Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - The Spark and the will of the Flame
A glowing sun hung low above the ground – lazily rising above the horizon and casting streaking shadows from the most minor rocks across the sand. Dalv Blackhand had been watching for several minutes and released a contented sigh. He'd not been here long, but not all vampires could withstand the sun. How could one live life fearing something so all-encompassing? Those who did must have been made of strength Dalv did not have.
He shook himself from these thoughts. "Focus, old boy. Concentrate." He chastised himself. Raising an arm, he tried again to pull something from the earth. Not by physically picking it up but by reaching down with his senses and willing the minerals to rise, any mineral, anything. Nothing. Dalv had never had to think about it before. Like smelling, touching or hearing, he was able to instinctively pull... But now, well. He felt cut off, like having no smell, touch or being deaf.
Was this the hundredth time he'd tried? Dalv was undoubtedly taking it better than the first. How ungentlemanly to have a significant panic attack...
Dalv stared down at his right hand. The black metal detailing of the gauntlet's eye stared back at him. A cold shiver ran up his arm and into his neck. Yep. The presence was still there. He rolled his shoulders and neck. But that meant magic was still at work.
A soft sigh escapes his chest. He had to find out what he could do. Pulling minerals from the earth was something he couldn't do any more. Looking back at the sun, something in his senses twigged like the whisper of a summer breeze on the nape of his neck.
"A grace period? Time to adjust?" He mulled the gauntlet. "Oh, Lossar... I wish you were here and not just... Whoever made this..."
Dalv looked at the small fire he'd made for himself. He hadn't needed it for warmth, but the crackle was enough to offset the silence at such times. Something in it reminded him of his home, Almaterra. Perhaps it was how the flames danced in precisely the same way at home. The fire was the same. The same crackle, colour and warmth that he didn't need. Familial bonds between here and home brought a sense of comfort.
Dalv let his arm drop and wandered over to the fire, taking in the smoke smell. His senses twig again. More robust this time as the scent fills his nose. Something connects deeper down, more familiar than before.
"No," He muses, looking at the flames. "It can't be that simple. A change of sphere?" Dalv said, referencing the element-based magic of his home. "Nooo. It couldn't be that simple?"
He pointed at the fire and tried to push his senses forward as he always did with magic. Nothing.
"Curses!" he spat at once. "What am I missing!" He looked around quickly, suddenly thankful no one was around to hear this ungentlemanly outburst. He'd missed something like a piece of a completed puzzle.
Now he was focusing on it; he could sense something of the fire. The sense resided somewhere different in his mind where it had been focused before. Rather than through the motions of his body and thinking about how he directed the fire, or earth rather, like back home.
Here, in the moment, the warm fire pulled at something more profound in his heart and mind. What was it Lossar had once said to him?
'Earth is earth, and just like the other spheres, their combination drives all the world and that which lives in it.' It was like the philosophy of Almaterra's neighbour, the Empire of Vesk. The citizens of the empire believed all life came from the sun. Therefore, they were of the sun and the earth. Was he being too forceful in this new world? New rules were clearly at play so why not this?
Perhaps, as the Veskans believed, Dalv had to let his body become that which he clearly could sense on a deeper level. He shouldn't push it, just let it take.
Dalv closed his eyes, feeling the fire's warmth and hearing the flame's crackle. He raised his hand and let whatever happen, reaching out as if to greet it as a friend rather than to direct it.
A small woof of fire drew his attention. As he opened his eyes, Dalv saw the flame pull towards his hand, weaving and stretching like strands of fabric in the breeze. The fire dimmed as it rose to greet him. It did not burn, it simply felt warm. Dalv gently pulled at the feeling he'd found within himself and the flames lept to his hand in return, coiling around his fist and then sinking into his skin like some ghostly apprition.
Darkness closed around him as the fire went out. Dalv could still feel it within him. Not just within the gauntlet but within himself. He felt the power of it. The comforting touch of heat and the energy it provided to all life just as the sun did. Fire was not destruction but renewal.
Pushing gently out, Dalv felt the flames leave his hand, flowing down to the fire where it had been before. Once all the fire had left, he raised his hand to marvel in it.
"Wow… Wow…” Dalv couldn't find any other words to describe it. The feeling of amazement. Whatever this power was, it felt just… wow…
Dalv chuckled and began to head back to the guild hall. This place wasn't bad at all.
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