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Orest Story- Part 2
Visions of sparkling brown eyes had been plaguing Orest’s dreams ever since that fateful night he used his powers to see his best self. It had been over a week, and yet he still hadn’t completely reconciled the possibility of a happier life with his current reality. He had woken the next day in complete denial, going about his life as if his vision was just some incredibly realistic dream. And who knows? Maybe that’s all it was. Maybe his power didn’t show people an alternate reality, but just a fantasy the person had concocted to distract them from the monotony and agony of everyday life. A trick of the brain. Yes, he concluded, that’s all it was. A fantasy shaped from my imagination. It has no bearing on my life, just a dream world where I’m married. Ha! Did he even want to be married? He realized he had never asked himself that question before. He hadn’t had the time to consider courting or marriage. Regardless, this vision wasn’t truth. What did it matter that he was married somewhere deep in the recesses of his subconscious?

And then the dreams started. Orest didn’t understand why they so thoroughly captivated him, but every morning, he’d wake to the same flashes of images: a pair of almond eyes, dancing in the morning light; a full pair of lips curved into a knowing smile; and a warm hand holding his, her fingers idly tracing patterns into the back of his hand. He’d hear her whisper his name, her gentle laugh swirling about him. He’d turn and reach for her, opening his eyes, expecting her to be lying there in his bed with him. Of course, she never was.

After one such dream, Orest couldn’t fall back asleep. Her presence lingered with him. He could almost smell her, feel the warmth she had created next to him. Resigned, he rose and got dressed, hoping to find some answers, or at least some peace, walking through the empty streets. It had been a while since Orest had woken so early for reasons other than monster fighting, and he had forgotten the commotion of early morning city life in Windhaven. He heard the din of the market blocks before he reached the open area. Bustling about their business, merchants and customers bartered for local and foreign goods. It was warmer than was typical for this time of year, and the smell of spices and seafood wafted through the plaza.

Lost in thought, Orest wandered past stalls filled with local fruits and vegetables. He hardly glanced toward the food. He couldn’t find it in himself to eat anything. After a week of this torture, it was starting to grate on his nerves. He had tried everything he could think of to stop the dreams. He rearranged the furniture in his apartment, thinking his apartment was too like the vision. When that hadn’t helped, he bought new bedding. Still no luck. Wondering if it was something he ate, he tried different foods, then no food, but nothing helped. He took herbal tea prescribed to him by a local physician, but that hadn’t worked either. He was running out of options.

Orest sighed. His life had turned completely upside down after the night of the lights. Thinking about it, he almost laughed. He was trapesing across the city, fighting monstrous creatures he’d only ever recited in his songs and poems. Am I going crazy? He thought. I must be insane. Is the thrill of these powers worth the risk of losing my life fighting monsters and thugs? Orest liked his life. He’d done very well for himself, considering where he’d come from. Fighting his way up from the life of a street orphan, he’d been in some dangerous situations. He’d had to make tough decisions, some of which he wasn’t altogether proud to have made. It could have been so much worse, he realized. I may have done some bad things, but the mistakes aren’t who I am. But who was he, really? He was a product of the streets, of death and destruction. Could something good come from such evil?

He was in such deep thought, he almost missed the sound of a familiar laugh somewhere around him. Orest stopped in his tracks, his ears straining and his heart racing. He frantically searched each face, but there was so much commotion and so many people, he was afraid he wouldn’t find the voice he heard. His sudden stop and erratic behavior drew looks from a few passing market-goers. Unbothered by the attention, Orest leaned to see past a cart, stepping to the side. “Watch it!” A burly man grumbled at him as he inadvertently ran straight into the man. He hardly noticed, but did manage to nod his head in acknowledgement, still frantically scanning the crowd. The man walked on, and Orest continued to search. Maybe he had just imagined her laugh. Maybe his dreams had begun to plague his reality as well.

But then he saw her.

