- Sorren Corvus
Finally reaching the white walls of alabaster stone, you walk through the large, opened gates that eventually lead you into the outskirts of the city's commerce district. The buildings here vary in size and hue, their lights emanating a soft, warm glow as twilight slowly curtains the landscape in the distance.
You watch as Muzu suddenly lands upon a fence railing, his caws of delight seemingly signal to you that you have reached your destination at last, all the while small flickers of Fire flower glasswork dragons zip to-and-fro as they set the city's lamps aflame, illuminating the way for the oncoming night. Just before you stands a small and modest cottage home with a simple red roof. A number of crows seem to fly in and out of its sturdy structure through an opened window, beckoning you toward the abode, as you tentatively follow in their black feathered wake.
It has been a long journey to get here, but you have arrived frustrated and weary, mainly because Muzu seemed to lead you in circles after you left Silverport, and a few times you could have sworn that crow purposefully led you astray just for pure amusement. Thank the Ancients you've finally arrived. Perhaps now you would meet this individual dubbed 'Sorren' that Captain Willy spoke so much about since your rescue from the Ashmoors months ago...
???: "Well, look who finally decided to show up."
You open the door to reveal a small room within. Standing before you is a tall, slender man with raven black hair pulled back to show sharp features. What you notice almost immediately are this man's two differently colored eyes. Just behind him was the opened window you noticed outside, the many crows that led you here now fluttering about, as they find a perch to peer at your introduction with faint curiosity. The one crow you do know flutters in to alight on his master's shoulder, a mischievous glint to his ever watchful gaze.
???: "For a while there, I wondered if you'd even come. At least Muzu made sure to lead you here safely, but you're late. I'd advise you to be conscious of the time you waste from now on,"
the man with the dual colored eyes seems to give you a steady gaze, his voice smooth but abrupt, as he absently chastises you for taking so long to arrive.
You: "Hey, your bird is the one who led me in circles for months on end. I swear he got us lost on purpose countless times just for the heck of it! And don't get me started on the constant rolling around thing he does,"
you jump to your own defense as the man simply gives you an unwavering gaze that seems to convey he is unamused. Feeling a bit awkward at the silence you decide to ask a more pertinant question that has been on your mind since you reached this place.
You: "So anyways...are you the Sorren Corvus that Captain Willy told me about? He said you guys were a part of a secret group called the Watch Crows."
Sorren's features seem to ease slightly at the familiar name while Muzu nibbles on a strand of the man's hair playfully,
Sorren: "Yes, that would be me. No doubt Will explained things to you back in Silverport, but I was the one tasked by Seraphina to retrieve you from the Ashmoors when you opened the Obsidian Gates. Now thanks to that, all of Eldemore is going to be consumed by Oblivion and his curse -- but I'm sure you already knew that much."
You wince slightly at being reminded of your past mistake, before Sorren sees your reaction and gives a soft sigh,
Sorren: "But that is what the Watch Crows are here for, to help fix these types of mistakes."
His voice carries less of an edge than before as he glances at you with that same unreadable gaze,
Sorren: "And hey, people are starting to call you the Sealer now. A bit of a contradiction if you ask me, but Seraphina seemed adamant on that being your 'title', so whispers have started to spread about you and the Gates. Not all of it is great, mind you, but you have a bit of renown to your name which is more than most have these days."
You look to him with confused features. They call you 'The Sealer' now? Wasn't that what the Ancient of Present had mentioned to you before? And now the Watch Crows have revealed themselves to you...suddenly, it seems like a lot for you to take in, as you still ponder why you were brought here. Sorren seems to read your emotions like a book as he responds to the questions that fill your thoughts.
Sorren: "You were brought here because the Watch Crows are still unsure if you will be an asset or a hindrance yet. Your actions have set into motion a lot of unfortunate events. The other true born races are becoming more hostile towards the four human kingdoms. Many of their people are becoming ill. Black marks stain their skins where Oblivion's curse spreads, chocking the magic from their body til they become berserk with pain and madness, before ultimately having to be put down or suffering a long, drawn out death."
As Sorren tells you exactly what Oblivion's curse is doing, you can feel your features growing cold and the color leaving your skin, all the while knowing that it was your actions that were causing all this to transpire.
