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 Kalla the Younger, Sorceress!

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Shoji



Posts : 35
Join date : 2010-09-23

PostSubject: Kalla the Younger, Sorceress!   Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:20 am


Kalla The Younger


Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you the Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger.
—Gordon R. Dickson, The Tactics of Mistake



History

Kalla’s story begins before she was born, in a Northern village near a river, where it only snowed 8 months out of the year. There her parents met and wed, but were soon sent south when her father was ‘volunteered’ for a Realm division. Dutifully, and with nothing to lose save the cold, the wife followed. Born en route to the South, Kalla was left in a small Southeastern village by her parents, who couldn’t keep up with the military unit while raising her. The town’s wise woman, who taught Kalla about art, science, history and writing, raised her. She would never know parental love or the true strength of a family. She was left there before she received her name, a Northern tradition testing the survivability of a child. Out of convenience, the older woman shared hers with the girl.

The old woman, Kalla the Elder, was a bit of a hedge witch and charlatan, but there was enough of the occult and lore that was real that Kalla the younger soon become an apprentice of sorts. Oh, there was little love lost between the two – the life of an apprentice is hard from the beginning. And yet the little girl soaked up knowledge at a rate that astounded Kalla the Elder – and concerned many locals. When other children were making wordlike sounds, she was saying clear words and understood their meaning. When other children got frustrated communicating their needs, Kalla the Younger just stopped and thought for a few moments as if to force her mouth to make the right words.

By three, she spoke and read 4 languages – Riverspeak, Old Realm, High Realm and Low Realm. By 5, no one in the village debated her on history or lore, and she was doing math faster than the local feudal lords could raise taxes. But she was lagging physically – or thought she was. Actually, her body stubbornly followed the proper path of growth, her mind far outracing her body in many ways. Always picked last for games, always left behind, always having to take breaks to recover her breath. As a sort of compensation for her physical frailty, some of the villagers taught her basic unarmed fighting styles – and she found that the reach of staves helped mitigate her lack of height.

And of course, the locals were still suspicious of her. Her blond hair, fair skin and blue eyes were out of place amidst the swarms of swarthy, dark Southerners and Eastern folk with their green hair. She was smart enough to know they’d never accept her, no matter how hard she tried to fit in, no matter the fact that she had no knowledge of the Northlands and of people like her. She could act and speak like a native, but was forever held at arm’s length. She didn’t belong here, nor did she know where she should go. She feared being alone forever, especially when Kalla the Elder finally went to Lethe and it looked like that would be her fate.

While sorting through the old woman’s possessions, she found a strange book. She began reading it, finding it a mighty test of her mind to translate the cryptic scribbling. Interestingly, they turned out to be a journal, someone else’s life. That person had some of the same feelings of loneliness and pain, and Kalla felt a kinship with this Oadenol, whomever she was. While waking suddenly beneath Luna’s full gaze on her seventh birthday, however, she opened Oadenol’s journal unintentionally – and noticed that he writing changed. By moonlight, a completely different set of ciphers appeared! She began to puzzle these out as well, spending a long time studying the new writings. When she succeeded, she felt a warm glow that spread through her entire being.
Oadenol’s Codex revealed arcane powers far beyond anything Kalla the Elder had taught the young girl. It was at this moment, as dawn crept over the scene and the writing changed before her eyes, that she realized something. She realized that here in this hut, alone, with her namesake buried out in the backyard, she had been selected for a purpose. She was the source of the golden-red light, not the rising sun still faint at false dawn. Within the dusty mirror, she could see the half-full circle of the Unclean shimmering upon her brow – how did that get there? Yet another mystery to study, she thought.

“Child of Two Lands, I call on you. I task you with gathering what has been lost, and returning Light to this world. Vow now to give up your fears of being alone, and I shall always be with you. Without a sacrifice such as this, you cannot unlock your true potential.”

Standing behind her in the mirror was the most handsome man she had ever seen! He had golden hair that hung to his waist, and burning blue eyes. He had four arms, and glowed so brightly, she couldn’t resist his words. Her own voice was like the squeaks of a mouse after a lion has roared; yet they echoed far more. “I give up my fear. No matter where I am, no matter where I go, I’m not alone. I will no longer let fear define me.”