She was across the square, turning away from the stall where she had apparently been shopping. She smiled broadly, bowed, and… nothing. She was gone. Orest rushed forward, trying to crane his neck to see where she went. He hurried in the direction she had been, but he was too late. By the time he made it through the mass of people, she had disappeared. She’s real, he thought. Does that mean my visions are more than mere fantasy?
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Jaya and Orest Being Bros
Some character scenes Megan and I worked up a while back, fleshed out just a bit for dramatic effect . . .

Sometime in early days when the party did the hole-in-the-wall investigation; waiting around the slums.

Jaya’s standing beside Orest at the edge of a building. She peeks around the corner every so often to see how badly the rest of the party crashes and burns, grinning a little until she glances up at the large musician beside her and remembers Saida’s request. She stifles a groan; this is the best opportunity she’s likely to get, so she pastes on a smile and goes for it.

“Hey, Orest . . . write any good songs lately?”

He looks down at her and says, “I’m working on a song for the upcoming new moon festival. I have the words, but the music hasn’t come to me just yet.”

“New moon festival, wow. Sounds great. That’s gonna be your next show, right?”

“Yes, on the 21st.”

“Very cool.” Jaya shuffles a bit, looks around the corner, smudges a lightning bolt she wrapped around her wrist. This isn’t getting where she needs it to. “You’re really popular, you know.”

“Why, thank you. I’m very lucky to have come this far.”

“Yeah.” She kicks the wall a few times, then just goes for it. “So, you remember that thing I had you sign when we met last week? It was for my sister, right?”

Orest looks briefly confused, but says, “Um, sure, yeah. No problem.”

Jaya is immediately relieved; he remembers. “Yeah. Thanks.” She checks around the corner again. “Yikes.” She shakes her head, then leans back against the wall more casually, crossing one leg over the other. “Anyway, she’s a big fan. Really big fan. You probably have a lot of those, haha . . .” She punches him lightly in the arm and immediately regrets it.

He glances down at the spot where she punched him, then looks back up at her. “I have a few that are more, um, dedicated than the rest, sure. Glad to hear your sister appreciates my craft. Always happy to hear that fans are pleased.”

“You’re so chill. Nice.” Out of the corner of her mouth as she looks across the street, she adds, “You’re gonna need it.” She looks back up at him and says, “Since, you know. We have all this in common,” and she waves a hand vaguely between them, “would you be able to do me a bit of a favor?” She rushes on before she thinks he might protest, “Cuz when I gave her the autograph . . . I kinda had to tell her where I got it. I mean I didn’t say I knew you, specifically, or anything about what happened.” She can’t quite look up at him for a minute of silence, so she adds, “No worries. Hehe,” and winces just a bit.

When she glances up again, he’s looking quizzically at her. “What
kind of favor?”

Jaya tips up a shoulder in a slight shrug and replies, “She’d really, really love to meet you. Just like a hello would probably keep her functioning for a solid like. Year.” She pauses. “Just after your next concert. If it’s not too much trouble.”

“Oh. That’s nothing! I always take a few minutes to meet fans after performances. Bring your sister by at the new moon festival, and I’ll have a small treat for her as well.”

“Wow! I mean, I don’t want you to be bothered, really. But thanks!” She looks down at the ground again and scuffs a toe into the dust as something else occurs to her. “Oh, by the way . . . I may have told her that I know your doctor.”

“Sure, anything for a . . . you told her what?”

“Umm.” Jaya blinks and lets her gaze drift across the street again. “Well, I had to tell her something. Mary’s a doctor . . . ? I don’t know. Just be warned she’s fixating on . . . I think tattoos? I think it’s your tattoos.” She glances at his arm and then away, rapidly. “Which I’ve heard is a thing. I haven’t been looking. I swear.”

Orest looks steadily at Jaya for a moment, and Jaya squares her shoulders, ready to go down swinging if she has to, but then his eyes clear and he chuckles. “I don’t know why my fans wonder so much about my tattoos. They’re plain as day! But your sister probably shouldn’t be bothering herself with my, uh, doctor.”