Sorren: "This curse seems to be affecting everything but humans, so you can imagine how relations are becoming strained beyond the human kingdoms. Our Order is meant to Watch and Protect -- we have done so from the beginning, and right now, both you and Oblivion have become our greatest threat."
Sorren: "War is on the lips of many, the masses are either shutting themselves away behind their walls or taking advantage of the chaos, and now is the time to decide whether you will be of use to us, or be an object used against us -- after all, Oblivion chose you to open the doors, so who knows what else he plans to use you for, especially since he purposefully let you live, despite having every opportunity to end you right then and there after you released him."
You can't help but cast a wide-eyed gaze down at the floor. Everything you're hearing is true, but somehow you can't help but feel as if you are a million miles away from here. Was it truly a blessing that you survived your encounter with Oblivion? Or, was it perhaps just a move in this unseen game that the Ancients of old are playing?
Sorren: "For now you will remain in Alabaster city. There are many of us keeping watch over you, the Crows have eyes all over these lands, and now they lay waiting to judge your actions. Prove you're intentions are for good and perhaps the Order will be swayed to keep you alive. Show that your intentions are selfish or that you follow Oblivion, and I'm afraid you will not leave this city again."
You are finally drawn back from your distant, dark thoughts as you hear both the warning and threat from the Watch Crows.
You: "So I'm a prisoner either way?"
Sorren narrows his gaze at this,
Sorren: "Does it matter? Will and I have both vouched for you, so it is up to the others if they find you a potential threat or not. Our Order will do whatever it takes to protect this realm, even if it means disposing of one individual to potentially save many. It is simply the reality of the situation -- but you should be glad they are giving you a chance after Seraphina asked them to do so."
Sorren: "Apparently everyone is curious to see where Fate leads you."
You: "Alright, so what do you need me to do?"
Sorren: "Simple...go out into the city and collect crow feathers. There will be many of them scattered around, but to find a single feather in a kingdom is like finding a needle in a haystack. This is a lesson to train your eyes to catch the smallest details around you. It is an exercise we use for new recruits so that they catch things that may seem out of place in their surroundings -- after all, our profession demands a sharp eye. It's a strange request, I know, but there is a reason for it."
Sorren: "I'll also throw in some incentive to get you going. Will said something about you having an obsession with collecting creatures? Collect enough feathers and bring them back to me, and I'll give you a creature in return. Many of them have lost their master in some way or another, so they could use a good home. Maybe it will help you keep your mind off of things and focus on the task at hand...becase you really do lack focus."
The city of Alabaster truly is as grand as they say. You can not help but stop for a few moments to take in the solemn scenery. White rune drakes fly overhead in the distance, while a few perch upon the palace, their blue flames erupting throughout the night periodically as they wait for their Dragoon Knights to call upon them to take flight once more.
Talking to Sorren:
• So I've been wondering...your eyes...are you--
- "A halfborn? Yes. Half Avian and half human to be exact, since I know that is your next question. Do I know which of my parents were which? That would be a no. I grew up on the streets of Silverport with Will, so it really matters very little to me. I consider him and the Crows to be my family. Being of mixed blood only seems to upset those who discriminate against the 'half-born taboo', but honestly, I had no control over that when I was born. So I make it a point to stay out of someone's way if it bothers them.
- If such a thing offends you, however, I'll be sure to keep my distance and our interactions brief. If not...well, then you would be one of the few out there who don't find issue with such trivial things. Either way, it's beside the point. What matters is that you keep your mind focused on the task at hand instead of prying into other peoples' business."
• Hey, I never got to say anything before, but I wanted to thank you for getting me out of the Ashmoors. Captain Willy said you carried me all the way back to Silverport from that awful place...so, thanks!
- "Don't be. I merely traveled there at the behest of Seraphina and the Crows. Oblivion is a master at wards, no human or true born race was meant to enter that place unless he willed it so, but lucky for you he did not count on halfborns existing I suppose...
