was young, without the breadth of experience that so many older Healers had.  She was skilled in the Healing crafts that she knew but even now that she held the position of Court Healer she didn't assume that she always had the answers.  It wouldn't have just been arrogant but stupid of her to believe that she knew everything she needed to know about Healing.  So on an average day she would have been looking forward to going to this lesson, eager to learn anything that would increase her skills and allow her to be better able to treat her patients.

Now though, with the death of the first escort there was a razor sharp tension in the clan as if people were walking on a thin wire over the abyss and it left her unsettled and hesitant to wander too far in case something boiled over and she was needed.  The city, the one shelter they had from the worms, was still rumbling with anger and lingering violence from the actions of the True Sabbah against their own Queen.  Having already encountered one mob she didn't really want to deal with another and the threat of potential violence left her hesitant to leave the safety of the Tabur encampment.  The craft that was rumored to be part of the lesson left her wondering if she should go as well, the invitation and explanation having brought her nightmares back to life.

The very thought of facing a worm again left her shaken to the core, they had taken so much from her personally and from her clan.  She dreaded even the thought of leaving Onn, a part of her preferred the safety of the walls even if it came with the threat of the True Sabbah, but Delara wasn't a coward and no matter how afraid she was she had responsibilities to her people.

Her clan and Queen would need her if, when, they chose to leave the safety of the city walls.  She was the Court Healer, if there was a new craft that could protect her clan and her patients and prevent more deaths then no matter how frightened she was she had to at least try to learn it. 

So, with Ebra busy on an errand for their Queen, she had wrangled Aahad al-Situla into being her escort to the lesson, both so no one would worry about her wandering off without a proper escort and so she could keep an eye on the male's recovery.  Honestly, it seemed that every time she saw him he was bleeding from some sort of wound.  She was beginning to think he needed a keeper to make sure he stayed out of trouble.  She didn't quite trust him to actually rest if she left him unsupervised and he was well enough for a short trip to the Temple so long as nothing happened on the way to or from the lesson.

Reaching the Vaya Temple she made her way to the room where the lessons were to be held, knocking politely at the door she stepped in and greeted the other Healer in the room with a small smile but was a bit surprised to find that the Healer teaching the lesson looked to be only a few years older than her, "Lady al-Izar, I am Delara al-Latifh the Healer for the Tabur and this is my escort for the day Aahad al-Situla.  It's a pleasure to meet you."

She'd expected someone older, but a part of her was glad to see that she wasn't going to be the only young Healer in the room.

Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Aahad al-Situla on Mar 03, 19, 03:22:03 PM
He should have suspected that of all the people who might find him coming out of the oasis, his clothing ripped and stitched with basic first-aid it would be the person who always seemed to end up being in his vicinity when something bad happened. This time however it didn't make him inquisitive that Delara always seemed to be there when he was battered, bruised, mauled or gashed but thankful instead. He knew the basics of first-aid to keep from dying but the intricacy of the Healer arts were naturally beyond him.

That said he was a quiet patient to her ministrations. He was practically lifeless, as if letting time tick past for the sake of letting it do so. However much he was thankful for Delara's aid he knew the subtle truth now, given all that he had learned. She would help him get better faster so he could leave. The faster he left Onn, the faster he could leave all it's people with their anachronisms, self-delusions and attempts to control and manipulate him the happier he would be. It put his time poisoned into a fresh perspective. He pushed himself to the limits so he could heal faster, get better quicker so he could leave. He didn't leave though and instead remained behind and resulted in him sneaking out of Onn via the mountains with the remaining K'miar while no one was looking.

For all of Onn's emotional splendor to the senses, if one had the notion to sense him, Aahad hated the place he came to find. It was a painful knowledge to learn. No one likes to learn that the deeper meaning behind themselves is so negative and riddled with angst, especially him.

Your life will not get any easier, if time has taught you anything. I sense it will get even more dangerous. Not just for you, but for those you care about too. You will be faced with hard, sometimes impossible choices. Whatever prophecy says, whatever life intends to bring to you. You are strong, wise and a good man. Do not let prophecy take that away from you. Promise me.

