Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Kiran

  1. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Evonna, Chikako
    Location: Kitchen


    Jowan peers at Duke, confused by how slow and deliberate Duke’s movements -- OH. 


    He’s not sure how he hadn’t noticed Duke bare his well-toned arms, and for a moment he stares with wide eyes. It’s not a sight that he’s used to. Fashions in the Circle consisted exclusively of robes and Templar armor, neither of which showed much skin. His own arms are scared, pale, and embarrassingly scrawny, and he’s glad that they’re covered up. 


    Andraste’s grace, he can’t just keep staring, but he doesn’t know where else to look and he doesn’t exactly want to stop, either. The best that he can do is pray that, somehow, Duke hasn’t noticed him staring even though Duke’s looking right at him. He’d think it impossible, but so far Duke hasn’t been the most observant person. 


    Fortunately for him, the faucet in Duke’s hands explodes in a spray of water. Jowan blinks, then bursts out laughing, bringing a hand up to his mouth and leaning over as he does so. “Trying to wash your whole front, too?” he teases. 

  2. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Evonna, Chikako
    Location: Kitchen


    A feeling of delight rises in his chest at Duke’s unbridled enthusiasm (he wants him to tell him about things!), but the feeling is crushed when two girls walk in and interrupt. 


    Perhaps a public place wasn’t the best area to have a private conversation. 


    Duke drains his mug so quickly that he nearly misses it, and he blinks at the speed and lack of reaction before taking a far more careful sip of his own mug. If Duke wants to scorch his own throat that’s his problem. 


    He stands around awkwardly and waits for a gap in the conversation, completely unsure as to what he should be doing. He has some vague idea about how cookies are made with flour and sugar and baked, but he’s never done it before. It couldn’t be too difficult, right? “Is there anything that I should do?” he asks, a bit hesitantly. He doesn’t particularly feel the desire to help, but he doesn’t want to just stand around doing nothing, either. That and, well, maybe if he helped the girls would go away sooner. It wasn’t as though they’d done anything wrong, exactly, but he couldn’t help but feel ruffled by the way they’d barged in and started loudly rummaging in the cupboards.   

  3. Anders

    Allies: Keaton


    They weren’t at the Gateway for a moment when Keaton dropped the box and took off after Pascal. Anders sighed and ran a hand over his face. Keaton didn’t stop for a moment, did he? Stifling a yawn, he picked up the box (careful to keep his hands outside of it this time) and followed after Keaton at a far more sedate pace. 


    Keaton was long out of sight by the time Anders reached the castle, but it was easy to follow the trail of dirt and Keaton’s wails. He soon found Keaton curled in a pathetic heap on the ground in front of a door. 


    He stared for a moment, too tired to decide what he was supposed to do in this situation. After a moment, he decided that the only thing he could do was join Keaton on the floor. He set the box onto the floor, then using what little mana had recovered, he dropped into the shape of a cat. 


    It hadn’t been his original plan, but as a cat he couldn’t help but notice that the warmest place to sit was on top of Keaton’s back. Without warning, he leapt onto Keaton’s back, tucked his paws under his body, and closed his eyes. 

    nap time

  4. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    Really? He could just take whatever he wanted? The idea is foreign and more than a little daunting. He’s sure, rationally, that Duke wouldn’t try to trick him (even if he wasn’t kind, Duke is too open to be able to manage any kind of subterfuge), but his instincts still scream trap. Maybe the rules are different for newcomers like himself, and Duke simply doesn’t know. Duke seems so sure about it, but there has to be some sort of hierarchy at XDRE.


    Once Duke is done with the cinnamon he takes it and adds only a few shakes to his own mug, less than Duke had. He’s wary about taking too much (whatever Duke said), but mostly it’s because he doesn’t know how strong the spice is and doesn’t trust Duke’s judgment. 


    Attentive? He didn’t think he was that attentive, it was something he noticed. Something he couldn’t not notice, really, when he’d been in a life-or-death situation the first time and had an attack fail the second time. “Well, that sounds useful,” he says. An understatement. “I’ll keep that in mind.” 


    “Well,” he says, pausing for a moment and trying to think of a way to put it delicately. “Your explanation was disorganized, and it didn’t actually make much sense or explain everything.” He winced and took a sip of his cocoa. Maybe that wasn't that delicate. 


    Then he remembers why they hadn’t pressed Duke for more information back then. He’d acted so oddly and looked so sad -- this was a bad idea. “I mean -- you don’t have to explain more if you don’t want to. I got the gist of it, really. Fairies, right?” Whatever a ‘fairy’ was. “I don’t think I explained much about my magic -- if you wanted to hear about it.” He hopes that Duke says yes, but he doesn’t want to bother him with useless prattling if he isn’t interested. 