The beautiful man smiled, and kissed her forehead. But as she turned to look at him, he was gone. She realized that he hadn’t been in the room – just in the mirror. Yet the scintillating warmth that wrapped around her told her this wasn’t quite true. He was with her, and nothing was going to be the same.
She knew she couldn’t remain where she was. Realm armies passed by the town, albeit usually heading North now in retreat or recall to the Blessed Isle, and in no condition for much fighting. Still she was smart – smart enough to know what would happen if she was spotted.

Packing her meager goods and the two books that meant anything – the Codex and her Guild account ledger, she left the house of Kalla the Elder for good, the nameless village disappearing behind her. She could feel the heat of the sun, but it wasn’t harsh. At night, she studied Oadenol’s moonlight scripts, gaining powerful incantations that made her journey faster, and safer. Of course, she offered due apologies for the swaths of wilderness that were rather traumatized by her passing – she didn’t want to offend too many spirits. She traveled for many days, coming at last to a great chasm in the earth.

Calling on the powers that had awakened inside her, she dropped into the chasm on a Stormwind Rider, and traveled through a long gully to a yawning cavern. Hideous, slimy, and fetid, it invited and cajoled her to turn back, but she forced herself to enter it. She warded off the largest creatures – fist-sized cockroaches and giant spiders – with a simple wooden staff as she forced herself to venture into the cavern. Shattered worked stone and glyphs in Old Realm told her it had once been a building, a library - a source of learning. Now it was a sacrilege, a pile of rubble. As she advanced further, she encountered something truly odd. Amid the wreckage – for the building had clearly been dropped into the chasm by some mighty force – she found a crushed sarcophagus. It took her hours, days to excavate it. She didn’t understand why, just that it was critical she did so. Whoever had been buried here, the dust of their bones was mixed with the dust and mud of an Age and more. Yet when she finally finished, she was in awe. A staff of indestructible blue Chiaroscuro glass trimmed with orichalcum lay within the rubble, flawless and undamaged. As she hefted it, it felt familiar, as if she’d held it before.

Visions swirled within her head as she stood there for a minute (hour? day?), the visions were of sorceries failing, of omens blacker than the pit she’d crawled though, of betrayal by one loved like a sister. She could only kneel there and sob at the implications – that even the greatest of her former lives had been ended ignominiously, and that all the sorcery in Creation was useless with a friend’s blade in your back. She clenched her teeth, breathing deeply, and forced herself to get up, yelling defiance into the cave. It was an enlightening moment, to be able to vent the primal scream of anguish that she hadn’t been able to release at the moment of her death.

Once she recovered from facing that horror, she called forth the Stormwind Rider to take her back up and out of the chasm. She had seen and faced what had and may once again become of her, and although it terrified her, it also promised learning on a whole new level. Even her weak young body seemed suffused with greater energy and purpose, as she bid farewell to the grave where she, the once mighty sorcerer known as Kaladel, had finally been laid to rest ages ago. Now she found further meanings in both her moonlight and sunlight studies of Oadenol’s Codex, seeing how one circle of magic supported the next, and how they all tied in together and were linked by real life anecdotes from the daylight portion of the journal, and how sorcery was all around her and if she studied Creation, the paths would open to far greater understanding. Even more mysterious was the constant reference to the number Three. She began to think that there was yet another level of arcane knowledge just out of reach, and her studies and formulae supported that to a point.

Beyond the ruined library, she met the most peculiar woman, with hair the colors of the falling leaves and skin pale as birch bark. Kalla would think it was just a chance meeting, but it would forever reshape her future. She was exhausted, dirty and far from anyplace to get supplies from, and the woman offered her shelter and food. They talked for hours, and the woman, Koori, taught her many things. Koori was a mid-level functionary in the Spirit Court of the Western Wood Dragon Censer, and she was tasked with making sure leaves changed colors in the fall, and returned to the forest floor to nourish new growth. Her motives weren’t entirely altruistic, however. Koori is a strong supporter of the Gold Faction of Sidereals, though her post is small enough and her competency for her task adequate enough to cause minimal repercussions for her normally. She had time during the peak of the warm weather to further train Kalla in sorcery. Kalla’s sacrifice for Terrestrial Circle sorcery had been her fear of being alone – she had given it up freely and no longer cared if she was scorned or held at bay, setting her forever within yet apart from society in her pursuit of knowledge. Her second sacrifice, for Celestial Circle sorcery, was determined by Koori, and was far more painful.

