Found among the ruins of a carriage, Alba was taken in by the Ry'pha, a race reminiscent of our own Garudas, and raised under their care, learning their strange magics and fighting styles.
The Ry'pha may be an isolationist race, but Alba wanted to find her own way out in the world. Since then, she’s settled down in a forest and build her home up in the canopies where nobody can find her.
She watches those who come into her territory from the branches above, and steals small things here and there. If she finds you interesting, she may even sketch you onto the paper she’s stolen over time.
If she really finds you interesting, or if you discover her presence, then she may even speak to you!
After the events of last night we all returned to the inn. Nak and I took turns at night watching after Amber and Nik. It wasn’t hard since Amber refused to leave his side and could usually be found wrapped around Nik sleeping. I patched up Nik’s minor cuts and Amber took care of the more major injuries. As morning crept around I decided it was time to figure out what was going on and what we were going to do. I call Nak to Ambers room and sit down.
Terrus: Alright, there are a couple things that we need to do. First we need to set a course. Amber, you said you wanted to join us?
Amber: Yes I would, if thats okay with you.
Terrus: Its fine but we travel where I am going with no exceptions.
Terrus: Second…this is really for me..what did exactly happen last night?
Amber: What do you mean?
Terrus: I mean your magic. I’ve never heard or seen anything like it before.
Amber: Oh that…well if you really want to know I can explain it.
Terrus: I would like that..its just I need to know what it can do to people and if we can use it or if its too dangerous.
Amber: Okay thats fair Terrus. Well where should I start? mmmmm Oh I know. Uncurls from around sleeping Nik and sits up. I am trained as a medic.
Terrus: A medic?
Amber: Yes it was many years ago. Any how while in training trying to learn the magic required to heal people…everyone I tried to help ended up dying or in worst condition….I couldn’t do it. I practiced all the time and I worked really hard at it but no matter what I did the result was the same…everytime I would attempt magic of any type it would change to what you saw last night.
Terrus: So what exactly is it?
Amber: Its difficult to explain but…simply put I can touch souls of anything living. When I use my magic I create a bridge between my soul and their soul. This bridge is special…by using it as a link I can merge the memories and feelings of the two. If I feel pain they feel pain and if they are sad then I feel sad.
Terrus: Well that doesn’t sound too destructive. Why would that have gotten in the way of medical training?
Amber: Well to be honest this ability to create a stable bridge is new. It took me a long time to discover how to safely do it…however before I could control it this way the bridge was always corrupted or unstable. What usually happened was once I touched a patient to begin healing them my hand instead entered into them and attached to their soul. It used to always freak me out and I would rip my hand away….but th..the bridge wouldn’t break. Their soul would be ripped from their body and with nothing to hold it together they would crumble away.
Terrus: I see so the bridge that you are talking about links you to another however if the bridge is not disconnected before extraction then it forces the other soul to give as well. Is that right?
Amber: That’s one way to look at it. Another thing about the bridge is the connection strength. Lets say perhaps I connect to you but something alters the bridge just before or after the connection.. What happened in the past was only a partial tear. Sometimes people would lose their memories and other times their sanity. I haven’t attempted control of memories before for that very reason.
Terrus: Interesting. I think I get how this all works but its still very confusing.
Amber: Well if it would help you understand I can link too you and you can experience it for yourself.
Terrus: Will it be safe?
Amber: As long as you don’t make me angry haha. I’ve gotten pretty good at control ever since….well actual nevermind that would you like to try?
Terrus: I guess it couldn’t hurt.
Amber: Alright try and relax and be calm.
Amber gets up from the table and walks over to me. She closes her eyes and takes a few deep breaths before slowly reaching inside my chest. There is a sudden twitch, a feeling of…weird. Suddenly I hear a voice. It sounds like Amber. There is a sudden feeling of cold and a shiver runs down my spine. I open my eyes to fire myself alone and naked. I look around and see nothing but an endless expanse if space. A figure forms in front of me.
Amber: Okay Terrus. I’ve established a link.
Terrus: Where am I?
Amber: This is your mind. This place is where your thoughts, memories, and everything about you comes from. Now I could just bust into your mind since this has never happened too you before and you have no defenses. However I am just showing you how this works so I will ask. May I enter your mind? Once I do so the bridge will be complete and you will experience everything.
Terrus: Okay I think i’m ready for this.
The shadowy figure of Amber steps forward and enters the space around me. Images start flying by. Who was that? A picture of me, Nik, and Nak all fly by. I see a young wolf in one picture when suddenly it starts moving. Who is that little girl? Then as suddenly as they started they stop.
Amber: I’m sorry about that the connection can flow both ways.
Terrus: What I just saw they were…
Amber: My memories. I can see all of your memories. Everything you’ve ever done. Do you understand a little more about how this works now.
Terrus: I think so. Its really weird though.
Amber: For most people it is. I am going to disconnect now, see you back in the room.
The whole area around me goes dark and I open my eyes again. Amber pulls her hand back out of my chest and sits back down by Nik.
Terrus: That was incredible. Don’t do it again but thats cool. It does however leave me with a question.
Amber: I don’t know everything but I will answer as best I can.
Terrus: This kind of magic would be classified as dark magic and most likely would be on the upper tier of forbidden magic.
Amber: I…I try not too use it very much.
