In the Shadow of the Tyrant

Riwen's Training, Part III: Saēna

"I will teach you. But will you learn?"

After a journey of nearly a week getting to the mountain, then ascending to near its peak, Rirosorchalwen had little trouble subsequently stumbling into the one she was told to seek out—a resplendent creature with the body of a massive bird and a regal, canine head occupied much of the open, flat space around the mountaintop. She was overwhelmed by its presence and the wisdom behind the eyes looking down at her. They had no need for introductions, but Rirosorchawlen thought it was the thing to do. Saēna played along, but then wasted no time in getting to work on her student. Upon completing a brief initial explanation…

“What were you expecting? Books with every sort of fantastic creature in this world for you to memorize?”

Of course, that is precisely what the young elf had expected. It was written all over her face and puffed-up cheeks.

“Now, listen—one does not simply memorize every detail of this world’s infinite ancient and arcane magics and traditions, magical beasts, aberrations, and extraplanar beings; Not to mention every single spell and magical item—not unless you have all the time in the world. Not unless you are me. No—instead, you shall learn about the traits and characteristics of a great many things. Careful observation and rational thinking are your tools and I shall teach you to use them.”

Mesmerized, as all things were, Saēna supposed, the elf looked on, wide-eyed and attentive, already in stark contrast to the seemingly immature display from only moments ago.

Hmm, it seems she’s not as hopeless as most of the other lesser creatures. Their often dubious morals are so troublesome, but this one appears to yet posses a pure heart. A nice thing to see in such creatures now and again.

“Now, let’s be off to class, then.”

“…”

“Well, what are you waiting for? Did you forget flying lessons would be included? How else do you think we’re to find your subject matter? It’s not as if I have such things lying around. Come on now.”

Understandably nervous, the little elf climbed onto her teacher’s back and braced herself for the force of such a mighty creature taking flight. They soared over miles of land, moving faster than Rirosorchalwen ever imagined possible. Occasionally, Saēna would remark on the properties of a creature or, rarely, a site below. After a few hours, they returned to the mountaintop.

“I hope you were paying close attention today.”

The elf nodded.

Of course she did.

“Good, because we’ll be going over it all again—in Celestial.”

Rirosorchalwen didn’t know more than a couple words of Celestial, but as she and her teacher went out again each day, usually flying in a different direction or to a greater distance, over the course of the next few months, she learned not only Celestial, but a great deal in terms of the arcane, dungeons, and various planes.

When Saēna was finally finished with her bright little pupil, she had few words of farewell, save a warning:

“Rirosorchalwen, do not forget that knowledge itself is neither good, nor evil. What you do with it is up to you. The same goes for others. Live with a pure heart, but think. Think, but never give up your heart.”

Surely, this one will be tempted. If not by her own demons, then those in the hearts of others. But I have done my job—the rest is hers.

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Gamble_Kuma ZFel

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