The words of his masters as he slipped into the Darkness haunted his thoughts. Was he a good man? He didn't feel much like one, especially now.

Aahad was resting, continuing to be a near-lifeless patient when Delara asked him to escort her into Onn for a Healer's lesson from one of the Izar. He wanted to say 'no' and just stay there reminiscing on his discovery and brooding over the truths he had found. Yet he remembered the promises he made to himself. Sitting in on a healer's summit would be a rare opportunity. Especially for a male, and doubly for a male who didn't share the caste. He could learn the ways of the Healers maybe, or capture a glimpse into their working art to help him understand how the Healer caste approached their magic. He only knew his way, and the ways he was taught. It would be good for him to see another's approach to their talent, whether he could perform it or not.

That...and Delara was decent company. As much as he wanted to flee Onn back to the sanctity of his lab at the temple a day escorting Delara was not exactly a chore. And it would help fulfill those promises. To climb, one bloody handprint at a time, out of the shell he created for himself and expose him to the vulnerability of life. There were nothing but positives, yet he still wanted to say no.

He didn't, and after getting a fresh application of bandages and changing out of his cut-up clothes for another set of clothes he escorted Delara to the healer's summit. Quiet still. Less talkative than he was the last time Delara had checked on him and more aware. Onn felt different now. The festival city was now not so festive. An undercurrent of malice brushed against his senses, a bubbling heat that was a spike more than a current or wave as they walked even though the riots had died down. He would consider it later.

They arrived and Delara introduced him. He simply gave a respected bow. "Lady Izar." The only other member of the Izar he had met after the Clan formally created itself was Lucky who was about the worst posterchild a Clan could present to the world at large after it's creation. He could feel his judgement leveled against her based on him. Another person whining about how miserable their life is and demand I make it better for them, while spitting at me for doing so. He fought against the judgement, the mental accusation to keep an open mind. Not all were Lucky. Not all were vain or arrogant. Delara wasn't. Fate al-Izar may not be either.

"I apologize. I am no Healer, but as a patient I sort of have to follow orders." He pointed to Delara. "I promise not to intrude or interrupt your seminar."
Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Naamah al-Tair on Mar 08, 19, 08:56:36 AM
We are not made for revenge, she told herself, though she knew that it wasn’t true. She was doing this very thing for revenge, to avenge the husband lost to her, but she veiled it with the lies of “in order to protect the tribe.” Caravans needed guides. Maps needed updating.

The Tair needed to get out of Onn. And to do that, they needed all the help they could get.

Naamah had agreed to attend this meeting and had brought one of the Tair apprentice Healers – Kaameh – with her. Kaameh walked just one step behind the more senior Healer, her head down in perhaps thought, perhaps sorrow. Naamah did not ask. She did not intend to mentor any other Healer anytime soon. She had her own hands full with grief and responsibility: her twin daughters, her mourning Queen. Before the Tair (hopefully) dispersed, Naamah and Kaameh would teach what they knew and then leave the rest of the remaining Tair Healers to their own devices.

There was hardly anyone standing guard as the two approached. Naamah paused to look at the Vaya Temple, wondering if she should bring Sirrah here for communion. Naamah was no Priestess but her Queen was engulfed in a grief that Naamah, as a Healer, could not fix. There had to be someone who could help Sirrah.

These thoughts, along with Naamah’s own struggle to maintain her calm and spiritual true north, constantly circled the Healer’s mind, and it was only a moment of calm, staring up at the Temple, before they circled back to fill the quiet. Naamah exhaled softly. “Let us see what this is about,” she said to Kaameh.

They were not the first ones there and, to Naamah’s surprise, she actually knew someone besides Fate: the Priest Aahad. “Master Priest,” the Healer said, with a respectful bow in his direction. There was a warmth to that motion though, and also the barest of smiles. His presence gave her hope. When they had been exploring the caves, he did not strike her as a man used to chasing follies – just attainable, if a bit lofty, goals. If he was here, then there must be some concrete proof, some solid reasoning for this meeting.