  5. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    It’s a lot to think about. He feels both drained and rested, like after a long day of magic practice, a deep feeling of peace in his bones. He doesn’t doubt that there’ll be setbacks, but for the moment that seems okay. 


    “Sure, thank you,” he says, accepting the offer of another mug of hot chocolate. At Duke’s request he glances around the table and picks up a small glass bottle containing brown powder. “This it?” he asks, shaking it a little before sliding it across the table. “Could I try some? It’s… been a long time.” Neria had somehow managed to get ahold of a few sweet cinnamon-spiced buns a few years ago, probably by convincing Cullen to give them to her. 


    When Duke passes him the mug, he speaks again. “So… we never actually had that magic discussion, did we? I’ve got a question; during the fight with the Inquisitor, I thought I saw my Arcane Bolt go through your barriers, but then during the fight with Kelsier it didn’t. Am I misremembering…?”

    you can't fix a broken heart in a couple of days

  6. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    “Oh,” he says. 

    It’s an entirely inadequate reply to Duke’s speech, but he needs a few moments to process it. Duke speaks of grand plots, of wars and succession and justice, of weighty decisions and commanding armies, and it makes all of Jowan’s problems feel small and foolish.


    He’s no prince, commander, or Warden, just another arrogant mage. He’d been a pawn to larger things, yes, but never the one to make the decisions, too blinded by the moment to see the larger picture. Loghain had told him to poison the arl and he’d done it. Neria had told him to sacrifice Isolde with nothing but complete conviction in her eyes and he’d done it. He doesn’t regret listening to her, not really. He trusted her to make the right decision (and truthfully, Isolde had never given him a reason to mourn her death, not after she’d ordered him to be tortured), but the whole situation had stemmed from his mistakes. 


    “I... had this fantasy, while I was imprisoned, of… escaping somehow, I don’t know, and helping refugees. Becoming a healer, picking up a new name, protecting people. Being selfless for once instead of just making things worse for everyone around me, you know? It was silly. Idle thoughts to keep myself sane,” he says, voice hushed. “I still want to help, however I can, but… what if I don’t get any better, and just keep making the same mistakes? There’s a pattern here, I’d have to be blind not to see it.” 


    He sighs. “But… thank you. It feels a lot better, to not keep it hidden.”

    build the road in front of you

  7. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    Duke seems so surprised to be told that he’s pretty -- had he really not known? He seems so surprised by the revelation, and the words spilling out of his mouth don’t make much in the way of sense. He… also thinks that he’s pretty? Well, that’s good. Someone that looks so good should know that about themself. 


    There’s another possible meaning to Duke’s words, but it’s too fanciful to consider. 


    He listens carefully to Duke’s speech and nods. He’s not sure that he agrees. Intentions are all well and good, but the actual effects of actions can’t just be ignored. Not when people are hurt because someone was too selfish to think things through. 


    He’s not really thinking of Kelsier anymore. 


    All the same, it’s nice to hear Duke validate his feelings. Some part of him expected to be mocked, though he’s not sure why when Duke has been nothing but kind and understanding. 


    His eyes widen. Duke was serious? He turns the words over in his head, trying to see if there’s any way that he could be misunderstanding, but no, Duke really does seem to be interested in him. Romantically. “I -- really? I mean, me too --”


    Duke runs over to the sink, and Jowan doesn’t understand why until Duke explains that no, he hadn’t meant to dump a spoonful of salt into his hot chocolate. He laughs and takes a mocking sip of his own hot chocolate, relishing the flavor all the more. “I told you that you should pay more attention,” he teases. 


    There’s a light, giddy feeling in his chest. Talking to Duke is so easy when they don’t need to discuss heavy topics. But it can’t last, can it? He thought that he’d be with Lily forever, and he’d managed to mess that up so badly that she was locked in Aeonar. 


    It’s so tempting to just ignore it all and have a few days or weeks of happiness before it all comes crashing down, but what’s the use in delaying the inevitable? It’d only hurt Duke more. 


    “Duke, I…” he looks back down at his cup, his smirk replaced by knitted eyebrows and a forlorn expression. “It’s not fair to you, I’m not a good person.” He inhales, glad that he doesn’t have to see whatever look of disgust is on Duke’s face. “I betrayed my girlfriend and best friend -- my girlfriend didn’t do anything wrong, but now she’s in prison because I was selfish. I poisoned a woman’s husband, got her son possessed, and then killed her -- it doesn’t matter what my intentions were.” 


    Status: Refusing to Stop Angsting

  8. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    He looks up a Duke’s words, surprised. As many times as he tells him, it can’t seem to stick in his head that Duke, for some reason, seems to want to be around him. Seems to care about him. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t know or understand what Jowan’s done. The blood magic, yes, but nothing else. 


