[center [font "Times" Two wee kiddos kind of traversing a mid-to-high-magic setting and its complexities]]
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[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/1b/23/bc/1b23bceaabe94188cbe18e377e38830c.jpg]] Tristan's eyes were angled up at the as yet nameless individual speaking to him- and so casually. The elf wasn't as comfortable around strangers, nor nearly as social as this individual was in his approach of a wandering stranger who could very easily be dangerous. But he was used to being approached and prodded for information- usually asked to identify himself and such.
Soot's eye had been trained on the stranger since Tristan had picked her up, ear and a half quirked towards him as he spoke. The elf's hands were under her front legs, holding her up towards him as he too looked quietly from over the cat he had tucked his nose into.
He hummed, letting Soot move so she was more comfortable. "[+green There I can't help you,]" he responded, eyes down as he spoke. "[+green My magic isn't elemental. I don't know as much evocation at all.]" Beyond going into his basic level classes back at school, he hadn't done much of anything with it until he was forced to switch his major after Professor Febear left.
His hands kept entertained petting Soot on his lap, soothing Tristan's anxiety meeting a stranger. She was very good at that, sticking close to his side, even when she wasn't always comfortable meeting strangers either.
A sigh exited through the elf's nose, bringing a frown onto his face. Unfortunately, beyond his understandings of life and death and magics so old and unused, and the things he had seen; with all of this, Tristan wasn't above the need for money. And he had very little now, nearing the end of what he had taken with him. His lips tightened.
"[+green I'm afraid I don't know anyone who would come out here,]" he responded, eyes returning to the humanoid young man in front of him. "[+green It's pretty far away. And I don't think I can go back.]" His eyes returned to the stranger.
"[+green Perhaps,]" he felt a little trickle of chill come into his voice, "[+green you need to leave your little den, and go abroad.]" [i Like a normal person,] he thought to himself, dropping his eyes again. Tristan had to leave his home town because of his magic, and he went to the college; where his whole life began. And then ended.
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[tab]Alva shrugged again as he said that he was merely exploring, still not really all that fussed to care whether he was there to rob or to sight-see, people made their livings how they saw fit and it was none of his business to deal with how others lead their lives. However, when he refused to teach him, Alva visibly deflated. Alva had tried this with nearly any magician that he could reach, but as he had already said, it was a dying art in this town. There had been a lot of suspicion directed at them in the past, so it wasn’t too surprising, but that didn’t dampen Alva’s desires to be able to learn to be a great magician. Sure, he realized they got a bad name for being misanthropic hermits who plotted against humankind, but there was something – well it was a poor choice of words, but there was something magical about the feeling of accomplishment that came with mastering the elements.
[tab]“Well, I won’t force you, of course, but I am trying to learn. It’s hard to come by someone who doesn’t immediately write it off as something nefarious. I just want to learn to master the elements. It’s an art that’s being forgotten, and I fear someday it might be entirely extinct here.” He admitted, awkwardly shuffling in place and fiddling with he long fabric of the sleeves of his robes.
[tab]He turned in place, rubbing at his chin anxiously as he thought, as if he was deep in thought, and then, as if coming so some conclusion or another, he turned back to face the other, a new determination in his eyes as he started speaking again.
[tab]“Even if you know someone else who could teach me outside of town that could be helpful—like I said it’s a dying art here because of how isolated we are by the sea! If you could help me find someone to teach me, I’d be grateful! And I could pay too—my father holds a position of power and he’s always been interested in me learning the craft, I’m sure if I told him that you could find me a tutor, he’d be more that willing to pay.” Alva stated. He was hoping to drive a bargain, and while he’d known this stranger for less than ten minutes, he could already feel somewhere deep inside of him that he would be able to provide him with information he needed. There was something about him – some trace of something magical that he could sense, and it was spurring him.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/1b/23/bc/1b23bceaabe94188cbe18e377e38830c.jpg]] Tristan's fingers now moved, scratching softly through his hair and pushing some into his eyes again, but he didn't mind. He had been sleepily laying in the sun with a cat on his stomach up until now, rather inelegantly laid on the ground still, but he wasn't feeling like getting up and being presentable right this moment. Plus, the other didn't seem to mind.