- What's with the face? Fine. You're welcome, feel better now? You know, your physique is incredibly deceiving. You are way heavier than you look. Had to sling you over my shoulder like a sack of rocks half the time while Muzu pecked at your face to try and wake you up. Didn't work of course, but we at least got you back in one piece. Hey, don't scowl like that. That's how Muzu greets everyone -- you should be glad he's taken such a liking to you. It usually takes him forever to warm up to new faces."
• So what creatures do you have for me?
- "Have you noticed that the rune drakes here are becoming restless as well? They can sense the darkness, and the magic fading in its wake. I wonder if we still have enough time..."
• What should I be doing again?
- "You're kidding, right? I tasked you with finding crow feathers around the city. Collect them and bring them back to me. Muzu will help I'm sure, but if you find enough I may be nice and give you something in return. There are a lot of creatures here without a home and this exercise is meant to train your eye, and hopefully train you to focus for more than just 15 minutes. So quit meandering about in here, and get back out there."
• How'd you meet Captain Willy? Were you two actually pirates?
- "Ex-pirates, don't get that confused -- and what? Will did not tell you already in his own extravagant way? Usually he loves to flourish his stories for others. He and I met on the streets of Silverport when we were young kids. You know, living off the steals we made until we joined up with a shady group that traversed the seas. We loved the adventure, the thrill of thievery and the close encounters with death and impending doom. But, well...things happened, due to disagreements on views with our group, and we split from them later on. Luckily we survived the ordeal, since you don't usually disband from a group like that without a fight, but there is no reason to go into those past tales. It's done and over with and I'd like to keep it that way.
- Point is, we both were eventually found by Seraphina and her group of Mystics later on, who eventually led us to joining the Watch Crows after we finally ended our life of piracy. Will and I have been together since we were kids. You won't find a better friend to watch your back -- but don't go telling him I said that or it'll go to his head, you hear me? The guy wears a big enough hat as it is...I really can't afford to buy him another one...you'd be surprised how expensive they are."
• Can I ask how you met Muzu?
- "How I met Muzu? Well, I've always known Muzu...it's confusing, actually...when I was very young, before I met Will even, I remember being given an egg by someone I can't fully recall. A parent perhaps? A stranger? I don't know, all I do know is that Muzu has been there since the beginning for me. I understand that it may sound strange, but he and the other crows have always been like a family. It's easy to talk to the birds here since I have Avian blood in my veins, but I've always felt a special connection with crows in general. The irony, right?"
• You know, you should try to lighten up some Sorren! If you never smile your face is gonna stick like that forever.
- "I can clearly see Will's influence has rubbed off on you. He tells me the same thing, but kind of hard to smile when darkness is looming over the lands becaue you opened those doors. Oh, and did I forget to mention you also unleashed a plague that chokes the magic from both the land and magical beings? Let's also not forget that a gigantic Ancient is now somewhere out there, no doubt plotting or destroying something important. Of course a lot of tension is rising between the races as well since none of this effects humans, also--"
- Oh great, I'm going to be stuck here forever now...
• *Sorren hands you a small box out of nowhere* "Huh, what's this?"
- "It's called a boxed lunch. You know, that stuff you eat when you're hungry and that helps keep you alive? I've noticed you look about half dead when you come in here after searching for those feathers all night with Muzu. That, and your stomach is incredibly loud. It's important to keep your mind focused on this exercise and to build your endurance, but it's also just as important to know when to rest as well.
- You may not have noticed it yourself, but I can see that all of this is weighing down on you. What's with the face again? Hey, I know how to cook! How else do you think all these creatures eat here? Some of them refuse to eat anything but the finest of foods -- they are absolutely spoiled I tell you. Now, eat and get back out there. I expect three times as many feathers from you now that you've had a good meal.
• I've got to ask -- how did you get that scar on your eye?
- "Wow...you certainly don't shy away from the blunt questions, do you? I got the scar from Will. Same for him, gave the guy a few scars on his face in return. He'll no doubt say the scars just mean we are 'best buds for life' as he likes to put it, but we both got them when we first met each other and got into a dispute when we chose the same steal. Eventually we competed, got caught, fought then laughed about it later. That's all there is to it really. Doesn't mean you should go out and get your own scars. I seriously thought I lost an eye there for a while..."