    Still, even if Duke’s wrong to think so, Jowan can’t help but feel… complimented. Warm, in a way that has nothing to do with the hot mug in his hands. A bit of the weight comes off his shoulders at the knowledge that Duke isn’t upset with him, that the touch hadn’t been unwelcomed. 


    “But I saw what happened. How horrified you looked at Kelsier. You’re my friend first and foremost, and I would never wish anything that makes you uncomfortable happen.”


    He thought -- ? 


    Duke finishes, and Jowan is finally given a chance to explain. Maker, but they had a lot to explain to each other. “That wasn’t your fault,” he says. “Kelsier, he -- I wasn’t expecting it, but he said it would, um, intensify emotions that were already there. So it, well, was true. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to think it wasn’t. You have very nice eyes,” he finishes, a little too quickly, scared that he won’t be able to say the words if he doesn’t get them out quickly enough. Somewhat worried that his blushing face will catch fire if he doesn’t change the subject, he continues. 


    “I just… couldn’t stay around him. Playing with emotions. How can you trust someone like that?” How can you trust a blood mage? It's too uncomfortable of a look in the mirror. He readjusts his grip around his mug and lets out a quiet chuckle. “I overreacted, didn’t I. He was just trying to show me how it worked. He wouldn’t do that, right?” Another stupid mistake, but if Kelsier did mess with him again, more subtly, would he be able to tell? What if he’d been lying about how his powers worked all along?

  9. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    Vylcan’s presence is still unnerving, but he supposes that if Duke trusts him there’s nothing else that he can do. Aside from cutting off Duke completely, of course, but he has absolutely no desire to do that. Rather the opposite, really. The kind-of-spirit would just have to stay. 


    “Chocolate,” he tries again, committing the word to memory. He’s not sure if he should trust Duke to cook (suspecting that he knew who someone was), but the actions that Duke performs seem simpler than making tea. Surely even Duke wouldn’t be able to mess that up?


    Cautiously, he takes the mug from Duke and slides it across the countertop towards himself. Following Duke’s instructions, he blows on it carefully before taking a sip. His eyes widen. The liquid is rich and sweet, like Duke described. He takes another sip, larger this time, and burns his tongue. Hissing to draw cool air over his tongue, he sets the mug down on the table briefly, then picks it up again because he refuses to let a small burn stop him from enjoying the drink. 


    Duke watches him while sprinkling salt into his own mug (perhaps he likes it that way? It seems like he’s sprinkling in a fair amount, but all he knows is that salt makes things better). “Yeah,” he says, taking another, more careful sip. “Thank you, I’ve… never had anything like this before.” Sweets were a rarity enough, and the thick unrecognizable flavor must be the chocolate stuff. Why would Duke give him something so delicious? 


    He doesn’t want to ruin it by bringing up bad emotions and he’s too cowardly to want to start the conversation, but they’d come to talk, right? They couldn’t just keep putting it off with sugared drinks, right? He coughs and sets down the mug, looking down into it. “About back there. I’m sorry, I didn’t… mean to be too touchy or make you uncomfortable or…” Maker, this is difficult. Why, out of all of his regrets, is this the hardest one to talk about? 

    chocolate > thinking about rejection

  10. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    When they arrive Duke busies himself by pulling dishes out of the many cupboards that cover the walls of the kitchen. Sitting still while he works is awkward, but Jowan wouldn’t know how to help even if he did know where to find anything. 


    "Don't bring up my embarrassing sexual history."


    Jowan startles and they look at each other with the same wide-eyed expression. Duke laughs and Jowan laughs with him; it’s quiet and a little hysterical, but it’s something. He doesn’t understand what… sexual history (something that he shouldn’t be thinking about) has to do with talking, but for all he knows it’s some kind of in-joke. 


    Duke’s… head-spirit, Vylcan, is still disturbing, but for another reason. “Is he… always watching, then?” Duke can’t help it, he knows, it just feels strange to have a not-quite-spirit spying on a private conversation. With luck Vylcan wouldn’t make any more helpful comments and he’d be able to forget about him. 

    He’s deflecting, anyway. Vylcan isn’t why they’re there. 


    “Sure,” he says, then blink. “But what’s… chokolat?” Some strange drink from the multiverse? Duke’s world? 

    Status: not thinking about Duke's sexual history

  11. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke
    Location: Kitchen


    “Yeah, okay,” he agrees, biting his lip. He’s not sure he wants to talk about it or explain why he overreacted so much, and he definitely doesn’t want to hear Duke reject him, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Running away from problems doesn’t work. It’s something that he should know by now. 