He shrugged, "[+green I don't live here,]" he said as explanation. Tristan had only been here about a week and a few days. All he had seen was sunny, breezy days for the most part. The stranger probably knew better, so perhaps there were morels around.
With that the elf gathered his legs beneath himself a little more pleasantly, and brushing his hair back from his head. The shaved part was still growing back a bit, the inked in magical circle on the side of his head showing up against pale skin, peppered with the dark peach fuzz that was still growing back.
His eyes cast to the side as the stranger now turned towards the inevitable topic that their meeting was: who was Tristan? He knew he was the stranger here.
Patiently, the elf listened to the meandering speech of the robed potion maker in front of him. He blinked, green eyes dewy with the haze of a lie in the sun. "[+green I'm not staking anything out,]" he said. "[+green It's just a nice, quiet spot.]" he shrugged a shoulder, looking away again and around at their surroundings. "[+green I was exploring.]"
He looked back at the fast-talking young man again with quiet surprise. Teach him? They didn't even know one another. Was this town so destitute of magic that he was that desperate, and that comfortable with strangers, to ask such a thing? He processed the wealth of speech given to him again with a little crease between his brows, working to catch up.
His eyes glanced away again, a little not sure what to do with the situation. "[+green I don't think you want me to teach you,]" he said, shaking his head softly. Tristan reached around for Soot and drew her into his lap again, the cat responding with a '[i mrrp]' of surprise as he pulled her closer, into his arms, and tucked his face into her.
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"Well, I can't be entirely sure. I'm positive they've grown here in the past but the only ones I have managed to find as of late are false morels, which does nothing to help me in my brewing studies." Alva admitted, finally pausing to examine the other. He looked bizarre-- not that he didn't-- but it stuck out in his memory. He searched his mind for whatever it was that had rung a bell, but he couldn't quite place it.
He folded the paper again, tucking it into his bag and tapping his chin thoughtfully, as he stared at the other. He looked familiar. Or, well, he was a dead ringer for something he'd heard recently rather, and he just couldn't remember what it was precisely.
"So if not a potionmaker, then what draws you here. You seem quite at home in tuese woods for as rough as they can be, what with the highwaymen and bandits that call this place home." Alva pondered aloud, recalling the information that his father had regurgitated at him several times over when he'd gone off into the woods in search of his ingredients. He'd done well enough ignoring his dad-- his quest to become a great magician meant taking risks whether his father approved or not. "Unless that's what you're here for." He made that connection far too late, and punctuated it with a nonplussed shrug. "Though I'd argue this is a poor choice of a spot to stake out, you'd have more luck near the main path. If you sit here you're probably only going to see me and the wildlife."
Alva wasn't worried. He knew he didn't have anything of value on him, though it was easy to forget that it would be rather easy to exploit his father and his position of power if he were kidnapped. Alva didn't think much about most things, though, an expansive mind and not a lick of common sense.
"Though I'd guess by your familiar you're a magician of some sort." He said, then smiled widely, bouncing on the soles of his feet. "Oh! Perhaps you could teach me! I've been seeking a teacher but magic-craft is a rare and looked down upon feat in this town. I can't say you seem like a resident so perhaps you could be the fresh pair of eyes I need." He said-- presumptuous without really meaning to be.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/1b/23/bc/1b23bceaabe94188cbe18e377e38830c.jpg]] Tristan's eyes, along with Soot's, remained on the stranger as he continued speaking. An ancient forest, he said. Made sense, the elf figured. Magic to him always felt like a kind of energy, something tugging at the corner of his mind, his attention, and this place felt full of energy. Like veins, like the rushing of blood through veins, or rather roots in this instance, and the little tendril-like underground 'roots' of the fungi.
His eyes began to drift, sinking into thought as he took in what the stranger was saying to him. "[+green Makes sense,]" he murmured, despite likely not being listened to. "[+green the body nourishes the earth.]" It was just the cycle of life, of being. And humanoids were a source of energy for the whole of everything, but not its catalyst. Just a piece.