• I've been wondering, just what is it that you do exactly for the Watch Crows?
- "What does it look like? Obviously, I babysit you and hundreds of homeless creatures..."
- Sorren sighs in consent after a few long moments when it seems that you refuse to be dejected with the passive remark
- "Fine, I suppose I can go ahead and give you a bit of insight at this point, since you've been doing somewhat, moderately well at your training exercise without utterly failing. My jobs usually require me to dispose of individuals that would do the realm harm. For example, if a group of bandits is terrorizing a town, I usually strike at the heart of the matter and get rid of their leader -- you'd be surprised how easily they fear a 'demon bird' as they like to call it. Or if a capital's monarch becomes a tyrant, I am sent to quietly silence the beast before it gets out of hand. We quell wars before they begin, we keep secrets that would totally destroy a nation, or...they send their agents to fetch a curious individual who wishes to open things they shouldn't touch.
- I guess if you want to give a title to my profession, it would be an assassin, so I will not try to sway you from that obvious truth. I know what I am and what it is I do, if it changes your opinion of me, I understand. However, I'm being honest with you when I say that I hope you succeed at proving your worth to the other Watch Crows. It would be a real bummer if you were the next target they asked for me to dispose of -- I mean, whose hair would Muzu have to roll in then?"
• I keep hearing a lot of people mention Seraphina's name, and so many seem to respect her in some way. What else can you tell me about her, if you don't mind?
- "It's difficult to really pinpoint the truths from the many tales told about her throughout the centuries, so it's hard to say. She is the leader of the nomadic group called the Mystics, humans with strange, violet eyes and mysterious auras, and has been for many, many years it seems...I'm sure you were able to tell she is no ordinary being though, when you spoke with her during your time in the Mystic Glades. From what I heard, she read your fate; Seraphina rarely offers such services to others. She usually just refuses to do so, but for those she does do readings for, they are often the ones you read about in history books for their great or terrible feats that seem to shape the world thereafter.
- Many call her the 'Fate Weaver', and some believe she is one of the Ancients of old. There is obviously more to her than meets the eye, since the name Seraphina is depicted in various art and ancient script alongside the Seraphim dragon -- an Ancient with six wings who was said to be one of the first beings to touch these lands...it makes you wonder just who she is exactly and what her past may hold. I've always been curious myself actually, maybe one day we will learn more if she decides to tell us. However, knowing her it's bound to be cryptic or confusing. Heh, I think she actually enjoys doing that to people."
• I've been passing by this statue in the middle of the city, depicting a young woman with a rune dragon rising up from her arm as if to take flight. Do you know who she is? She seems important, but I'm not wholly familiar with Alabaster history.
- "Hm, remind me to sit you down one of these nights so that you can learn about it. It is important to know the lore and history of all prominent capitals, regardless of your origins or inability to focus.
- The statue you see in the middle of Alabaster City depicts the first human to magically bond with a creature from these lands. She was also said to be the first who learned how to channel Eldemore's ever-present magic through her, due to the unlikely aid of a small rune dragon that she secretly befriended during those dark times. It was a historic feat, since humans do not inherently posses magic in their blood like the other races and creatures. Instead, they have the remarkable ability to filter it through them with the help of a bonded magical creature or entity.
- Her name was Amalthea, and it took a young child back then to teach humanity as a whole that they were more than just destructive creatures that plagued the realm. She is an icon to many, even to this day, and it is through her example that humans now work alongside the creatures of Eldemore in almost everything that they do...a trait that I am jealous of, since magical bonding is somewhat complicated for us halfborns, but Muzu and I get by just fine with our own connection.
- Now let's see, I know I saw some childrens' history textbooks around here somewhere. That should be a good place to start you off. We'll give you some homework to do in your spare time when you're not searching for feathers."
• *You look inside the Aviary only to hear that Sorren is out back. You quietly go to look, and are surprised at what you see...*
- "Alright, freshly picked cinnamon apples for the Sleipnir ladies with a side of daffodils -- don't you dare spit those back out missy, or you aren't getting any dessert. And for the dires, nice big slabs of sirloin stakes since you're such good boys for guarding our Sealer friend while I'm away. Hey! What did I tell you servals about hanging on me? You know I don't do hugs! I swear you guys are as bad as Fiore about wanting attention...fine, but just this once -- I don't want you becoming spoiled like the fancy slipslops over there."