    They walk in awkward silence. He wonders if he should say something, but his throat is dry and he doesn’t know what to say. At least the walk isn’t too long. His thoughts are unpleasant enough; he doesn’t want to be left to stew in them for too long. 


    Inside the kitchen is a high counter with several tall stools beside it. He picks one and sits on it, then looks down at his hands, not quite sure where to start. An apology? Had he already made too many of those? 


    where to begin

  12. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Duke holds him, and they breathe together. 


    He doesn’t understand why Duke is bothering when he doesn’t deserve it, when he’d done nothing but hurt him, but for the moment he listens to Duke’s commands and focuses on the sound of his voice. The points of contact between them, shoulders to hands and forehead to forehead, are grounding, and he finds himself wishing for more. 


    He wants to reach up and hold Duke, and the words hugging practice flash through his mind, but -- no, he can’t do that. He’s already taken so much, from Neria and Lily and everyone else he’d met, and he can’t take more from Duke when he’d already given him so much. If XDRE is supposed to be a new chance at life for him he refuses to keep being the leech he once was. 


    Duke turns away from him, and it’s like dropping a bucketful of cold water on Jowan’s head. He’s not ready to let go, he wants to beg Duke to keep holding him. 

    Duke doesn’t let go, not completely. Jowan clings to Duke’s hand like a lifeline as Duke defends him, even as he doesn’t understand why Duke’s doing it. Duke had respected and admired Kelsier, he could tell, so why would he turn on him so quickly? Just because Jowan had been hurt? 


    He’s too surprised to keep holding Duke’s hand after Duke lets go, and though his hand trails after Duke’s he doesn’t move to grab it again. If Duke doesn’t want to touch him he can at least give him that much, as much as he wishes it could be otherwise. 


    "Don't worry. Just a spell. It happens. No hard feelings." 


    What --? 


    He follows after Duke, despite feeling horribly unsafe with his back turned to Kelsier. It takes them some time before Jowan speaks, his voice quiet and hoarse. “It’s not. Not just a spell. Weren’t you --” No, of course Duke hadn’t been listening to Kelsier’s explanation. “Maker, I’m so sorry, I.” 


    Something had changed with Duke, he can tell. His smile had been so brittle, so forced, and the only explanation that Jowan can think of is that he’d done something wrong. He just doesn’t know what or how to fix it, or if that’s even possible. 

    but it wouldn't mean a thing if i told you how i feel

  13. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier, Dynarst, Fiddlesticks, Typheus
    Location: Outside


    Jowan nods, engrossed in Kelsier’s explanation. Zinc and brass sounded less powerful and versatile than the mental applications of blood magic, but perhaps faster to cast and more subtle? Far easier to block, though, if any allomancer could just eat some copper to stop it. “Do you think copper could be used to block magic from other worlds?” 


    Kelsier finishes his explanation, and without warning Jowan is hit with a sense of awe. Wow, that was amazing -- the Lord Survivor didn’t even look like he’d done anything and just -- wow. “Um, y-yeah, think so,” he mumbles. 


    It’s a little terrifying to be in the presence of someone with so much presence, so he steps back and clings to one of Duke’s arms for some measure of protection, then looks up and -- 


    Seeing the Lord Survivor didn’t prepare him for Duke, with his infectious smile and sun-touched hair and wide, open eyes. "You’re really pretty, aren’t you,” he breathes, amazed that such a person could exist. So powerful, yet so kind and willing to help -- how? And he’d even managed to remember how to spell ‘hug’ the first time, despite how little attention he had seemed to be paying! He’s smart (well, maybe not really, but there’s hope) and incredible and -- 


    The effect ends and the awe drains away, leaving in its place dregs of horror and betrayal towards Kelsier and disgust at himself for being so easily manipulated. No wonder Loghain had managed to trick him so easily, if he practically fell at Kelsier’s feet as soon as the man used a bit of magic on him! 


    “Y-you -- what is wrong with you!” He means to yell, but his voice comes out strangely hushed. “Maker, you didn’t give any warning, you just!” 


    He tries to take a step backwards, away from Kelsier, but he’s still clinging onto Duke’s arm. Shocked, he drops it, even as a voice in his head whines at the loss of contact. A fresh dose of horror runs through him as he remembers what he’d done under the effects of the spell. “I need to --” 


    He doesn’t know what he needs. To get away from Kelsier. Anything. 

