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Subtleties of Spirit {Attn Kura}


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Shadar checked his knives one last time and checked in the mirror. Today he had chosen a different type of outfit than his typical robe. After the training with the Fadeling, he had made it a point to acquire a pair of dark leather breeches, almost black with a hint of deep, murky crimson. Lacing the neck of his shirt he admired where he had  cut the lace from the collar. He did not care for lace as some did.


Arcon had had a message delivered to his quarters late last night, requesting his presence. He had been brief and vague, as he always was in messages not delivered by mouth. From past conversations and Arcon's message he had garnered that the meeting would have something to do with learning more about Saidin and the, shall we say, finer aspects?


Shadar chuckled to himself. Before coming to the Fortress his hair had grown quite long as he had not cared too much about his appearance. He had cut his hair short so that it hung close to his skull, just barely brushing the tops of his ears. Moving fluidly to the door he pulled it open and stepped into the hallway. He bit back a curse as an initiate nearly tangled his legs. One look at the scowl on Shad's face, and the man went a shade more pale in the dim light before scurrying on.


Taking a deep breath to settle his nerves he smoothed his face to stillness. His test for adept had snapped something deep inside of him, like a dam walled up to hold of raging flood waters. It had shattered and the resulting flood had been hard to master at times. For a full three days after he had stayed in his quarters with only Arcon to accompany him. He had raged, throwing things around the room only to collapse in a fit of uncontrollable weeping. It had gone on like that for most of the first two days, with things slowing down on the third. He still became emotional now and again, but no more than some. The aim of Arcon's comments were to guide him to how to control those emotions completely.


Shadar wound his way through the corridors, the cold stone drawing heat from the air. The torches that burned here were of good quality at least, and the smoke that clung to the ceiling was thin and did not smell of rancid fat. He was grateful for that.


Silently he glided down the passageways, twisting and turning until he found the door he was looking for. This cursed place could be the worst sort of maze for those who did not know to be wary. After a brief knock with a flow of Air, he was instructed to enter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Arcon was standing in his personal quarters when Shadar entered. It was not a place many were permitted to enter, and the dreadlord knew that the importance of this would not be lost on his student, his favored student, Shadar Al'Niende. It was the first time he had been in here.


It was not such a barren place as his students was. Books lined every corner of the room; tactics for mass battles, stealth and assassination reports that he had to bribe out of a certain librarian to get a hold of, large sections of history, and what was bound to be books containing the heraldry of every single noble family on the continent. The Carhienen was a man who liked to be thorough..


The walls were decorated with various tapestries, some traditionally dark like what would be expected of any dread lord, others looking to be stripped straight from palaces around the world. They probably were. No less than three wardrobes dominated the room, each a masterpiece of mahogany, and one didn't have to look that each was filled. It wasn't indulgence, as some might think. Arcon traveled, he needed to blend in. Each one contained a mixture of rough spun wool to fine silks, the silks undoubtedly bearing heraldry.


His writing desk was in the corner, several bottles of ink laid stacked against the back wall, and the papers upon the desk were many but organized. A spider that didn't know the value of organization built a terrible web, as his father had often said. All of this was impressive, and showed more than a bit about the man that Shadar followed, but one thing would undoubtedly draw the man's attention. A man bound with flows of air to a rather impressive wooden chair. He was blindfolded with a band of black...nothing. Though for once the dreadlord left the illusion uninverted, and a carefully woven ward of silence surrounded the man.


"This man is a traitor. He had betrayed a darkfriend circle to the children of the light, and he will be executed. However, he serves our purposes well. I will be using him to teach you some advanced uses of the element known as spirit. These will be useful to you in your chosen calling." Arcon almost snickered at the word. It was chosen alright, and it suited the man. It had just been chosen by Arcon. "Are you ready Shad? Some of these weaves will push your ability, if not your strength."


Arcon hardly waited for an answer, knowing that with Shadar's emotional strife it was best to keep him busy when Arcon needed him. He began. The dreadlord drew forth his dagger from his hidden sheath, and wove air fire and spirit onto the object, and it began to grow into a full fledged sword, and beyond. "This is called Mirror of Mists, it is a simple weave, and all it does is alter the size of a stationary object. Though it can be used for intimidation rather easily. Draw your blades, and try it Shad."


A simple weave, but one that would test the young man's ability. Arcon knew it to be on the outer limits of what he could do...

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As Shadar stepped into the room he suppressed a gasp of shock as recognition hit him. This would have to be Arcon's private quarters. That fact alone put him slightly off guard and a little in awe.


The room had a more furnishings that his own meager living quarters. Books upon books filled the rooms. Tapestries and rich mahogany wardrobes.


All of these things he took in with a quick glance before resting his gaze on Arcon and the surprise he had waiting for him. A man sat in a chair, bound in flows of Air with an impressive weave that looked like some form of dull black metal. It wrapped around his eyes and over his ears, although the ward against noise took care of that need.


"This man is a traitor...I will be using him to teach you some advanced uses of the element known as spirit. These will be useful to you in your chosen calling."


Shadar grinned eagerly, both for the learning and for the calling. "Are you ready Shad? Some of these weaves will push your ability, if not your strength." His grin slipped momentarily to be replaced by a simple, determined, set of his jaw. He would do whatever was necessary.


Arcon drew his dagger from its hidden resting place and started to weave. Shadar watched as Air, Fire, and Spirit went into the blade and it increased in size impressively.


