Thoughts swirled around her head as she once again stared into the coals. Emotions battered something inside her as well, causing her to frown and hug her knees as she huddled before the fire. She was so… She hoped Mosur could make sense of those notes. She could barely understand them herself. Her father was very much a traditionalist, ha, in his method of education, and he always pushed her to do things by strength and will and memory.

Maybe, in this one instance, she should have listened more closely.

Gods she had been so stupid. Blood and binding. She had acted in her temper and she knew she didn’t have the strength of will to fight a lord like Fenix. The thought caused her fists to clench.

She didn’t remember what the lesson had been, not exactly. But her father had commanded her to do something by the time he got back from his meetings with the other cultists. And she had tried, tried so hard because of her fear of him and that tiny, still hidden and dark fascination with what might be accomplished. He’d even given her three days. And then some, because he was late returning home. But every circle she had crafted had crumbled. Every rune had a flaw. She kept missing something and it had gotten frustrating, then fearful. So when her father eventually returned…

He’d been furious. He beat her, destroyed her carefully written notes, grabbed her roughly by the shoulder and dragged her, crying, from the house. Shouting and cursing at her.

“Three days! Three days, you stupid girl! How could you? My own blood, this ignorant and foolish! Have you no will? No mind of your own?” Pulling her towards the raging heat of the forge. She cried and pulled back, which only made him slap her as drag her ever more forward.

“Father, I tried, I promise, I….”

“Tried? You tried nothing! You failed!” He pulled her up to the forge. This one was bigger then the others, the flames so fierce she could almost feel her hair singing from here. She began to panic. Surely he wouldn’t… “Notes. *paper*. You think these frail things will accomplish anything? Will make up what you lack? That thick, stupid skull. This lack of will!”

Bindings of protection. That was it. How to fend off those that would cloud the mind…. Not that it mattered to much what the subject, her father would have been angry regardless. So he dragged her ever closer to the roaring flame, regardless of her struggles, the heat glimmering in an aura around him while she sweat and cried out in fear.

“If you cannot follow simple instruction, girl, then perhaps a more direct lesson is needed.”

“Please Da, please…” She stared, trying to keep the hysteria from creeping into her voice. But he grabbed her arm, jerking the sleeve up to the elbow with a grim expression.

“Perhaps I was not clear enough in my instruction, lass. Perhaps you do not fully understand what is expected of you.” She screamed as his aura flared, protecting him from the now scorching heat, as he grabbed her fore arm and thrust it into the heart of the forge.

Desperation and fear. She knew that if she didn’t protect herself she would lose the arm, and her father would cast her out. Strength of will strength of will… Try! But the fire was so so hot, and it was so sudden and she couldn’t… The thoughts moved at lightning speed, and age fought the screaming panic to the heart of the forge.

She was born of fire and soot. Such things should not harm her.

She watched as the moment slowed, fascinated as the flames licked merrily across her finger tips. She was controlling it! She had become it’s master!

A moment later her father grunted in satisfaction and threw her from the forge, and then the pain hit. She had still been burnt, her grey skin an angry sort of shade now. She cowered before her father, sucking on her fingers to cool them, whimpering quietly as she followed him home.

But in that moment she had known the thrill of power...

Nyn took a deep breath. There was no real knowing if Fenix was truly evil. Probably he wasn’t, she hoped, but he wasn’t of this realm. He didn’t think the same way. He was power… She looked down at her fingertips, playing with a live coal. The whisper betrayed her again. What if… She was already damned, and had no one but herself to blame. She was bound to his service anyways… What if she accepted? Of all things he wasn’t a cultist. He wasn’t like her Da… And she did owe him. As unsuccessful as she had been, she had tried too enslave the elemental and that hadn’t been right.

She felt the precipice before her. She would do this one thing for Fenix and then… She would see. 

Author Wallaroo
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