Naamah turned to the woman known as Fate al-Izar, a woman she had conversed with just a few days after the initial sandworm attack. That conversation had proven fruitless, as Fate admitted that she had no clue as to how she had controlled the sandworm that should have been her doom.

So what had changed since then?

“Lady Izar,” Naamah said, with another respectful bow towards her fellow Healer. She did not re-introduce herself but motioned to the Healer behind her. “I bring with me Kaameh al-Tair, to also learn what lessons you have to teach us today.”

Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Fate al Izar on Mar 08, 19, 04:14:00 PM
“A pleasure, Lady Latifh. Thank you for coming. Hopefully I don’t waste your valuable time.” Fate ran a hand nervously through her hair before curtsying to her escort. “Lord Situla. Your presence is no imposition at all. Prince Izar speaks highly of you. It is my honor to meet you.” Nerves coursed through her. What if she messed up in front of such a respected male? What if she embarrassed herself? Or worse, the Clan?

As Naamah entered with her escort, Fate smiled at the woman and felt some comfort. At least not everyone was a stranger. “Welcome, Lady Tair.” She curtsied again, picking at her dress. When everyone arrived, the Healer took a dee breath and tried to overcome her fear of standing up in front of all these people—important people—to speak.

“T-thank you all for coming. The Council has set up this school in hopes of providing all Clans and Tribes a way to combat the growing population of sandworms. I…I want to set a few things straight before we begin.” Many rumors had circulated about her. That she was a liar. Mother Night’s chosen. Selfish. Intent on keeping her power for herself.

“I did control a sandworm. This is true. It nearly killed me though. The Craft I used to do it nearly killed me. So if anyone does not wish to accept this risk…feel no shame in leaving. I do not judge you and neither should your Tribe.” This was not like the Craft they had learned before. Safe Craft. Craft they could make mistakes with. “It took me over a decade to perfect the Craft. Most…most of the time…I just feel how to do it. I just know. I am no teacher, but I am going to do my best to show you how to learn the basics of the Craft. Many…well…a lot of animals will die while you practice. Your Jewels could break if you try to go too fast, so we will start small, but I just…I just wanted to tell everyone that this Craft only brings death. It is not meant for healing. It is…unnatural. Learned in desperation. I will perform a demonstration before we begin.”

She still remember the gnawing hunger of herself and her siblings in the Mines. Did it take pain and desperation to learn this or could others do it?

Fate felt her hands shake as all the eyes of the Healers were on her. An al-Izar guard walked into the Temple room with a young mare. He was hardly past boyhood, but Fate took comfort from his presence. She smiled at him and he gave her an encouraging nod. This was her brother, the one she had saved from the worm and his confidence was unending, a stream she could drink from when she wavered.

Taking a breath, the Healer drew power from her Purple Dusk and wrapped it around the horse, sinking the tendrils within its soft fur, into the veins, the bones, the muscles, the blood. The Craft as so fine, so minute, that her Jewel began to drain rapidly as the mare stilled, its head bowing to the audience, even as its eyes widened with abject fear. It took short unnatural steps forward before sticking its long tongue out and licking Delara on the side of the face. The beast shook gently, as if it was fighting an internal battle against its own body. Fate forced the horse to lay down on its side and roll onto its back, legs up, defenseless, before she let the Craft go, falling into her brother’s arms. Her Purple Dusk was nearly drained as she took a deep breath and tried to regain her bearings.

“Eventually, this is what you will be able to do with a Worm. If multiple healers are using the Craft at once, it can be controlled for longer—or at least…that is what I imagine.” Or…they could all die. That was an option as well.

Another guard brought in a trey of flies, each one int heir own clear jar. “We are going to start with these. The trick is to force your craft into their bodies, taking control of their breathing system, their blood flow—if they have it—the connections within heir brain. If they do something you dislike, you cut off their air. You cut off the circuits within their brains. You cut off all options but the one you desire.” Was that a good enough instruction?