    maybe it's a dream maybe nothing else is real

  14. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Jowan blinks at Duke, surprised. Did he not understand what a joke was -- ow, ow, ow!
    Too quickly, he jerks his left arm away from Duke’s grip. “Watch it, injured,” he says, then immediately regrets snapping. The bandage had mostly been covered by his sleeves, and he’d already established that Duke has the memory of a finch. He was always flittering to the next thing that caught his attention, always with the same captivating intensity. “It’s fine, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, it’s just a little sore,” he says quickly. 
    “I know what a bloody hug is,” he says, ignoring the pain to laugh. “Wait -- F-H? Huff? Right, right, Duke didn’t know how to read. Enough mocking him, then. It's as good a time for an impromptu reading lesson as anything. “It’s H-U-G. The G makes the guh sound, right?” He doesn’t know how much Duke already knows, and hopes that he isn’t insulting him by dumbing it down too much. Then again, if Duke doesn’t know how to spell ‘hug’ he’s probably fine. 
    He wonders if it’d still be okay to accept the offer of hugging practice. No, sweet Andraste no, that’d be weird, Duke had made the offer when he thought that he didn’t know what a hug was. Besides, it had probably been a joke anyway. 
    Maybe he should have just gone along with it and pretended that he didn’t know what a hug was. 
    He doesn’t understand where that thought came from, or why his brain keeps insisting on finding excuses to touch Duke.
    Fortunately, Kelsier cuts off both that train of thought and Duke’s story. Jowan smiles at the older man’s words; not only was he not upset at him for going overboard and setting him on fire, but he’d called it fantastic!


    At the appearance of the bots he glances at Duke, but when Duke doesn’t react other than touching his arm he decides that it’s safe to pretend that the bots won’t hurt them. 


    (Later, when Duke calls being stabbed “fantastic”, he realizes that he shouldn’t have trusted Duke’s self-preservation instincts. By then it’s too late to run away screaming, so he resigns himself to probable death.)  


    He listens to Kelsier’s explanation carefully, clearly interested. Manipulating emotions? Wasn’t fear of manipulation one of the reasons why blood magic was so hated and feared? Magic is meant to serve man, and never to rule over him. There was a draw towards flashy magics, admittedly, but he could understand the value of subtlety. “So then, you could manipulate someone’s emotions, and the with copper they wouldn’t be able to tell?” he asks. Maker, he wouldn’t want to picture Orlesians with that kind of power. 


    wait, he hadn't been manipulating duke this entire time, right? nah, duke's just like that

  15. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Duke approaches him and Jowan expects him to stop at any moment so that they can talk, but he doesn’t. He keeps approaching, and before Jowan can do anything more than make a startled noise in the back of his throat Duke embraces him. 


    He instinctively tenses at the touch, and for a moment he doesn’t understand. Neria hadn’t been that tactile, saving hugs for special occasions (like when she found you and you had to tell her to stop because it was too much on your fresh injuries), and he hadn’t spent that much time with Lily (because you ruined it all). Other than that, touches had always been related to pain. The strike of a templar’s gauntleted fist, the lash of the whip and the cut of unwanted knives as his torturers demanded knowledge that he didn’t have. 


    Duke’s touch isn’t like that, and when he realizes it he relaxes. Duke’s touch is soft and warm, gentle and harmless. He can feel Duke’s heartbeat through the cloth between them and his breath tickling his ear. It’s nice, and yet it ends far too soon, before Jowan can decide whether or not he should return the embrace. 


    The blush is back on his face, and he hopes that Duke attributes it to the running and the heat. “Yeah,” he says, unsure of what to do with his eyes and he’s still so close to Duke should he step back. “I guess we’re done sparring now, then? Unless that was some strange form of attack from your world.” Stupid, stupid, don’t joke about it like that, he might think that you didn't like it. 


    what do

  16. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Kelsier flings himself into the air, far higher than Jowan would have thought possible. He can’t help but watch the path of his flight, which ends in a loud splash in the nearby pool. For a moment his stomach drops in the concern that the combination of Disorient and the fire spell had hurt Kelsier, but the man stands up grinning and victorious. 


    It’s a little intimidating, how Kelsier could go from being on fire to looking completely in control, as if he’d planned the entire thing. 


    He draws his attention from Kelsier and back towards the maze, hoping to find a way out before the blue fades from the walls, but he’s met with the sight of the ground in front of him being partially on fire. Right. That. 


    Before he can decide how to proceed (would he have enough mana to cast enough ice spells to quench the fires?) he notices Duke running towards him. The barriers drop as he approaches, and Jowan feels a small stab of frustration. He almost had it -- ! 


    “Wait,” he says, having an idea and holding up a hand. The fires, though kept small and patchy by the thick dampness of the grass, leave an outline of where the maze’s walls had been. “You don’t care too much about these shoes, right?” 


    When Duke doesn’t respond immediately, Jowan starts running along the path revealed by the dying fires. There’s a few moments where he feels heat on his legs, but he reaches the exit with boots only a little ashier than they’d been before. 