Jaya breathes a sigh of relief. “Yeah, no, of course. She’s pretty intense, but I’ll make sure she keeps the stalking to a minimum.” She smiles, kicks at the dust again, and looks around the corner. “You’re not too bad for someone across the river, Orest. Way cooler than I expected.”

“Well, I wasn’t always across the river. I grew up here.” He clears his throat. “Anyway. I think it’s time to go. They’re coming back this way.”

New Moon Festival, on the way to Orest’s concert.
Jaya regrets every single choice she has ever made that has led her to this point, up to but just barely not including attending a concert and getting light-zapped with magic so she can do awesome things now. Saida will. Not. Stop. Talking.

“It’s so ridiculous what Xielara was saying last week about his latest epic; it’s clearly an homage to the historic bardic traditions from the mainland; there’s no way he would ever rip off a cheap tavern song. It’s like she’s not a real fan at all.”

“Mm.” Jaya gets a sound in while Saida’s taking a breath, but Jaya’s obvious boredom doesn’t seem to get across. The glow of the theater flickers into the starry night sky before them. They’re nearly there.

“He’s supposed to debut a new set tonight, and I really hope it’s in the newer style, because he looks soooo good in his armor.” She clasps her hands together and blows out a long, breathy sigh. “I nearly died when he walked on stage last time. Could you believe that hair? And he had no sleeves….” For a short, blessed moment, Saida trails off, lost to fantasy, and Jaya walks faster, barrelling through the gates into the theater.

“I can’t believe this is happening!” Saida gives a short, shrill scream and bounces on her toes.

Jaya pauses in the aisle, turns and looks at her sister. “Are you going to be chill about this? I don’t think you’re going to be chill.”

“I’m so chill right now! So chill,” Saida replies, dancing in circles around Jaya.

“Never mind. We’re not doing this right now.” Jaya turns and heads for the gates.

“Nooooooo!” Saida collapses to her knees in the aisle behind Jaya, hands clasped again in supplication. “You promised! I’m meeting Orest!”

After a long pause, wherein Jaya stares, long and hard, at her sister’s melodramatics, Saida gets up, brushes off her skirt carefully, and sits on a bench. She folds her hands in her lap and says, quietly, “So chill.”

Fine. Jaya sighs, heavily, and drops onto the bench next to her.
“Please don’t make me regret this.”

“So chill.”

The concert is good, as is usual. Jaya is slightly concerned that Orest will manifest something new and unmistakably Natural as he sings, but his sets proceed without anything more exciting than a particularly enthusiastic fan tossing articles of clothing onto the stage.

He nods to the screaming crowd as he finishes for the night. Jaya applauds politely. Then she glances over at Saida, who has gone suspiciously silent, and groans. Her sister has pulled out a bottle of perfume and is applying it extremely liberally to her neck and wrists. Eyeing her with exasperated concern, Jaya edges away, out of the splash zone. “I hope he’s not allergic.”

Saida swipes a drop from her wrist behind her ear before tucking the bottle into a pocket and smoothing her hair. “I need him to be overwhelmed and slightly light-headed so he thinks he’s head over heels for me.”

“ . . . Sure.” Before Saida can push her way into the aisle, Jaya grabs her arm. “But you’re waiting until he’s off the stage or he very well might pass out and fall off and die.” Saida rolls her eyes, but she waits. She’s breathing a little strangely, and when they get into the emptying aisle, she’s actually leaning on Jaya’s arm. Jaya gives her a concerned shake, but Saida’s footsteps are determined, down the aisle towards Orest, who stands at the bottom of the stage stairs talking to other fans.

He waves to Jaya, beckoning her forward with her sister in tow, and says, voice melodious and pleasant, “Hello.”

Saida lets go of Jaya, reaches out a hand, and collapses forward.

Jaya yelps and goes to grab her, but Orest beats her to it, sinking gracefully to a knee and gently catching Saida in his muscled arms.