- You decide not to ruin the moment as you silently back away. After all, you just witnessed a rare event, Sorren actually being nice! Totally got to keep that for blackmail later on.
•I've been wondering, where do you keep getting all these history books for me to read? I mean, I don't mind the homework per say, but they keep popping up with no end!
- "Hey, learning your history is important and you should be grateful that you have the ability to read. There are many who live alone or on the streets that can't afford that luxury."
- "As for the books...well...I like to read, okay? What's with the goofy grin? Don't act so accomplished just because you know that. There's nothing wrong with liking a good book or two...or hundred or so. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I actually did not know how to read or write when I lived alone back in Silverport during my youth. I always loved to listen to others read, though. I often used to eavesdrop on the local school house there when I could, just to hear them recite history about far off places and grand events. It was like listening to someone paint a whole nother world that you could escape to when you imagined it -- I was greatly envious of those who could open a book and speak the words as if they were magic."
- For a brief moment Sorren rubs the back of his neck in an almost reserved, shy manner before continuing, clearly trying his best to hide his embarrassment about his odd book collecting hobby.
- "It was actually Will who sat me down and taught me how to read and write. He is surprisingly educated for all his inaccuracies with speech, but I eagerly coveted those lessons since I wanted to learn the magic to make words paint an image for me. It wasn't magic of course, but that's the mind of a child for you. It's one of the many things I owe Will for to which I can never really return the favor...alright now your grinning is just getting ridiculous. Out. Now."
•It's almost been a week now, do you think my chances are good with the Watch Crows? You know, since I do admit that I enjoy living and all that?
- "At least your humor has not dulled, given the circumstances. As for your chances, they could really go either way at this point. Ultimately, you have yet to see the extent of your actions, but my argument to them was that you were less like an evil cohort and more like an oblivious, fumbling child who was swayed by Oblivion's dark influence and who also did not know when to stop touching things."
- "From what I saw at the Ashmoors, your actions were unintentional, but the Watch Crows have a right to be wary of you. It is not necessarily you yourself that they do not trust, in fact it is painfully obvious after just observing you for one week that you are no dark mastermind. Rather they are greatly concerned as to why Oblivion let you live. Your usefulness was at an end as soon as you opened the Obsidian Gates, so why leave you now to wander freely, and potentially work against him? It just doesn't make sense."
- "So the question here is not whether your intentions are good, that is plain to see, but whether Oblivion plans to do something with you that would potentially harm the world further. Now you see our dilemma and why we hesitate to take action. For your sake, I hope their decision is in your favor."
Sorren had told you the night before that today would be the day the Watch Crows would decide your fate. You've spent the last week confined to the city's walls, forbidden to leave, a beautiful prison as it were, and one that you often times forgot was meant to keep you locked in.
You had steadily resolved yourself for the past week, faithfully working alongside Muzu as the odd little crow of Sorren's helped you with your feather collecting task. However, as you approached the Aviary, you feel somewhat hesitant as you begin to realize that what transpires next could potentially not be in your favor, due to your prior actions...
Though you had opened this door a hundred times already during your busy back and forth of feather searching and countless inquiries, you pause as you did when you first came here, only to eventually turn the knob with clear certainty as you head inside.
Sorren: "Welcome Sealer, glad you you came on schedule this time."
That familiar, smooth tone with an ever-present sharp edge to it catches your attention as you see Sorren just within, standing as seemingly casual as before while he eyes you with that unreadable dual gaze of his. Muzu appears as if from nowhere before fluttering past you and to his usual perch upon his master's shoulder, his bird-like eyes more piercing now as you could have sworn you saw a brief, magical glint to their usually playful depths.
Sorren: "Are you prepared for what I have to tell you?"
Sorren's voice calmly brings you back from your observations as you slowly give a single nod, not wishing to speak, not knowing if you could speak, awaiting only to hear what Fate has in store for you.