    “I beat your maze,” he says, panting slightly from the exertion of the fight but with a proud smile on his face. “And I didn’t cheat like he did!” he says, pointing to Kelsier with a somewhat soot-stained hand. “Not my fault that you dropped the barriers too early.” 


    “...Though I guess that could have gone a little better,” he finishes sheepishly, looking at the blackened grass and rubbing his cheek with his hand. 

    jowan 1 / maze 0 ??

  17. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Jowan smiles, surprised that his words actually managed to work. Neria had always said that being polite and talking through things was often the best way to get what you wanted, followed by fighting for it, and maybe she was right! 


    He steps forward confidently, crashes head-first into the barrier, and lands with a painful jolt to his tailbone. 


    “Maker damn you,” he mutters without much heat, rubbing the throbbing spot on his forehead and standing back up. Maybe he deserved that -- he had been planning on shocking Duke again if he was actually let through the barrier. Time to fight for it, then. "Alright, I'll go for it." Not that he has any desire for Duke to do his paperwork, but the competition sends a pleasant thrum through his chest. 


    Not giving himself much time to think, he shakes his hands a few times as if shaking water off of them, then holds them out in front of him, palms out. A bright torrent of flame shoots out of them in the direction of Kelsier, bouncing off of the walls and leaving bright patches of glowing blue on them. It’s quite beautiful, a distant part of him notes. 


    When the flames die out he nearly falls over again, surprised by how tired he is from the effort. There’d been a bit more fire than he’d meant, and the barriers trapped the heat around him. 


    Also, some of the grass was on fire. 



    our flame will grow 
    tonight I'm letting go


  18. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    With Kelsier dealt with for a few seconds Jowan has the chance to turn his attention to Duke and his barriers. Realistically, he knows that he should deal with Kelsier while he’s incapacitated. Duke seems like he’d be content watching the two of them smash their faces into the barriers, so Jowan could deal with him later. At the same time, he hates the idea of ignoring Duke’s challenge. It’s petty and plays right into Duke’s desire for attention, but Duke’s someone that’s difficult to stop paying attention to. His golden hair and bright, excitable eyes have an uncanny ability to keep him from looking away. 


    That, and even Disoriented Kelsier scares him a little. 


    The last maze (had it really only been a few hours ago?) hadn’t actually been solved, he remembers. Duke had called Jowan a masochist and dropped the barriers after some of the new arrivals got a little too violent for him. That wouldn’t work, but he figures he might as well take advantage of his presence last time and try taking the easy way out. “Hey Duke,” he yells. “I already got the new arrival maze treatment. Can I skip it this time?” 

    negotiating tactics

  19. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Duke’s distraction causes him to be hit by both the lightning and a spoon -- if this is him “paying attention”, he really needs to work on his situational awareness. Perhaps another shock would help teach him. 


    Before Jowan can do anything, Duke leaps out of the dome completely. Jowan's eyes widen in surprise, Duke’s actions completely unexpected. Weren’t they fighting? 


    The barriers begin to crumble around them, and with a lurch of his stomach Jowan realizes how much danger he and Kelsier would be in had this been a real fight. He’d seen Duke destroy a bridge with his barriers; the violent imagery of him doing a similar thing to the dome comes easily to his mind. 


    More pressing is the matter of the spoons Kelsier scattered around the battlefield, but the only way he can think of to deal with them is to hit Kelsier first. Remembering how Arcane Blast had passed through Duke’s barriers earlier, he throws one towards Kelsier… 


    ...and the purple energy splashes harmlessly against the barrier. 


    It’s unexpected, and Jowan doesn’t have much of a plan to deal with it. He takes a step back, the surprise evident on his face. Why didn’t it pass through now, when it had last time? Had he misseen what had happened? 


    Hoping to buy himself some time, he hurriedly casts Disorient on Kelsier. A faint shimmer appears in the air around Kelsier’s head, but the spell otherwise lacks the flashy visuals of his previous ones. Too late, he realizes that he may have made a mistake. His mana is running dangerously low, being disoriented probably wouldn’t stop Kelsier from pelting him with spoons, and Duke’s still free to try something with his barriers. 

    oh no

  20. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Jowan grins with the thrill of managing to hit Duke. It had been so long since he’d had a chance to spar that he’d almost forgotten how fun it was. A wince of sympathy briefly interrupts his smile when Kelsier kicks Duke, but it’s back soon after. Not his fault that Duke, the only one in the fight that could create barriers, couldn’t manage to defend himself. “Try paying more attention,” he taunts. “I find it helps.” 


    Even better, Duke turns his back to him to focus on Kelsier. It’s as if his attention span is so short that he can’t pay attention to more than one threat at once, and Jowan fully intends to use this. He almost feels bad for attacking Duke while he’s focused on Kelsier, but it’s not as though real enemies would give him a moment to rest. Neria had never allowed Jowan’s moments of distraction to go unpunished when they spared, and she had managed to stop a Blight. Clearly she knew how to do something right. 