Jaya steps back and snorts. Her eyes roll almost painfully. “Sorry about that. I told her to be cool. This is my sister, Saida.”

As Orest reassures onlookers, Saida opens one eye. Jaya crosses her arms and raises an eyebrow. Saida’s eye narrows, but she quickly arches her back, throws an arm across her eyes, and begins to moan. Jaya thinks, to her near-horror, that the sound is supposed to be suggestive. She kicks Saida hard in the foot, smirking when the sound goes higher and more shrill.

Orest, to Jaya’s great relief, seems not to notice anything. He asks a bystander for their jacket to lay on the floor, and he gently sets Saida down on it. Then he turns to Jaya and asks, “Do you think she’s okay? She sounds really hurt. I had a dog that sounded like that as it was dying.”

Jaya bites down, hard, on a cackling laugh. “Oh, she’s definitely good. Nice catch, though, thanks.” Saida, rolling languidly on the floor, missed what Orest said. Jaya watches her for a few seconds, then decides that’s enough. “Hey, sis. I think your skirt’s getting wrinkled. Off the floor.” Jaya holds out a hand. Saida sits up and takes it, glaring at Jaya before tossing a dazzling smile in Orest’s direction. Jaya pulls her up and Saida steps daintily over to Orest again.

“Thanks so much for saving me. I don’t know what I would have done without you,” Saida says, staring up at him with a hand on his arm.

Orest smiles and says, “I’m glad you’re alright! Thank you for coming out to support me.” He turns to more fans waiting for his autograph and continues down the line.

Jaya waves after him and says, cheerily, “Thanks, man! Good concert.” Saida tries to walk after him, but Jaya grabs her arm. “Nope. You met him. Hope it was everything you dreamed. Let’s go home.”

Saida crosses her arms and glares. “You said you knew him!”

“I mean . . . I know him more than you.” Saida looks thunderous.

“Like, we’re chill.” Saida doesn’t move. “Sorry he didn’t fall in love with you instantly . . . ?” Jaya finally sighs. “Look, at least you got to spend a few minutes cradled by his bulging biceps or whatever. Look at the rest of those fans; they’re furious.” Jaya points at the line of girls waiting for autographs. At least two are looking daggers in Saida’s direction, which seems to make her feel a bit better.

“He did smell amazing . . .” Saida sighs, arms moving to hug herself, eyes going dreamy.

“Surprised you could smell him over your own perfume,” Jaya mutters. Luckily, Saida’s not listening.

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Orest's Vision
*Warning: this story is pretty long... not at all sorry lol*

The blinding red and yellow light of flames danced before five year-old Orest, mocking and punishing him as they lapped at the crude wooden panels of his now destroyed home. Come out! Mama, Papa, please come out! Please. Orest's whole body shook uncontrollably as streams of hot tears trailed down his ash-covered cheeks. He couldn't tear his eyes from the flames, his gaze riveted on the space that used to hold the front door. Every breath a gasp as he fought to remain in control, he waited, hoping, praying to see his mother and father emerge carrying his baby brother from the building. All he could see was flashes of color through the never-ending tears. "Mama!" he cried. Orest's knees buckled under him and he collapsed, tumbling to the ground. He lay curled in a ball on the ground, screaming, gurgling through the tears and mucus that threatened to drown him. He wasn't sure how long he lay there, staring at the dying flames, but eventually the panic subsided and numbness took over. Unfamiliar arms lifted him from the dirt road and carried him away from the home he would never know again. Mama. Papa. Olir. No.

Orest had spent most of his life simultaneously avoiding his past and trying to make up for it. His life as an orphan hadn't been easy, and he quickly learned that he had to take what he could get or he wouldn't get anything at all. He hated the life he lived and dreamed of a better future, to achieve greatness and prove that he was worth something. Fortunately, Orest's gifts came very naturally to him. When he was young, the workers at the orphanage quickly became exasperated with his never-ending tales of epic wars and unknown lands. In school, he found fantastical ways to explain why he had not prepared his homework assignments. Later, he used his silver tongue in service of the local gang, to gain their trust as he climbed their ranks and influenced the community in their favor. Orest thrived in these circumstances, finding that even when he got himself into sticky situations, he found it enjoyable (and often easy) to talk his way out of trouble. His past drove him to strive for greatness, no matter how he got there or where he ended up. This was his one chance for glory and happiness.

