Part twooooo! :D
It was nearly midnight, and Tarah was still sitting at her candle-lit desk, composing rune circles, formulating theories, and attempting to conjure a rainstorm over a wooden bucket. She had nearly fifty pages of parchment, filled with ideas and theories, scattered about her desk and floor, and had already used up two inkwells. So far, all she had managed to produce was a small puff of fog, which quickly dispersed into the air.
She shivered, and began tugging on her hair. Due to the necessity of cold air to create a storm, Tarah had been forced to put out her fireplace, leaving only the few small candles to warm her. As her latest attempt failed, Tarah knocked the large stack of parchment off her desk and nearly yelled with frustration. Perhaps the old man was right; perhaps storms were just too complicated and powerful to be dictated by magic. But, still, Tarah at least had theories on conjuring a storm, and all she had wanted to do was discover if the storm outside was natural or not.
Slightly heartened by this thought, Tarah decided to see if she could discover the origins of this storm. She gathered up her notes, a crystal to detect and record magical currents, three coats, and a satchel filled with white magic, and then headed out her door in to the forest bordering the city.
Soon she had reached a suitable clearing, but was already quite shivery, even through all three coats. And unfortunately, for mobility purposes, she had refrained from wearing gloves, so her hands were getting bright red and very cold, very quickly.
Wishing to get back in her home and start a fire as soon as possible, Tarah began the process of amplifying magical currents, so her crystal could pick them up, and she could analyze them. She took a small pinch of magic out of the satchel, and began drawing the proper runes in the air. Soon there was a shimmering circle in the air, filled with her complicated, if slightly lopsided, runes. She placed the crystal in the center of the circle, and it began to spin and glow as it gathered information on the currents nearby.
Tarah began quickly rubbing her hands together, in an attempt to avoid frostbite, as the runes and crystal did their work. Every minute or so Tarah would adjust the runes, as need be, becoming very impatient; it shouldn’t have taken this long to just analyze normal magical currents, perhaps her theories were correct after all.
A faint feeling of triumph began to rise in her, and she smirked slightly as the crystal continued to analyze, what she hoped was, a magical storm.
Tarah gasped and quickly turned to her left, facing a shrub that seemed to be where the snap had come from. Terror quickly engulfed her, smothering the moment of triumph. Tarah speedily grabbed the crystal and shoved it back in her bag, the light was sure to be a beacon to anyone passing by, and she could not fend off a robber with that petty white magic. Realizing how stupid she had been to not bring any protection, Tarah decided the only solution was to run. She slowly began to step to one side, not once letting the shrub out of her sight.
Suddenly the shrub was separated, as a man pushed it open. Tarah began to run, but quickly stopped, the man was stooped over, had long unkempt hair, a short, messy beard, and was completely devoid of clothing. He looked at her with fear and desperation, he moved his lips as though trying to speak, and then completely collapsed on the frosty ground.
Tarah was completely baffled, slightly terrified, and unsure about what to do. She knew full well the dangers of taking strangers in, yet no robber or kidnapper would be walking around naked in a forest in the dead of night. This man was in trouble, and would likely freeze to death unless he was helped.
Tarah looked over her shoulder in the direction of Belhron, then back at the unconscious man. Biting her lip, she pulled out another pinch of magic, and performed a quick spell to raise the man in the air and keep him about five feet away from her. She slowly began walking backwards through the wood, back towards her home, never once letting her eyes off the unconscious man, as he could be faking his condition, no matter how ridiculous that might seem.
At last she reached her back door; she paused for a moment and reconsidered letting him in her home. But she couldn’t leave him outside to die, and it was unlikely he would be very welcome at an inn.
She unlocked the door and slowly backed in. She set the man over the couch and dispersed the levitation spell, then threw a few blankets over him and started a fire. She stood there for a moment, contemplating what to do, and eventually came to the conclusion that she could do nothing but to tend to him and wait for him to wake up.
A feeling of drowsiness began to creep over her, but she was certainly not going to bed, at least not with a stranger in her house.
So she decided to keep busy until morning, she set a pot over the fire and began preparing some soup, as the man looked rather sickly. Once it was prepared, she ladled a few ounces in to a bowl, and began slowly pouring it in to the man’s mouth. As she gazed at him, she began to notice just how sickly looking he was; he was extremely pale, his cheeks were gaunt, his long black hair and angular features harshly contrasted his paleness, and he was covered in the water from the great amounts of frost that had been on him. After getting three small bowls of soup in to him and placing a warm, damp cloth on his forehead, Tarah sat down in a nearby chair and pulled the crystal out of her bag. Though the spell had been cut short, she had no doubt gathered enough information to at least form a hypothesis.
Tarah stayed awake throughout the night, studying and formulating. There was, as she had thought, far more magical currents in the air than would be considered normal, and they, suspiciously enough, seemed to be going in the same direction as the storm and the wind. Here, unfolding right before her eyes, was proof of perhaps one of the greatest magical achievements in history, but why? Who would want to bring upon an early winter? Belhron had nothing of value; there was no reason to want to destroy it. It did not contribute greatly to the province’s supply of crops, no one of great importance lived there, and it was not a militarily strategic location.
Suddenly, Tarah felt a surge of energy, not huge, but definitely noticeable and abnormal. She glanced up, and the man was stirring. He did nothing but shift position a bit and groan, but when he did a strong vibration seemed to emanate from him. Tarah’s insides clenched as the pulse came and passed; it was like missing a step while walking down the stairs.
Terrified by the strange surge, Tarah quickly ran upstairs to gather whatever books she had on psychic power, which seemed to be the only explanation for a subconscious energy surge.
She reread what she remembered to be the important points of the book, yet nothing seemed to apply to her current situation. All she really gathered was that psychic power was rare, and difficult to master.
Setting down the book, slightly disappointed, Tarah knew all she could do was wait for him to wake up. But she had no idea what to do even if he did. She didn’t know what he was capable of, so she concluded that she must quickly convince him that she was not trying to harm him, the moment he woke up. To be sure this point was made quickly, Tarah prepared some more stew, got out some old clothes she had lying around for him, and changed out of her black cloak and suit and in to a simple dress.
For hours she waited, doing nothing but staring at him, waiting for that single moment. The longer she waited, the uneasier she became about the whole situation. Overcome with drowsiness, anxiety, and fear, Tarah wanted to yell out and call for help, she felt like she was trapped in a room with a vicious animal, just waiting for it to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, the sun rose, and Tarah began to notice the men going out again to gather more crops. Realizing how suspicious she probably looked right now, with an unconscious man on her couch, she quickly closed all the drapes.