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    Between Wrath and Wisdom

    Cinnamon Tiefling

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    Between Wrath and Wisdom

    Post by Codex on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:38 am

    The breeze at the top of the Spirit Rise was stronger than it usually was. At times, the wind whipped at Vida's auburn hair and sent it billowing around her shoulders. Other times, it was a mere, gentle sigh on her shoulders. Something in it brought her comfort - but even then, she was aware enough to realize that a familiar spirit had come to rest nearby.

    "I realized something..." Vida trailed off aloud, as if speaking to another living being.

    "What is that?" Thies had not spoken to her at length for quite some time. In fact, he had been unnervingly silent since her encounter with the spirit of the Frost Giant. That he was present had brought her a small measure of relief.

    "The nightmares..." She paused and looked in the direction of the wisp that lingered near her. "They have not come in quite some time."

    "Your dreams have been calmed," the bear spirit replied calmly as he began to take form beside her. "He soothes the trouble in your mind." There was another pause as Thies seemed to watch her. Moving behind her, he came to settle at her other side. "Your pairing is... unconventional. But... you have kept your heart at arms' length from others for as long as I have known and watched you. It is interesting to see you grow." Even though not even a chuckle came from the spirit, there was a hint of mirth in his tone. "There is balance in your match: he quells your rage and offers you insight you sometimes forget, and you help to provide him with another purpose that he may not have had otherwise." The spirit's tone began to shift as Vida felt him watch her closely - closer than he had since he'd first began to teach her. "But I too have noticed something..." He seemed to wait until he noticed the questioning raise of one of her eyebrows.

    "You are embracing roots you had abandoned or otherwise ignored for many years." Vida's head turned sharply toward him by then; her brow furrowed. He continued, pleased to have her attention. "Your mother once deemed you too gentle a soul to survive within your birth clan. She surrendered her life to help you find a better one. You remember, do you not?"

    The Spirit Walker's tension grew as she listened and turned her head away. Her shoulders were caught in the upward motion of a shrug, tightly hugging herself as if met with a sudden, unwelcome chill. "Of course I remember it. It changed my life."

    "For the better?"

    "What kind of a question is that?"

    "One meant to remind you..."

    With a sigh, Vida's head bowed and she felt a frown form on her lips. "I don't understand why you feel the need to remind me of these things..."

    "I think you know the answer to that question better than you believe." There was a sadness surrounding Thies that Vida had not noticed in all the time that she had spent communicating with and learning from the bear spirit. "All of these years, your spirit has been pure. I saw nothing but light within you. You did not embrace bloodlust, nor did you actively seek to harm another. You filled your role suitably as a guide and an advisor. But it's easy to remain pure when the difference between good and evil is as clear as black and white..."

    By then, Vida had refused to look in the direction of the voice. She knew where this conversation was going.

    "... You know what you did to the giant was not right. You asked your mother for forgiveness, even as you forced his spirit into his own skull, instead of guiding him as you should have." Thies circled the Spirit Walker in a slow-moving motion, as if inspecting her. She remained entirely still. "You brought another scar upon your own soul that day, but you know that this one is tainted in darkness, unlike the others..."

    Vida's body suddenly jolted, despite her tension. She let out a pained cry that simmered into a growl, her jaw clenching tightly. The spirit had touched the darkness upon her to further remind her that it did not belong there.

    "I can practically see you planning to do horrible things to that girl. You are allowing yourself to be fueled by vengeance. You're forgetting virtue in favor of the very things your mother fought to guide you away from." As Thies spoke, Vida held her tongue as if being chastised by a parent. No matter how much she wanted to speak to voice her disagreement, she held back and instead allowed him to speak... at least for another little while. "You deceived multiple others to draw out another and obtain what you wanted-"

    "'What I wanted' will save three of my packmates."

    "And it has already meant the end of another. Do you intend to kill the girl as well? Have you stopped to wonder if perhaps she herself is a mere pawn? Little one..." As Vida turned away, he drifted around until he was settled before her, his voice a low rumble. "Say you were not ushered away from the Blood Clan, nor were you killed. Would you still have done as your alpha asked of you? Would you still have acted on behalf of the clan you belonged to?" The auburn-haired female gave no response. "I do not imagine the two of you are so different..."

    "I have not caused another to suffer the way my packmates are suffering now!"

    There was a succinct silence before Thies said anything else, as if he gave her time to reconsider her words. "Have you not?" He allowed his response to hang in the air between them for just a moment before he said anything else. "You are so sure that this young one is directly responsible for their affliction. Why? You were not there."

    "It is guilt by association, Thies."

    The bear spirit's tone became stern - more stern than it had ever been toward her. "Some may have considered you guilty by association in the past... Vida."

    The look on the Spirit Walker's face transitioned slowly from defiance to sobriety. Again, she fell silent.

    "It is not your duty to judge. It is not your duty to decide who is deserving of death and who is deserving of life. It is your duty to guide the spirits to rest. It is your privilege to call upon the spirits when they are willing and able to respond." Thies' voice softened once more as he moved to settle beside her again. "You love your packmates, yes... but one day they too will die, just like you. It may be tonight, it may be tomorrow, or it could be as far as years from now. Or do you intend to try to defy the balance and keep them with you forever?"

    "Mother defied it once..."

    "She saw you struggling to stay within your own body and knew you did not yet have the strength you needed... but she knew you would have it eventually, if given the chance. What kept you from death was a mother's love; it was not a spell."

    Both the Spirit Walker and her guide fell silent for several minutes, as if he knew he'd struck a nerve with her. She stared out over the horizon. The wind had died down, but the arrival of nightfall caused the fresh tears on her cheeks to chill her skin.

    "Little Vida, if you allow wrath to continue to influence you, I will no longer be able to help you. I cannot guide one who is deaf to my counsel, and those who protect you within the Umbra may gradually cease to do so. It is a dangerous path for you, but one we cannot prevent you from taking or avoiding nonetheless." Thies growled at something, though Vida could discern nothing about it other than a creeping feeling that ran along her spine and caused her to look uneasily over her shoulder. As he began to dematerialize, he said one final thing to her, his voice fading to a whisper. "Even if you decide not to listen to me... listen to your loved ones..."

    Something in the spirit's words stung. Vida remained at the Spirit Rise for just a few more minutes, but to her, it felt like hours. As her thoughts gathered and calmed to a dull roar, she began to slip back down to the ground below. As tempted as she was to go and speak to their captive, she did not; she likely knew it was a better idea to have another with her to do so. So, she crossed the land to the den instead and came to lie down  next to the dark-haired male already settled upon the furs. There was a maelstrom of thoughts crashing together in her mind, and yet somehow, she managed to fall asleep.

    The words Thies spoke were true: her countless worries and fears were soothed within Ásbjörn's protective presence, her desire for vengeance temporarily forgotten.

      Current date/time is Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:05 pm