Orest skipped through the house, waving the paper bird his Papa had made for him through the air and imagining it soaring through the sky. Mama bent down and kissed his forehead. She led him to the table and helped him climb into his chair. Fixing the strands of hair that had fallen in front of his eyes, she smiled at Orest, "Stay here while I get your baby brother ready for supper." She then crossed to the bedroom at the back of the little house. Orest continued making bird sounds and flapping the bird across the table in front of him as he patiently waited for supper. Papa walked over to the cooking fire and poked at it until the embers glowed brighter. He lifted the lid from the pot, the smell of stew wafting through the room. "Smells great, Avira," he called to Orest's Mama. "Thank you, dear," she called back from the bedroom. "Could you bring another log from around back?" Papa turned toward the door, tousling Orest's hair as he passed by. Orest turned to the cooking fire. I'm going to help like Papa, he thought. He scooted out of his seat, still holding his paper bird. He walked over to the fire, feeling the heat on his face and arms. He picked up the stick Papa had used to tend the fire. Bending forward, he poked at the fire like he had seen his Papa do. The embers began to twinkle brighter. He smiled and poked harder, wanting to do even more helping. One of the logs fell over to the side, hitting the supporting pole and causing the pot to swing to the side. Orest scrambled backward, dropping his paper bird into the fire pit as he fell to the ground. He scrambled forward, picking the paper from the fire. He stood up to inspect the damage. One wing was on fire! He blew on it, but the flame grew larger, and he dropped it in front of him. The bird landed on the rug, still aflame.

It had been a few days since the performance with the lights and the, well, powers. Orest still had trouble believing he could summon metal from his poems, much less the psychological warfare that he rained down on his enemies. What would that feel like? He mused to himself. There was a particular song that had Orest especially curious. The parable from which he composed the piece spoke of an evil king in a far-off land. This king had begun his reign as a righteous man, but slowly he allowed the thirst for power to consume him. He executed countless innocent subjects, eventually earning him the title "The Red King." Even his closest advisors became fearful of his erratic nature. In their despair, they sought out anyone who could help tame the king's temper. A powerful sorcerer promised to alter the king's mind, and they gladly accepted. As the king slept, he was shown a vision of his life should he choose to be a better man and king, the man he used to want to be. This children's parable had always resonated with Orest, and he composed a song from it that had become a favorite of the local children. It was the magical effects of this song that Orest wished to understand. After having discovered it, and using it in battle, his curiosity had grown to almost incomprehensible heights. Orest had seen a moment of clarity when the spell took hold of his opponent. His face had glowed and relaxed into a wistful smile, almost as if he had been completely at peace. Orest could still see that look of wonder and peace. What would that feel like?

Orest just stood staring at the paper bird. The paper was almost completely consumed, and tears began to pool in his eyes. Papa had made that for him, and he was going to be so upset when he found out that Orest had destroyed it. In an instant, the straw rug caught on fire, growing ever larger, and soon the rug was covered in yellow flames. Orest screamed, "Papa!" Moments later his Papa came bursting through the door. The flames had spread to the table, and Orest just watched in horror as everything before him caught fire. There was no pathway to the exit. Everything before him was ablaze. Orest's father threw down the log, running toward him. He burst through the flames, gathered Orest in his arms, and carried him outside. Kneeling down, he put his hands on Orest's shoulders. "Stay here. Don't come any closer. I'll be right back, I promise." His father ran back inside. Frozen with fear, Orest watched as the flames grew ever greater inside their small home.