“D-does anyone have any questions?”
Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Naamah al-Tair on Mar 22, 19, 11:05:01 AM
Surprise briefly showed on Naamah’s face as Fate admitted – after telling Naamah some weeks prior the precise opposite – that she had, indeed, controlled a sandworm. A sudden storm of anger at being lied to surged within the Healer-warrior and only through her mindful control did she keep from leaping from her seat to admonish Fate for deceiving them. No, for deceiving her. This could have been information used to turn the worms away sooner!

Naamah, instead, clenched her fist, and reserved the rest of her vengeful judgment for when Fate finally stopped speaking.

The Craft I used to do it nearly killed me.

In her hubris, being senior to Fate in age, Naamah chalked that up to a novice’s mistake. Learned in desperation, yes. But Naamah didn’t believe how unnatural it truly was until she saw it in action. She watched with a sickening feeling spreading in her gut as the horse stepped mechanically forward, trembling with fear and defiance, yet obeying. Deprived of its will. A slave to Fate’s Craft, it laid down, rolled over, and then, as Fate slumped, spent, it sprang to its own life, bolting a few steps away until a guard caught it. The skittishness in its eyes remained for many more minutes.

It feared  her.

Vengeance – for Suraj, for her tribe – swelled within Naamah, sharp and heady. She briefly saw herself controlling a sandworm – perhaps the same one that had killed her husband – and driving it away. Or beaching it on the rocks where it could be killed. Where it could atone for its sins. She saw herself calling one after another, lining them up to be butchered like cattle. Over and over. It didn't matter that killing them was unlucky, taboo. She wanted them to suffer as she suffered. To know the same fear that now seeped into every decision her people made. 

Naamah clenched her fist tightly. Her fingernails pricked skin. We are not made for vengeance, she reminded herself, but she knew it was a lie.

She wanted vengeance. Badly.

Instead, in a voice that did not sound like her own, she said, “This Craft is indeed…unorthodox. But Craft learned ‘in desperation’, as you said, usually is. How long have you been…practicing with it?” How long would it take for Naamah to graduate from simple fruit flies to horses and then to the sandworms? How long before she could make her people safe from future attacks with this knowledge?

How long before she could avenge Suraj?
Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Aahad al-Situla on Mar 22, 19, 02:45:23 PM
I did control a sandworm.

The words made his eyebrows arch. She said she would show everyone how she did it. Craft. Which even added more to the puzzle. Sandworms were notoriously resistant to any form of Craft. So much so even the Sandriders had learned natural skills to ride them. Craft was necessary, sure, but never directly effecting the Sandworm.

As Fate offered her example Aahad sank into his senses, to feel the energy of the spell at work that Fate used on the horse. Tendrils, not unlike seduction tendrils, laced around the horse and then did something. He assumed that was when they 'got into the muscles'. Aahad wasn't a Healer and so the part of the spell that heavily relied upon the Castes' knowledge left him baffled. He continued to listen though. Trying to follow the word and magical working at the same time.

The horse's reaction to the spell mimicked Aahad's personal feelings on this manner of Craft. A puppetry spell, meant to control a being's body through force of will in his view. It was just as bad as if someone breached into someone's mind and controlled them that way but worse. Controlling someone's mind left them a dupe. This? If the puppet refused the puppetmaster, the puppetmaster would just make your lungs stop working to get you to follow along or 'cut off synapses', which to him sounded like brain damage. Dangerous craft. A vile form too. The understanding of it made Fate's warnings about it more clear to him as he observed.

The mineborn would learn how to control people's bodies. The perverted thought came effortlessly as Fate's assistant came around with flies in bottles. Caring for others and loving freedom and all. What would others do with this new-found knowledge? He easily descended into the belief that everyone here would just jump to the same conclusion Aahad did - using it on other people, rather than the sandworms. The healers would leave, make people their bitch, and start burning through bodies as they perfected their vile art. Only Aahad would worry about something as stupid as 'principles'. That was why he was a coward, never seizing the edge or opportunity when Mother Night practically threw him a whole dinner to consume for his benefit. A benefit like this one. To be a controller, not a controlled.