"This is called Mirror of Mists...all it does is alter the size of a stationary object. Though it can be used for intimidation rather easily..."


Drawing his blades as instructed Shadar practiced the weaves. They slipped the first time and Arcon directed him, the weaves were placed just so. It was more complex than it initially seemed and had more to do with the actual object than most the weaves he had done before. The second time weaving he got it, although just barely.


Arcon had been right...grinning broadly he released the weave and waited for further instruction. He was like a kid in a sweets shop...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Arcon nodded, pleased with his student's progress. He knew these weaves tested Shadar's ability to weave, but that was good, that was how he would grow. The next weave wouldn't be any easier... "Good Shadar, you have learned the basics of illusion. Let us move on to one of its purer forms."


Arcon seized Saidin once again, still amazed at how fighting for his life was so... second nature. No wonder men who channeled tended to  be brave, the weak were culled by their own power. He began to weave, it was simple compared to what it perhaps should have been, weaving all the elements, minus the yellow of earth into an intricate web.


This web spun, molding itself into the shape a huge black spider, Arcon's houses colors stripped on the abdomen. Arcon continued to weave, the illusion shifting and staring at Shadar, it's huge pincers opening and closing. "Illusion is an infinitely useful weave, you can form anything you want with practice. It is, however, difficult to master. Try weave a simple, familiar object at first." He dismissed the spider, a beast he planned to take as his heraldry.


"Begin, Shadar."

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Shadar suppressed a frown as he watched Arcon weave. That weave looked complex and took all but Earth to produce. The spider was impressive if a little intimidating. He glanced briefly looking at the man bound in the chair. How would he react to seeing that creature crawling on him? The thought made him smile but he had been instructed to begin, he would not hesitate.


Weaving carefully, and laboriously working, he brought together the elements required for the weave. Once he had formed the basics of the weave he added a little more here and shifted some there. Using something he was familiar with he formed a simple dagger.


Moving the thing was far beyond him. He tried however, and the weave melted away. He glanced at Arcon and noted the glint in his eye that had become a kind of praise. Shadar had come to know this as Arcon's pride in him as a student.


Pulling on the Source once more he tried a second time. This time he layered the weave even more carefully than before, he felt every strand in his bones and sweat shimmered along his brow. He slipped and had to correct the weave 3 times before he was able to create his goal. When done a crude image of a fat spider sat awkwardly on the floor. It was an ugly thing and did not look at all real like Arcon's had. Releasing it however Shadar felt a sense of pride in the accomplishment. One did not do things perfectly on the first try.


A rhythm had developed with Arcon's teaching and as always, Shadar awaited his next display and instruction patiently so that he might try his hand as well...

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Arcon nodded, pleased with Shadar. "Good, practice that weave often, and your skill with it will develop. There is one more Illusion weave, one that would allow you to mask your own appearance, but it is far out of your ability to do for now. I will teach it to you when you gain the rank of dread lord." Nodding to himself, he moved on, cutting the flows that blinded and deafened the man.


"Irol, welcome to my rooms. I would like to use you to teach a future dreadlord, Shadar Al'Niende." His tone was sweet, an oddity delivered from an almost skeletal face like his. He locked eyes with the man, his eye patch causing one eye to quiver between that and his good eye. He loved the effect it had on people, if not the reason he had it... May squids erupt from your intestines, Mr. Sweeper.


"Shadar, watch. I will demonstrate a weave with a most obvious effect. Putting someone to sleep. I'm sure you can think of the uses for such a weave." He laughed lightly, watching with a tremor of joy as the man, Irol, was nearly overcome with fear. Then, he snapped the weave into place, weaving it in an instant.


It was an easy weave for Arcon to accomplish, but for Shad it would again push him. He wanted to see him get it right, with out the slow and purposeful demonstration he did of other weaves. It was another test... Weaving bands of air to constrict the throat, waking the man up from his slumber, Arcon turned to his student. "Begin."

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"Good, practice that weave often, and your skill with it will develop. .." The praise warmed Shadar and he smiled with the pride he felt.


"...one that would allow you to mask your own appearance...I will teach it to you when you gain the rank of dread lord."


Shadar shivered with pleasure. Arcon was a veritable fountain of knowledge and Shadar drank freely. Arcon wove and cut the flows that impaired the man sitting in the chair. "Irol, welcome to my rooms..." Shadar had to suppress a laugh at Arcon's deceivingly sweet tone.


Arcon explained the Sleep weave and laughed lightly when the man Irol nearly soiled himself. He snapped the weave into place almost faster than Shadar could follow. Arcon wove again and the man awoke, clearly afraid of what happened while he was out. Shadar tilted his head and studied the man, heedless of his fearful gaze. Arcon had woven the Source rather quickly, and Shadar wanted to make sure he got the weave right. He tapped his lips with a long forefinger before furrowing his brown and beginning.


Raising his hands he started to weave the flows. Irol obviously could not tell what was happening, but knew that Shadar was wielding the Power in his direction. Shadar grinned as the man wet himself, just before he applied the weave. Irol's head slummped to one side, his breathing slow and methodical. Pleased with himself he wove air, clouting the man upside the head to awaken him. He did not awaken right away and Shadar had to hit him again before he came around.


Shadar looked to Arcon to see if he had done it correctly, despite the strength he had applied.

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