    Across the hall another apprentice’s robes catch aflame. They’re quickly doused with an ice spell from their partner, but Jowan turns his head for long enough for Neria to hit his gut with a well-placed jab of her staff. He swears, clutching the bruising spot with one hand. “What was that for?” 

    “All’s fair,” Neria says, a pleased glint in her eyes. “Let’s keep going?” 


    Jowan rolls his eyes and retaliates. 


    He almost falters at the memory, the sparks gathering in his hands nearly fizzling out, but he manages to send the crackling lightning at Duke’s back. Once again the spell wasn’t meant to cause injuries, but it would be an unpleasant jolt. He wishes that he had his staff with him; not having something in his hands to defend with is an uncomfortable feeling, and it’s difficult to focus spells without one. 


  21. Jowan 


    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    In a blur, Kelsier launches something glittering and silver towards Duke. Jowan yelps and leaps backwards as the object collides with one of Duke’s barriers and ricochets back to hit Kelsier in the face. The object… another spoon? falls down into the grass. For a moment Jowan is concerned, but Kelsier smiles and doesn’t seem too injured. 


    "Didn't know we were fighting already. Seems like you got a bit of a ... head start." 


    Jowan blinks at Duke in exasperation, then quickly gathers a ball of icy mist in his hands and launches it towards Duke. It’s an intentionally weak attack, done for speed over power, and wouldn’t hurt Duke. Much, anyway, but being chilled is a reasonable punishment for making terrible puns. 


  22. Jowan 

    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Jowan nods. The lack of a limit for how much metal someone can have at once, unlike mana, is interesting, but he doubts that they could use it against the Inquisitors. If anyone had enough metal in their body to last practically forever, surely it would be the elites of the Lord Ruler’s army. 


    He thinks for a moment, pondering Kelsier’s words. If it’s not eyes, but they can sense metal, and they could sense people that weren’t wearing any metal… “What about the iron in blood? Or metal that you’ve eaten?” Maybe it was a stupid thought -- surely if allomancers could sense the metal in people’s bodies Kelsier would know about it -- but maybe there was some blood magic equivalent that let the Inquisitors do normally impossible things? Maybe it was the spikes, amplifying their powers? 


    “I’m going to guess that you can’t just,” he waves his hands around in a vague gesture. “Pull the spikes out with allomancy.” 


    “Well,” he says. “I’m not sure how much more I can tell you. The Inquisitor was running, so Duke stopped it with his barriers, and then it… Duke was on the ground and his sword was gone, I guess it Pushed or Pulled. I don’t know which. I attacked it with an Arcane Bolt -- ah, that’s just a basic magic attack -- and I don’t think it tried to dodge, but I don’t know if I hit it.” He doesn’t know what Kelsier’s looking for, exactly, so all he can do is hope that he isn’t including too much or too little information. “Duke was hurt and the Inquisitor was Pulling him towards his barrier so I--” At this he pauses briefly, glancing down and scratching at the bandage on his arm. “-- paralyzed the Inquisitor. With magic. Then Duke used his barriers to make the bridge we were standing on collapse and we ran.” 

    Status: Theorizing

  23. Jowan 

    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    Jowan manages to work up the courage to look up at Kelsier’s face to better focus on his words. Kelsier doesn’t seem to have noticed or cared about their embarrassing fall, and instead glances across the field with sharp, careful eyes. Despite their different eye colors, Kelsier’s gaze reminds him of Neria’s, and he can almost imagine him with her ice-chip blue. Neither of them seemed to miss anything, but where she had been comforting and understanding Kelsier makes him feel as though he is being scrutinized for weaknesses. It’s disconcerting. 


    “You can't feel their effects, but know that Tin increases all your senses. With it I can faintly hear your racing heartbeat and see the sweat on your brow.”


    Ah. That would do it. For a moment he tries to force his heartbeat to slow down, but then he remembers that that’s not something that he can control. Stupid useless body.


    He’s disappointed by Kelsier’s refusal to explain the other types of Allomancy and almost speaks out in protest, but Kelsier did say later, not never. As much as he hated being locked out from any information about magic, it sounded more as if Kelsier wanted to explain the first four metals further rather than hide information about the other four. Instead, he focuses on internalizing the information. Lacking parchment to write on, the fingers of his right hand trail across his left arm to trace the vague shapes of letters as Kelsier speaks. Consumption Steel push Iron pull Tin eyes Pewter strength. The movements are calming and help him focus, pushing thoughts of Duke and the fall out of his head. 