Terrus: No its fine its just every single one of those types of magic has a cost that the user pays everytime they use it. From what I can see there are no side effects for yours.
Amber: Creating a bridge does not effect me. Its a neutral connection that does no harm to the body. However….any kind of manipulation does come at a cost.
Terrus: What do you mean?
Amber: It depends on what happens. Somethings are more taxing than others. What I did last night is an example of one of these instances.
Terrus: But nothing happened. I mean you look fine.
Amber: Well its difficult to notice and it took me awhile to figure it out as well…but last night when I ripped his soul out against his will and destroyed it the immediate effect was the exhaustion. To remove a soul like that goes against everything in nature. The exhaustion is temporary but the after math that follows is irreversible.
Terrus: What is that?
Amber turns around and moves her tail to the side to reveal a small streak of silver fur wrapped half way around the base of her tail.
Terrus: What the..
Amber: This is the cost every time the bridge is used to remove a soul this silver line gets longer. It may just look like aging but from what I do know from my training is that this streak is actually dead. The pigment cells have destroyed themselves from the strain and it will grow everytime I use it.
Terrus: So what happens when all of the fur turns silver?
Amber: Then it would start destroying the surface tissue.
Amber: In other words if all my fur turns silver from using this power and I continue using it then I will die. It won’t be quick, and it won’t be painless. My skin would fall apart and I predict that once that starts happening even if I stopped using the magic…it would be too late.
Terrus: Well we’ll aim to not let that happen to you. Now i’m still a little confused but i don’t think i’ll ever fully understand it. So we are going to hit the road now. We trek on towards home, and hopefully my friend and mother. Pack everything you need. We leave at noon.
Nak: Psssst Nik wake up. It seems over night a very large wolf lady has climbed into bed with you and is now holding you.
Nik (sleepy): mmmhmmm isn’t it niceeee?
Nak: No! I think shes’s trying to save you for breakfast if you don’t get out now.
Nik: Well then she can eat me if she wants….zzzzz Nik rolls around and puts his head on Ambers chest. mmmmm nice and cozy.
Nak: Shit shit its seems like this wolf has put Nik under some kind of spell. I should get Terrus he’ll know what to do. Nak quietly exits the room and heads into the room where Terrus had been sleeping.
Terrus: Oh hey Nak hows it going? I was just getting some stretches in and practicing some of my botany.
Nak: Terrus you must come quick I think Nik is in danger!
Terrus (clearly not all too concerned): What may I ask is he in danger of?
Nak: Some wolf girl is wrapped around Nik and I think she is going to eat him!
Terrus: Wait…a girl? What color is her fur?
Nak: It was brownish I think.
Terrus: Was is really fluffy?..and her tail was is out swinging around?
Terrus: Shit that could be Amaryllis, its a long shot but with the coloration it just might be. Terrus jumps from his bed and hurries into Nak’s room to “rescue” Nik. Amy are you in here?!? Amber lifts her head and turns around.
Amber: AAAHHHHHH!! Get out i don’t have any clothes on.
Terrus: oh so its not you… and wait why would that? Amber throws a pillow at Terrus. Hey watch it!
Amber: I said get out who ever the hell you are. Amber gets up from the bed wrapped in the sheet carrying Nik like a rag doll. She turns around and kicks the bed at Terrus sending him out the door and barricading it behind him.
Terrus: Thats it I tried to be nice but i’m gonna go back in there and give that crazy girl a piece of my mind. Terrus heads back towards the door and prepares to break it down, the door opens before he can hit it and Amber is standing fully dressed with Nik standing behind her.
Amber: I’m sorry I kicked you out but i’m very shy about my appearance and I would very much like to keep a modest appearance. My name is Amber and you are?
Terrus (Dumdstruck): Ummmmm I’m Terrus nice to meet you Amber…umm how did you meet Nik back there?
Amber: Its a long story but he helped me very greatly last night and i didn’t feel safe so he offered to keep me company for the night. I’m sorry for any trouble i’ve caused i’ll be on my way. turns to Nik. I guess this is good bye for now.
Nik: No wait come with us. We are looking for a friend and I think you would like traveling with us. We’re fun and it will be a great adventure.
Amber: I’d love to Nik but I have somethings that I have to do here. If you are ever around again just come by and you will always be welcome to share a bed with me. Its so nice being able to sleep without fear of being attacked in my sleep or being forced to offer…services.
Nik: Well if you ever need anything Amber just let me know and i’ll be there. I may not know you very well but you’ve been very nice too me and I would like to learn more about who you are. I believe you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.
Amber: Thats very flattering Nik. kneels down and smooches on the cheek. I hope to see you again. Amber turns and apologizes to Terrus again for the trouble before heading out the door and down the hall.
Terrus: Nik what exactly happened?
Nik: I’m not sure but… I don’t know.
Terrus: But you’re a freaking hunter do you see anything in her other than the value of her fur?
Nik ( With rage): Of course I do..i ..i have feelings too I never wanted to be a hunter and we never hunted women because I just couldn’t do it…Nik runs down the hall and out of the inn.
Terrus: Great how are we going to get him back now?
Nak: He’ll probably come back on his own later. He just needs some time to think about everything.
The day continues on with Nak and Terrus walking around town and gathering information. As they approach the inn Amber runs out from the entrance.
Amber (tears in eyes): Terrus. Please come quickly its urgent!