Koori knew exactly what Kalla would learn if she completely deciphered Oadenol’s Codex, and was wise enough to know the girl wasn’t ready for that burden. So, she had Kalla seal the tome in wax and vellum, and turn it over to the Spirit Court. Furthermore, Kalla sacrificed her right to speak of the book directly by name for a period of 100 years or until after she learned her first Adamant Circle spell. After the ceremony, the ‘formal’ apprenticeship was dissolved, as Koori could not instruct Kalla in unraveling the secrets of the Adamant Circle of sorcery. Bizarrely, Koori would find out from the Court that the Codex was unaccounted for only a week later – although she knows Kalla no longer has it. She suspected it to have fallen into the hands of the Gold Faction, until one of the Sidereals arrived and asked for the book. She hasn’t informed Kalla of these events, as she doesn’t think the child needs to know. It has caused a bit of a fuss though, since it smacks of thievery at best and Court inefficiency at worst. After all, theft is an external issue, but inefficiency would lead to audits…

Now that Kalla has been released once more from apprenticeship, she follows rumors of others with the same destiny, strangers linked by golden strands of light. She has entered a town between the Varang Lands and the Chiaroscuro trade routes to seek out these beings. She has much to offer them, and after her visions humiliated her in the canyon, and her tutelage from the powerful wood spirit, she knows they have much to offer her as well.

She moves with purpose, and seems always focused on something. Clearly she is thinking deep thoughts. When she must, she moves with dedication and purpose in study and in battle. She doesn’t yet realize that she has greater difficulty with Charms, since she has only learned one outside of Sorcery. Once she meets other Exalted, she will learn this and no doubt find it as humiliating as Brigit did once before.

Description:

Kalla the Younger is a young girl of no more than eight! She wears her blond hair in a short pageboy with bangs, and uses ribbons to tie those to the side – to keep them out of her eyes. She has wide blue eyes and a fair complexion – clearly a Northerner by bloodline. Towering over the land at 3 foot 6 inches tall and weighing maybe 45 lbs, she would hardly seem threatening – if it wasn’t for the orichalcum and blue glass wrackstaff she is leaning on. As it is, it seems almost comical. She usually wears a tunic and simple boots, much like anyone from the East would. Interestingly, she wears a mantle or cloak, to which a weight has been cleverly added – no doubt to keep it from getting in her face as well. She wears a large shoulder bag and belt pouch, clearly loaded with scrolls. In fact, were she not attuned to that staff, it’s likely she’d be carrying too much to move!

Notes:
Because Oadenol followed the Silurian School, all of Kalla’s training is heavily influenced by her primary source of knowledge. She may well attain Silurian Absorption with her current rate of progress, along with Adamant Circle Sorcery – if she can find a tutor. Sadly, Oadenol’s Codex simply won’t go that high. Only another more powerful Solar Exalt, Deathlord (perhaps), Incarna (again, perhaps) or the slow and agonizing methods of self-initiation are open to the fledgling prodigy. If anyone can unlock Adamant Circle powers on his or her own though, it is the powerhouse known as Kalla the Younger.

Interestingly, Koori has shown Kalla the basics of thought of the Theanoian School, as Koori learned sorcery from no less austere an institution than Department 137 of the Forbidden Manse of Ivy. This is also where Koori encountered and was recruited by the Gold Faction. These two differing schools of thought will color much of Kalla’s sorcery, but they are not mutually oppositional.


Update: Kalla has developed the ability to dodge to a far greater extreme to compliment her parrying abilities when wielding her wrackstaff. She has also had a birthday while in Autochtonia and is now nine. She still retains the Hearthstone of what was once a promising research Manse, although the manse itself is in the hands of the Realm. She still has the amulet-key that allows access to the vaults but was unable to protect the library and the valuable books within. For her, this is an outrage and she hopes to make the Realm pay dearly for it.

Update: Kalla's past and future (she's in between these ages now):
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