[The Grounds] Willow Rising

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[The Grounds] Willow Rising

Post by Straken »

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Willow asked, hesitation prevalent in her voice. She, Ms. Caoranach, and Mr. Flynn were standing in the training field out behind the mansion a couple days after the sit down, and Willow was standing barefoot in the grass while wearing her gym clothes. It was evening now, and the sun had gone behind the hills. In her hand was a series of vials filled with little flecks of metal, and Willow’s concern was the liquid around the metal. Caoranach’s insistence about the best way to keep the metals was to put the shaving in alcohol the way it was done in the old days. Ruarc’s insistence was that he wasn’t going to let an underage student drink alcohol, and what’s more alcohol wasn’t the best method for storing metals long term. So, inside the small vials was metal flakes submerged in cod liver oil. Willow had always hated cod liver oil. It was a mix of tin, pewter (shaved from Ruarc’s nice tableware), iron, brass, bronze, and copper; the majority of the main eight metals, sans the alloy of iron that hadn’t been discovered during Caoranach’s time. At the encouragement of Caoranach, Willow drank the first vial of metals. Immediately, she noticed a large reserve.

“Alright, now start slow. Try burning tin,” Caoranach called over. “A little bit at first.”

Willow complied, and eased the metal on. Immediately the dim light of dusk became as bright as midday, the sound of the birds in the forest sounded like they were next to her, she could feel the rough edges of each blade of grass under her bare feet as well as the fibers of her clothing, and she could hear Caoranach who had begun speaking in a whisper several paces away.

“Tin enhances your senses, and will give you mental acuity, but a sudden noise,” Caoranach snapped her fingers, making Willow flinch and cover her ears, “Or a bright light can stagger you. Deadly in a fight. That said, it burns incredibly slow, so you can keep it burning at a low power for an extended period. Now burn pewter.”

Willow drank down the second vial, almost wretching as her enhanced taste and smell made the oil that much more unbearable. As soon as she noticed the new reserve she burned it. Immediately, the nausea she felt from the oil went away, and she felt good; like, really good. Footsteps from beside her, she turned with enhanced reflexes to see Caoranach suddenly next to her. The fey threw a hand forward to try and push Willow, but Willow grabbed her arm; not to be beaten, Caoranach hooked a foot behind Willow’s leg and buckled her knee. Willow stumbled and Caoranach pushed her. After a brief stumble, Willow righted herself.

“Pewter enhances your body. Your constitution, your strength, your reflexes and balance. The harder you burn it, the more strength you get, but be careful as you could become dependent on it. You can shrug off injuries, and lift well beyond your means; but if the pewter runs out you can drop dead if your injuries are bad enough, or be crushed as you drop what you are carrying. Now, burn bronze.”

This next one was curious. She didn’t feel any different herself, but she could feel what she could only describe as pulses coming from all around her. Focusing, she could pinpoint Ruarc and Caoranach. Mr. Flynn felt like a low bass thumping, while Ms. Carrie was quicker and a more subtle beat.

“Bronze is an external mental metal, and will let you feel magic around you. It’s range is pretty good, but it wont show you everything and isn’t infallible. Copper will function similarly, but obscure you from someone trying to detect you with magic. It saw most use when allomancer went toe to toe with each other, as it will prevent you from being seen with bronze, as well as prevent your emotions from being manipulated with zinc or brass.”

“Can you explain those last two again?” Willow asked, still not quite grasping the emotion metals.

“They are the more precise metals. Zinc you pull on someone’s emotions, stretching them and exaggerating them. Brass you push on them, suppressing them. You can focus on a specific feeling, or target all of them and leave the person numb. With a careful hand you could masterfully convince someone to do almost anything. That said, the true masters were the ones who used them as simply a gentle nudge complimented by their own silver tongue. Now, how about the main attraction. Drink the last vial.”

Willow looked down at the vial containing what they suspected was the last of the basic eight metals; Steel. Drinking it down along with the vial of iron, she trusted her pewter to get her past the oil, and the risk of getting sick from burning a non-allomantic metal. Wincing in anticipation, Willow noticed a new reserve. Beaming, she smiled at Caoranach. Caoranach on the other hand had been fairly sure of that one, but doubted the other alloys would be so easy to find.

Burning the metal, Willow saw the same blue lines as when she burned iron, and a large number of lines were pointing at Ruarc’s rune pouch. Smirking, Willow tried burning iron, and pulled on the pouch. The pouch flew out of the druid’s hand, and with pewter reflexes caught the bag. Carrie seemed amused and gave Ruarc a grin. Ruarc simply rolled his eyes and hoped Carrie training Willow wouldn’t affect the girl too much.

Pulling out a coin, Willow focused on it and pushed. The coin launched out of her hand and off into the trees. Laughing with glee, Willow pulled out a bunch of coins and started throwing them. Caoranach cleared her throat to get Willow’s attention, and the young girl calmed down.

“Want to give Mr. Flynn a heart attack?” Caoranach asked in a hushed whisper. “Drop three coins a few feet around you, and push on them all equally.”

Ever curious, Willow became excited by the prospect. Tossing down a few coins, she pushed on the coins, and in a flash of motion she shot into the air; calling out in excitement as she rose. Ruarc was in stunned silence, his jaw hanging slack. Willow rose high above the manor grounds, the blue lines connecting her to the coins steadily growing dimmer until barely visible until eventually she stopped rising. The view was spectacular from up here. She could see the grounds, the hills, and the city in the distance looked like the sun thanks to her tin. Her heart was pounding, and this sure beat the hell out of climbing trees. From down below, she heard Ms. Carrie call her back down. Steel didn’t burn terribly quick, but best not risk it while she was still learning. Carefully, she began to ease up on the steel, lowering herself down to the ground.
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