The elf's eyes returned to the stranger as he brought out a piece of paper, holding it aloft in victory before turning it out to Tristan. The prone elf blinked, awaiting the man to recognize that he wasn't going anywhere because Soot wasn't. He didn't really feel like getting up anyways, but presently nudged at the cat, scooting her off of himself so he could roll at least partially onto his side, somewhat right side up now, and studied the image before his hair, black, long, fell into his face again from his shift. Tristan scrunched his face gently and brushed it aside, fingers remaining tangled to keep it at bay.
He looked back at the human stranger. "[+green That's a morel,]" he informed him, glancing between the image and him.
But, he did ask him a question, hadn't he? Tristan sighed softly through his nose and thought for a moment, "[+green Litter,]" he said, envisioning where often to find them. His nose scrunched just slightly again in a frown as he peeked back up at the human stranger again. "[+green Are you sure it's cold enough here for them?]" Damp wasn't a question in forests like this, at least this kind, with the abundant shade with which to keep the earth relatively moist, save he assumed in high summer. Tristan looked back up at the man.
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"These woods have been lauded for centuries by local magicians as a fertile ground for many ingredients-- they say even the trees grow so tall because of the rich mana that's seeped into the soil and fuels their growth." Alva's smile widened and he leaned to dust off his knees, not immediately answering his question-- rather blathering instead. It would have been almost comical had he not essentially dropped out of the trees onto a complete stranger and started prattling like a madman.
He gestured with his arms with a grandeur that didn't seem to suit his lithe frame.
"Legend says it's because of the wizards of old who were buried here, though I suspect it's probably much more terrestrial." He continued to ramble though it was muffled as he searched through his bag, again holding it aloft with his fledgling psychokenetic powers. He rummaged like that for a moment before he gave a pleased [i aha!] and pulled out a rather beat up looking page of notebook paper which lacked any of the mystical flair that he seemed to wear on his person. He unfolded the beat up note and extended it out towards the other, not approaching though as to not agitate him or his-- as he had decided regardless of its factuality-- familiar.
The page had a sketch of a morel and some hastily scribbled notes which likely weren't legible to anyone but Alva, but he didn't care. The excitement of finding someone who was more than likely a fellow mage outweighed the feeling of shame-- not that he had any in the first place.
"I'm searching for ingredients. Have you seen this type of mushroom? Around here?" His whole body seemed to vibrate with his excitement. "I've been looking for it around the area but I can't seem to track down the correct one."
He tactfully left out the bit about the fact that false morels he kept finding were raising hell for him when he tested the brews, figuring it wouldn't be a good idea to tell him that bit.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/1b/23/bc/1b23bceaabe94188cbe18e377e38830c.jpg]] Tristan lay, feeling his body warm and cool as the sun dipped behind a cloud or the breeze in the trees took it away from him. He hummed an old tune that was stuck in his head that his mother liked to hum while she was working, his fingers nestled, massaging through Soot's fur. The skinny cat purred loudly, and he could feel the vibration of it through his fingers, her body heat warming his chest and upper stomach where she was curled, paws tucked under herself.
He watched her, too, her eyes closed and ears searching around, following the sound of a bird, or a whatever else there was in these woods.
Tristan Soleviss had come into town about a week ago at this point, a nice little cliffside place overlooking a bay or some sort of something like that. Pretty largeish town/city, though considering its position as a port he supposed that made sense. He was way above it now, back over the rise and into the woods behind it where he had initially gone to see if he could find anything interesting, or of value. However, value to him meant a corpse's remains- preferably animal- herbs, flowers, fungus, mosses. And presently he had decided to stay where he was, shielded from eyes and from gawking little whispers that people always thought the elf couldn't hear. Wandering around in mostly human country, too, he supposed, made him stand out; all elven height and long black hair and ears with sharper tips than a human's.
But perhaps so did silvery, silken robes all cut with black, and his black cloak, and all his jewelry made something of a sight of himself. But he would politely keep his green eyes lowered, and his hearing sharp, but not obviously so. Though, as it would happen, there were some moments when his eyes would swing to gaze at the individuals whispering about him, and about Soot beside him.
