Times Past: Vignettes

Stories from the lives of House Ilnaren and those whose lives intertwine with it.

Moderators: Phen Seer Ilnaren, Ebon Ilnaren

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Ebon Ilnaren
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Posts: 185
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 10:08 pm
Location: Stardreamer Manor, RhyDin

Times Past: Vignettes

Post by Ebon Ilnaren » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:24 pm

OOC: This thread will be for shorter stories from the past of characters involved with Ebon and his family, one- or two-post tales that would not necessarily warrant a full thread. Enjoy!
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Ebon Ilnaren
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 10:08 pm
Location: Stardreamer Manor, RhyDin

Sight Without Seeing

Post by Ebon Ilnaren » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:20 pm

Roughly five years after Ebon escaped Tar-Kyrul

"Ebon, watch your left flank!" The clacking of wood upon wood rang through the campsite as two men fought with staves, one older and weathered, the other young and strong. Yet despite the younger's speed and strength, the elder clearly held the edge in this battle, demonstrated as he swung in from the side, aiming for his comrade's ribs and striking true. When his attack evoked angry muttering, he raised a calming hand. "Easy now, no need to grumble. It's been but half a year since you started your combat training in earnest, while I've been doing this for decades. You'll get there." He considered Ebon for a moment before continuing. "Remember to use all of your senses. Not just your eyes, but your ears, the faintest sound of rustling cloth and scuffling dirt. More than that, use your mind, your gift, always. Keep at it, and in time it will be as simple as breathing itself, and with even less thought. Sight alone will fail you eventually."

Leaning on his staff, the young man looked up at his mentor. "I'm trying, patron, but-"

"Please, I've told you before, call me Doran." He wiped his forehead, sweeping short brown hair touched with grey away from his face. "You're thinking about it too much."

That brought a rueful frown to Ebon's face. "Thought becomes reality. Your words, Doran, in describing our gifts."

"True, but thought is not always a conscious action. The underlying current of our minds, our awareness, takes many shapes and not always through actively thinking. A scent or a sound will trigger an emotional reaction. Sufficent drills with a weapon lead to an instinctive action, what some warriors call memory of the body. For me, with my primary gift as a telepath, it's a constant awareness of the minds near me... and for you--in time--it will be that sense of where things are around you. How far, how detailed, those are things that only training and will can determine."

One eyebrow rose above jet black eyes. "I get a sense of things, but it's hazy, like the forest on a foggy morning, before the sun burns the mists away." Ebon shook his head, his gaze downcast. "Maybe that is as good as it will ever be."

Lightning-quick, Doran's hand whipped out and slapped the back of Ebon's head. "Keep talking like that, and it surely will be." He glanced around the campsite. Others of the Feranor were engaged in drills, or attending to their personal duties, or enjoying a brief moment of leisure. The sunlight filtered down through the trees, casting dappled shadows in some places and shining brightly elsewhere. "Here. Take a look around. See it all, let your vision absorb it, soak it in. You have it?" When Ebon nodded, Doran smiled. "Now... close your eyes! Do you see an image, a remnant of what your eyes showed you? It fades, yes, but open your eyes again. Now close them!"

"For an instant, everything seems so sharp, clear. But it fades so quickly!"

"Now do it again, but imagine holding onto that afterimage. Picture it changing as people move about. Feel the breeze on your skin, and picture how it causes a tent to billow, or a leaf to skip across the ground. Let your mind fill the space around you, not thinking, just feeling it all. Sensing it." As he spoke, Doran stepped softly, silently to Ebon's right, raising his staff. "Can you picture the scene?"

Ebon nodded once. "I can."

"Good." Without any warning, Doran swung his staff hard at his young student's head.

Ebon's own staff came up to meet it, a solid whack ringing in the air. Opening his eyes, he turned and looked to Doran, almost awestruck. "It was like a dark haze, but then... I could sense your weapon swinging down towards me, like a turtle breaking a pond's surface and climbing up onto a log."

"There you go." Doran reached out to tousle the youth's dark hair. "Sight without seeing... it's a good start!"
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