Sorren: "The Watch Crows have observed you these past few days as you performed your tasks. They believe that you yourself are no threat to the realm...however, I'm afraid they deem you too much of a risk since it is uncertain what Oblivion himself plans to do with you. You, Sealer, are guilty of the charges against you, for bringing darkness upon this realm, for releasing Oblivion, and for also letting loose an old curse that is destroying the lives of hundreds as we speak..."
You don't know what to say. Somehow a part of you knew that this was inevitable. You understood well enough how your actions had so greatly affected the land, the people, and its creatures. You can't help but look away as you feel the fight ebb from you slowly, your shoulders sag from defeat as wait for what is to come next.
Sorren: "But despite all that...they have decided that instead of simply executing you for your crimes, that it would be better to have you join our ranks. So welcome to the Watch Crows, Sealer."
You are stunned for what seems like a few long, drawn out moments before you remember to breathe. At first, you thought you had a very slim chance of survival, but to be accepted into their Order...THE fabled Order of the Watch Crows spoken of in countless legends and shrouded in mystery. You really did not know what to say to that. However, glancing at Sorren you could see weariness in his usual, sharp features. It seemed like he had perhaps been up all night arguing on your behalf.
You finally work up a response,
You: "I don't know what to say...I'm honored! Also very very confused but -- thank you. I know you and Captain Willie have been fighting on my behalf, and I can't thank you both enough for that..."
Sorren tilts his head slightly in faint amusement of your reaction with a criticizing eye,
Sorren: "If there is anyone you should thank, it should be Seraphina. In the end, they were not going to listen to Will and I, but imagine everyone's surprise last night at our gathering when the 'Fate Weaver' herself arrived unannounced. She was the one who pretty much told them to accept you into our Order instead of going through with the execution. So not only did she vouch for you, Seraphina saved your life. In the end, she gave them little room to argue with her reasoning. She argued that you would ultimately 'be more useful as a Crow than as a dead human,' as she put it."
Sorren gives you little room to interject with your shocked, stuttering exclamations before motioning you towards a back room abruptly.
Sorren: "If you're going to be a part of the Watch Crows, then we need to start the initiation quickly. There isn't much time before you must leave here, but before that, there is something that I am supposed to give you."
The tall male swiftly urges you into the shadows, which seem to welcome you into their cool embrace, before being softly driven back by the dim flickers of candlelight.
You find yourself in a room filled with crows and nests that spiral up into an opening in the ceiling. Sorren steps lightly over to a few of the nests near the far back as he examines each at a time. The subtle rays of moonlight mix with the soft glow of the candle's flame to illuminate his dark frame before he suddenly stops at one, as if in recognition, before carefully extracting the contents within its woven twigs with a deft and steady grip.
He walks back over to you slowly while cradling the object with great care and consideration, before standing before you once more, showing you what is within his grasp.
Sorren: "This egg was recently conceived by two very special crows who passed away about a week ago alongside their masters. That was on the night you arrived here as well, so I have no doubt that such an event was no mere coincidence. As such, I have taken care of it ever since, but it has refused to hatch. At first I was worried that perhaps it too had perished like its parents, but now, I am certain that this creature belongs to you and you alone."
He pauses momentarily as you see what appears to be your average crow egg resting gently in Sorren's palm,
Sorren: "Within our Order, we perform a very different kind of bonding ritual with these birds, one that was written long ago in an ancient blood pact of old magic with the Ancient of Shadows herself. It is a promise, an agreement, that we have kept to this day with her children that now work alongside us as we strive to protect all of Eldemore from imbalance and destruction."
You look up with a questioning glance. You had never heard about this strange bonding ritual before now. You feel an ominous chill as you question its exact origin,
You: "The Ancient of Shadows? Blood bonding? I have never heard of such things, nor do I know much about the dark mistress herself. I have only heard her mentioned in legends as the keeper of secrets and shadows."
Sorren: "Yes, I'm sure you have wondered how we see all, hear all, are always there but never found. It is through the forbidden ritual of blood bonding with a chosen crow that we sever a piece of our soul and connect it with a child of the shadows. Because you are to join our Order, this information can be divulged to you, however, this dark act should never be performed more than once -- after all, you only have so much of your soul to give before it breaks. The results of abusing this can ultimately befall you a Fate worse than death. A being with no soul, no matter if they're human or one of the other magical races, is only an empty husk devoid of both the right to bond or use of magic of any sort. They are pitiful creatures and terrifying all the same...you would do well to avoid becoming such a thing."