    When Kelsier finishes, he speaks. “The Inquisitor… it had spikes of metal through its eyes. Did tin let it see us anyway?” He hadn’t been able to tell in the rush of the fight. It had seemed impossible for something with no eyes to see, but the Inquisitor hadn’t seemed hindered. 


    The presence of the spikes didn’t make any sense to him -- it had been intimidating, but that didn’t seem like a good enough reason to hinder oneself. Allomancy was tied to metals, so it only made sense for the spikes to be related, but he didn’t understand how. The equivalent of driving lyrium into a person’s body would only cause poisoning (and be absurdly expensive), and Kelsier had said that metals had to be consumed to be used. Maybe the spikes were related to focusing allomancy, like a lyrium-infused staff, or defense, like enchanted jewelry? Cutting off the speculation, he asks. “What were those for, anyway?” 


    Eager to understand as much as he can, he thinks back to what Kelsier had said about running out of reserves. The Inquisitor hadn’t seemed to slow down at all during the fight, but the fight had been so short that Jowan doubts that his mana would have been strained if he’d been using it. His magic had its own time limit and the Inquisitor had been powerful, so he doubts that he would have a chance of outlasting one, but it wouldn’t hurt to know. “You mentioned running out of metal… how long does that take?” 

    Status: Learning!!

  24. Jowan 

    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside

    a flame ignited in my fragile heart


    There’s a blur of movement and suddenly Duke is pitching forward and away from him. He doesn’t think, only grabs forward to stop Duke from falling, but Duke’s momentum is more than he expected. He’s dragged forward along with Duke and ends up practically hanging on his arm to stay upright. Kelsier explains what iron and steel are used for, and then Jowan shrieks and they’re falling -- 


    -- he’s sprawled over Duke, their faces only a few inches apart. Seconds are measured in thudding heartbeats, both his own and Duke’s. A faint dusting of pink covers his cheekbones, interrupted by the dark splotch of his intricate tattoo. His hair fans out behind him in glittering sun-kissed waves, and Jowan is struck by the urge to card his fingers through the soft locks. He lets his eyes meet Duke’s blue ones, bright in both color and expression, and travel down to his lips -- 


    “Hi. Sorry, I ... slipped."


    The spell breaks and Jowan is reminded of where he is. With a high-pitched noise that may have been an apology he pushes himself off of Duke and into a standing position, fingers running through his still-damp hair to try to mask his embarrassment. His face and ears burn, and he knows that it’s too much to hope that it won’t be noticed. He clasps his hands together to stop their fidgeting and says, looking at Kelsier’s shoes because that’s as far away from Duke as possible, “That sounds useful. What other types of metal are there?” Perhaps if Kelsier keeps talking he’ll be able to succeed in ignoring what just happened and how much of a fool he made of himself.  

    Status: Ready to Disappear into the Earth

  25. Jowan 

    Allies: Duke, Kelsier
    Location: Outside


    He tries to imagine living that barren, ash-coated world without even the knowledge of grass existing and it’s somehow both easy and difficult. He can’t remember anything from before the Circle but his parents’ accusations of demon child and pain, and the apprentices hadn’t been allowed outside for years. Until his escape his existence had been windows too high to see out of, mazes of bookshelves, and Templars breathing down his neck. One could hear the wind whistling through the windows or catch a whiff of lake-scented air if they were lucky, but all of it was so unobtainable. Tantalizing, almost within reach, but not quite there. 


    At least there hadn’t been any ash. 


    Duke gives him a look and Jowan blinks back. “You have a dead man in your head,” he says, nearly deadpan enough to hide the unease he feels about the concept after what happened in the dining hall. Maybe enough jokes would be able to wipe it away completely; he doesn’t want to be scared around Duke. 


    It’d be strange if Kelsier did just bite done on a spoon, but either way, consuming metal sounds normal compared to not being alone in one’s head. “Lyrium’s a type of metal,” he says before catching himself doing the same thing that Duke did and not explaining properly. Maybe he was a little harsh before; it’s surprisingly difficult to remember how commonplace things in Thedas aren’t normal in Duke or Kelsier’s worlds. “I don’t have to drink them, but potions made of lyrium recover ma- let me use more magic at once.” 


    Stranger than the metal eating is the reminder that magic (or Allomancy, whatever Kelsier wanted to call it) is something that nobles have, like Tevinter. Is it a rule of the multiverse that mages being in power leads to corruption? It’s hard not to accept the Chantry’s words about it. 


    But the gathered acolytes turned from him,
    For there was nothing but ambition
    Where hearts once beat within them.
    And ninety-nine knives gleamed in the firelight
    As the sacrifices began


    “You wouldn’t have to worry much about nobles with magic where I’m from,” he says, voice quiet and serious. 

    Status: Minor Injuries