Didn't he just go through something like this? You know you can control them, can't you? Take their souls into your hands and mold them as you like. I can show you.

He neither weighed in on the ethical dimension of the spell or added weight to Naamah's discussion with Fate. This was a meeting of the Healer caste and not being one, he didn't want to risk the trust of the Healers present by throwing ethics at people or assume he knew anything at all to speak up. Who knows? They might have a litany of kill-spells just as a byproduct of their studies. He would just have to rely on the fact that everyone was wise enough to not use it against individuals. Which meant that he would need to learn the spell to learn how to defend against it.

Unlike other Healers possibly, Aahad had never used tendrils before save for one spell - seduction tendrils. A different spell and used entirely different principles. He needed to master conjuring tendrils first before he could bore them into the fly to control it. So he set the bottom before him and quietly began practicing.

Could one seduce a fly with seduction tendrils? Questions for Witch he supposed.

Title: Re: A New Craft for a New Age
Post by: Delara al-Latifh on Apr 06, 19, 07:59:08 PM
The only thing Delara could think as she watched the way Fate controlled the horses movements was that the craft on display was unnatural and went against everything she as a Healer stood for.  The look of fear in the eyes of the mare as she was forced to move to the beat of another's will made her want to scream at the other woman to STOP.  She dug her nails into her palms in an effort to control that impulse, allowing the biting pain in her hands to distract her from the anger and fear she was feeling as the mare was forced to roll over.  As the spell was released she barely spared a glance for Fate, her attention on the mare as she reached out with her craft and very slowly approached the shivering, skittish horse.

The mare snorted uneasily but Delara projected an aura of calm and compassion as moved slowly toward the skittish mare, "Easy little sister." 

Delara whispered soft nothings to the mare, the words not meaning as much as the gentle calm they projected, the mare let out a soft whinny still shivering in place, eyes wild and white with fear, but slowly allowed Delara to rest a hand on her neck.  Snorting and shying slightly as Delara's hand touched her coat.  Sinking calming threads of craft into the mare to ease her fear, and to see what damage if any had been done by the craft she had just seen demonstrated Delara soothed the mare's fears and ran gentle hands down her forehead and neck.  Only stopping her craft and the gentle motions when the mare let out a long breath and the shaking subsided, the wild fear leaving her eyes.   Satisfied that the horse was both undamaged and calm she stepped aside, allowing the guard to lead it from the room and moving back to stand near Aahad.

She couldn't hide the trepidation she felt that lingered in her eyes as she studied Fate and listened to her speak.  Her mind racing with the number of ways this craft could be misused by a Healer seeking revenge for a slight or driven by jealousy or grief.  How many could be killed by a Healer drunk on power practicing this craft?  How many would be enslaved to the will of another too afraid to resist for fear that the person controlling them might simply snuff out their hearts ability to beat or the brains ability to control the body? 

This gift was a double edged sword, it could keep the Tribes safe from the Sandworms though it seemed to have limits and risks to the caster but it could also turn Healers into weapons that those same Tribes might use against each other.  As she quietly accepted the fly in the jar from Fate's assistant she allowed her gaze to sweep across the other Healers in the room and wondered how many of them had come to the same conclusion.  Some had fear in their eyes, others interest, and a few like the Healer from the al-Tair tribe seemed to have a burning desire for revenge in their eyes.  She could understand that, but seeing it on the faces of some of her fellow Healers did nothing to asway her fears about how this craft could be misused. 

Had Fate and the Mineborn council considered the dangers of teaching this craft to others?  Had it been discussed at all?  Or had they simply decided that the danger to the Tribes from the Sandworms was worth the risk?

"This craft seems to be quite draining for you." Delara's voice was steady and calm even though she didn't feel at ease in this room or learning this craft.  She would do her due diligence and pay attention to the lessons and then she would discuss it in detail with her Queen.  Dinah needed to know about the benefits, risks and dangers being discussed and taught here in this room.  To that end she asked, "Is it always so draining?  Or does the amount of strength you expend correlate directly with the size of the creature you are . . . manipulating?