The warning both intrigues and frightens you as you try to process this new information. You had heard of blood pacts being performed between individuals in dark tales, but you had always thought they were just that, a story to scare young children and to portray what would happen if one turned to such dangerous things. Suddenly, you feel as if things are starting to fit into place as you gaze at Sorren and Muzu in realization.
You: "Does that mean you and Muzu are also connected like this? I thought halfborns could not have a magical bond?"
Sorren: "Yes, you are correct. Halfborns can not have a magical bond, but this is not wholly magic. Having a piece of your soul tethered to another being through a blood bond isn't the same, it does not require magic, only a promise and a drop of blood. It is the closest I will ever get to understanding the freedom one feels in having a pure bond with another creature. By being directly connected to Muzu through this dark art, I can see and hear everything he does. It does not make it right though -- blood pacts are forbidden for a reason since, in truth, it is a perverted form of a true magical bond, but it is one that I accepted without hesitation nonetheless. I have no regrets. Certainly you've noticed the flash of light in Muzu's eyes? That glow is the reflection of my soul within him, and it is how I was able to find you in the Ashmoors, and also keep tabs on you while you and Will were in Silverport. Crows have always been the keepers of secrets, so it makes sense that they can also harbor a sliver of one's heart within them, since they are the messengers of the Ancient of Shadows herself. However, I performed this ritual before I joined the crows oddly enough...makes you wonder if it was the dark mistress herself who gave me Muzu on that fateful day...I've always wondered, but that is beside the point."
In the blink of an eye, you are startled when Sorren draws out a short, hidden blade from his person. You immediately wondered just how long he has had that, or how many other concealed weapons he has hidden away...and where on earth he had kept them this whole time!
Sorren hands you the crow egg, gently placing it within your own palm, ignoring the perplexed look that betrayed your own inner thoughts.
Sorren: "A single drop is all that is needed for this to take place. Now, Sealer, do you promise to uphold our creed to 'Watch and Protect' this realm from the haven of the Shadows? To give your life at any cost, to keep the world's balance, and to also serve under the Ancient of Shadow's name as you work alongside her children of the night?"
Your blood begins to pump faster as the words are spoken, there is clearly magic involved in reciting such a thing. You could feel the utterance tug at your being as it called for just a single drop to make the contract whole.
Though you were very wary at first, the responsibility of having to correct your previous wrongs weighs more heavily on your mind, as you finally submit with a single nod of acceptance,
You: "I do."
You speak clearly and can almost feel the words leap from you mouth in a binding sensation before Sorren carefully pricks your finger deeply, leading your hand to the egg, allowing a single, large drop of blood to fall to the surface of the the shell that you hold close to your heart. Immediately, you begin to feel as if a piece of you has left your being, only to be replaced with another, smaller heartbeat. You stare down at the egg in absolute wonder. This felt inherently different from the other magical bonds you had created with creatures before. You can not help but draw the fragile container of life closer in a protective embrace, as you feel the warmth begin to ebb from its once deathly cold shell.
Sorren: "Welcome to the Watch Crows, Sealer. Keep your companion close, since they now hold a piece of your soul within them. They will watch over you and protect you to their dying breath, so be sure to do the same in return, and uphold the promise you made for all of Eldemore this night. Now, you must hurry up and pack. Seraphina requested you personally to meet her at the Mystic Glades in a few months time, so you best not keep her waiting. Afterall, she went to great lengths to ensure that you still breathe today. Oh, and before I forget, there is some bad news...the rest of our Order decided to have you apprenticed to both Will and myself. Now, I told them explicitly that I don't do apprentices, but they thought it was hilariously fitting since we were the only two who fought for your innocence. This is going to throw all of my previous assignments off, I hate babysitting, so you better be ready to pull your weight...literally this time. I won't be dragging you back from the Ashmoors twice."
-End of the Spring Event-