Soot wasn't the most beautiful of animals in the general sense, but Tristan thought she was rather striking. A rex breed, he was told she resembled by a friend, meant she had a rather lean, lanky body, a large, angular head and pronounced ears. Ear. She had one ear, and one sort of cut, mangled approximation of another one. She also had one eye, the other gouged by whatever had attacked her when he found her. And that eye was a ghostly blue. And one leg was but a stump. Most of a leg, rather, with a missing foot that meant she limped. And a crooked little tail. She looked hideous, frankly, as far as cats went, but she took a liking to him.
And it was those eyes that snapped open and swung to meet the sudden outburst, of all things, of a voice; a humanoid voice speaking in common. Soot froze on him, her body leaping into tension. Tristan turned his head, looking upwards and over his little mound of moss and grass towards the individual approaching them. He had a bit of dirt on his knees, but he looked like a mage with all of his loose robes. Tristan assumed he was a mage, since humans usually didn't wear robes like that unless they had some meaning to them. No visible holy symbol, however.
Tristan blinked, "[+green Potion maker?]" he responded softly, face calm as he stroked his hands over the cat to soothe her. "[+green Not- really. Not solely. Why?]"
It wasn't unheard of to be referred to as such. Tristan gently fit the kind of vague "witch" or warlock 'look', at least. And he did know how to make some brews, however it wasn't what he generally used to define himself.
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Alva had drawn his hood up around his face to filter out the bright light of the afternoon sun which beat down on the fields along the outside the skirts of the forests that bordered the town. His clothes shuffled and clicked rather loudly as he walked along, a supernatural wind seeming to carry a leather satchel along at his side without it actually being looped around his shoulders. He looked rather out of place himself, though he was pretty well recognized at this point by the townspeople as the rather.... [i eccentric] son of one of the town political advisers. Having spent part of his life in the public eye had done nothing to dampen his passion towards magic-- it was like the lifeblood of the planet. What helped to sew the seeds of life-- or so he believed.
Admittedly, he didn't need to wear the tunics to be a mage, but he thought that it was flattering. It was a little like wearing it like a badge of honor-- even though it made trekking through the forest and the heat of the sun to be all the harder.
As of right now, he was out to search for potion ingredients-- mushrooms in particular-- that could be used in several minor potions for health and revitalization. Potion making wasn't his strong suit, and he'd spent more than his fair share time rather sick from food poisoning of some sort or another using either faulty recipes or some erroneous measurements. Surely that was his fault, though! There was no need to worry, he'd figure out the recipe sooner or later.
As he entered into the thicket of bushes that lead into the deeper parts of the woods, he caught his bag with his fingers, carefully laying it over his shoulders and instead summoning a small flame-- no bigger than that of a candle -- to light his way through the dark woods. It flickered, casting a soft, glowing light onto the bark of the trees under the denser canopy like a will-o-wisp. His elemental magic was still weak, but he could see improvement every day, and that's what excited him so much. He'd taken years to get to this point, but now he was able to control some elements-- he was finally becoming a real mage!
It was a long trek into the woods to the area that he knew where the mushrooms typically grew in the gloomy moisture and darkness at the roots of the trees, so he went over his incantations in his head to pass the time as he walked. His mind was in another place entirely as he walked into the murky underbelly of the forest.
Eventually, as he was wont to do, his foot caught in the knotted roots of a tree, sending him sprawling to the ground with a noise of surprise. Thankfully the robes served more than one purpose in this case - namely padding. He grumbled, cursing that he'd extinguished his own lamplight by landing on it as he unhooked his foot from the tangle of underbrush.
Once he had settled onto his crossed legs and settled to try and summon his fire to him again, he noticed a noise. It was soft-- but sounded lyrical. [i Human.] He was immediately curious, and soon forgot his attempt at a flame at the prospect of meeting someone else looking for potion ingredients in these woods. Naturally he didn't have a thought in his head that perhaps it could be any number of any other things like highwaymen or animals.
He found that the light of the sky began to filter more through the trees again as he approached the noise until he came upon a clearing. He must have walked through it a thousand times without ever taking the time to notice it until now. There laid a man-- one that he recognized from the whispers of the town -- at rest and humming a tune with a cat perched upon him contentedly.
He thrilled realizing that this may have been another person as apt for magic as he was. Perhaps his cat companion was even a familiar! He was excited at the prospect, and unable to contain himself any longer, he found his voice with a wide smile:
"Are you a potionmaker?"
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