Orest bolted upright, covered in sweat. He gasped for air, still partially convinced he couldn't breathe through the smoke and fire that plagued his dreams. As he awoke fully, he calmed himself. That's it. I can't take it anymore. He threw on a tunic, and stalked toward the door. He practically ran out the back door and into the small wooded area behind the Elven garden restaurant next to his house. Being almost four o'clock, no one was anywhere to be seen. Orest stopped in his favorite spot, a small open area where he liked to work on new poems and songs. He paced as he contemplated the possible repercussions of what he was considering. He was reasonably confident that his mind was stronger than the thug he had faced in the tavern. He may also be able to stop the spell's effects, because he had the power to stop some of his other abilities on command. He had no evidence that it would work here, though. In all honesty, he had no idea what to expect. He knew the effects the mind could have on a person's life. He lived with the daily reminder of that fact. Not knowing, however, would frustrate him for the rest of his life. Steeling his resolve, he closed his eyes and began to sing. He decided to sing through the entire song, rather than just the line of enchantment, imagining the king and the turmoil and despair he wrought upon his subjects. Orest kept his voice low so that he wouldn't wake any potential witnesses, but he gave his heart and soul to the performance. He laid them there in that shadowy garden, as an offering to whatever god was responsible for these gifts he had received.

As the last note of his song echoed through the trees around him, the world began to grow faint. The edges of his vision blurred and dimmed, and before him a speck of glowing light appeared. Orest squinted to try and make out what it was, but in seconds it grew closer and larger. He stumbled back a step and threw his hands in front of his face as the light engulfed him. After a few seconds, Orest looked up at the world in front of him. He gasped as he recognized the house he lived in as a young boy. He heard the fire crackling in the fire pit and smelled the welcoming fragrance of warm bread in the oven. He even heard familiar footsteps on the front porch. He darted around the corner into the shadows of the hallway, worrying he'd be seen. His father came in the front door, a tired smile on his face. "Papa!" a boy called. Orest turned to see his younger self running into his Papa's arms and throwing his arms around his neck. His Papa grinned and hugged him tight, then plopped him down and told him to wash his hands for supper. Young Orest trotted off toward the washroom.

Watching from the hallway, Orest held his breath and tried to stay perfectly still as the boy walked straight past him. Young Orest hadn't seen him. He hadn't even looked in his direction. When the little boy came back out, he was carrying a familiar paper bird. Orest's heart sunk in his chest, and he couldn't swallow for the lump in his throat. He ached to cry out to the boy, to warn him, to stop him. As the scene continued, Orest just stood there, watching helplessly as his worst nightmare was reenacted before his eyes. He watched his mother walk past him to the bedroom, and his father exit for the firewood. He walked slowly into the kitchen, staring at his younger self with dread and shame. He waited for the boy to leave his seat, knowing that all would end in tragedy. As he stood there staring, tears in his eyes, a noise startled him and he jumped. The front door closed and his father crossed to the kitchen, placing the log into the cooking fire. Orest rubbed at his eyes, not believing what he saw.

The world grew dim a second time, and this time Orest was able to prepare. He braced himself against the wall behind him as he waited for the light to appear. He closed his eyes at the brightness, but as his eyes adjusted, he glanced around him to see a house he did not recognize. A teenage boy burst into the house, a younger boy trailing behind him. "Orest, wait for me!" he called after the older boy. Teenage Orest replied, "Come on, Olir! We have to hurry if we want to be there in time!" Orest watched in wonder as his little brother ran after his younger self. His mother called from the kitchen, "Boys! Make sure you take something to eat with you this time. Last time you went to see the storyteller, you went hungry and regretted it!" Orest ran toward the sound of his mother's voice. There she was, packing food in a satchel that was obviously meant for the two boys. She was humming something quietly. Orest stepped closer, listening intently. Melancholy washed over him. She was humming the lullaby she sang to him every night as a child. He looked at her, tears threatening to form in his eyes.

As he reached out his trembling hand to touch her, the corners of his world darkened around Orest. This time, he was transported to a very familiar place. He was standing in his bedroom, the master bedroom of the house he bought in the Wings district. The visions must be over, he thought. Exhausted, he started to walk toward the bed when he heard footsteps. He grabbed the dagger from his waist, donned his fighting stance, and prepared for combat. A young woman walked into the room, ignoring Orest as she continued to dry her hair with her towel and sat on the edge of the bed. "Honey!" she called. "Are you finished working for the night? It's getting late." Orest was incredibly confused. Who was this woman in his bedroom? Something was very off about all of this. He took a closer look at the room. At a glance, this room looked as it always had. The mahogany wood headboard that he'd had specially carved with two doves, the dresser he'd bought from a visiting merchant, and his favorite reading chair were all in their respective places. If he looked closer, however, he noticed a few additions to his purchases. There was a lilac blanket across the foot of the bed, vases of white lilies on the nightstands, and a few picture frames on the dresser. The curtains were a lilac that matched the blanket and rug, as well as the decorative pillows propped up next to the headboard. He'd never seen these things before, and he certainly would never have bought them himself. "I'll be right there," called a disorienting voice. His voice. He walked out into the main room. There he was, sitting at a desk with papers sprawled out in front of him. One glance told Orest they were the stories and poems he had recently collected. His other self tidied the desk, stretched his arms above his head and yawned. "Honey?" the woman called again. Orest watched himself, fascinated by the expression of joy and contentment that washed over his face as he chuckled, rising to join his wife. Happiness suited him.

Sudden darkness swallowed Orest. After a few seconds, his eyes began to adjust. He was back in the restaurant garden, standing exactly as he had before the visions began. Exhaustion poured over Orest, and he fell to the ground. He was nauseated, and there was a faint ringing in his ears. The ground seemed to blur in front of him, and it took him a moment to realize that he was crying. Tears streamed down his face unbidden, falling to the hard ground. Gut-wrenching pain washed over him. What has my life become?
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Epic × 3!
I've added a section detailing Windhaven's calendar to the setting page here. Let me know if there are any other dates you consider important that you'd like added to the list.
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Busy Schedule
Najwa was getting a lot more exercise than usual. After that night at the gambling den with Icenfang, she started joining Jaya in training when she was able. Obviously she was nowhere nearly as competent at any kind of close combat fighting, or really anything but a few tricks with her bow. She learned what she could and practiced regularly in her bedroom. If there was something she was good at after all her schooling, it was studying.

Most of the rest of her time was spent focusing on her apprentice responsibilities. The past week had kept her from doing her due diligence in keeping her place in the guild and she needed to keep her status. She felt more distracted from her duties than usual. Being inside the place where Naturals had gone missing can do that to a person. Her drive, however, hadn’t disappeared and she immersed herself in her work. She felt more connected to the items she was creating with her own hands than ever before.

Whenever she got some free time during the day to walk around the guild or even around town, Najwa practiced her “cycle-sight”. She tried walking quickly, talking to people, or even using her other abilities while still focusing enough to keep her “cycle-sight” going. Progress, if there was any at all, was slow. But what did she have to lose? The best way to figure out and strength her abilities was to experiment with them. Plus, this was her favorite of all of her abilities and just walking around and looking at invisible flows was the highlight of every day.

At night, she had started to do her own personal research into categorizing cycles. If she could learn to at least partially distinguish cycles apart more quickly, she may be able to help the others when in sticky situations or even in combat. She read anything on the subject, took notes on everything, and stared for hours at cycles, comparing them to each other and picking them apart as best she could. She knew Edana would be much better at this sort of research and contemplated bringing her in on it. Edana was her best friend after all and at least this would give her more of an excuse to spend time with her around everything else.

It had not even been a week since the lights from the sky at the New Year’s Festival but already Najwa’s day-to-day schedule had become fairly busy. And she was enjoying every minute of it.
Session: Whose Best Interest - Thursday, Mar 30 2017 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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