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Aug 12, 2020 8:21 PM
Robin finds his Artefact
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The Kelins are great. The couple, then in their late 20s, had snatched the Genan children up as soon as word came through that Matilde Genan had died, and had been treating them as the children they'd never had ever since. Or, well, the children that had died. Everyone knew that the Kelins carried the Mana Sickness. 

So the Kelins are just great. The loving parents Robin and Sue haven't had since their dad died, what with their mom's work keeping her away most of the time even before her death. Members of the town council, the only tailors in a day's walk, model citizens of the Arming Empire. There's just one problem: they won't let Robin join the army until he's eighteen. 

Robin doesn't really get what they're worried about. He's been training for this since he was a kid, first learning from his parents, then from the other Hunters after dad died. Mom even let him use the Dagger a couple times! There's no one better to take up the Artefact than him, and the longer he waits, the longer it sits around gathering dust. Lieutenant Derring told him they'd hold it for him until he joined, but they can't let it go unused forever, can they? Nine years is a long time. 

But underage citizens can't join the army without their guardians' permission, even if they're potential Wielders. So Robin's out in the woods, decidedly not sulking. 

And then he's definitely not sulking, because he's too busy falling.

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And then he's too busy being wet. 

Breaking the surface of the water with a gasp, Robin quickly makes his way to the edge of the underground lake. Crawling out onto the rocky bank, he collapses onto the slick ground and tries to catch his breath. 

After a few minutes, his shivering convinces him that he should get up. He stands, shaking his dripping hair out of his eyes, and tries to figure out what he's gotten himself into. 

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Looks like some ancient ruins. The building appears to have been mostly consumed by the earth, but if he looks closely he can see the tops of several apparently seamless stone pillars, the sort of thing only an Artefact Wielder or an exceptionally powerful Mage could make. 

He can also make out a pale blue light coming from in between the pillars. 

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Blue light, huh? 

He pulls his shirt off as he makes his way towards the pile of rubble, twisting it into a rope and squeezing as much of the water out of it as he can. Then he puts it back on. Better a damp shirt than no shirt. It's chilly down here, but at least there's no wind. 

When he reaches the rubble, he begins to climb. Luckily he's not bad at this, the area around town is hilly as well as forested, so he has plenty of practice. 

When he reaches the pillars, he peers between them to see what's making the light. 

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It's a doorway! Or, well, most of one. It's about half covered by a large boulder, but he should be able to squeeze through if he wants to. 

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Does he ever! He skids on the loose pebbles as he makes his way towards it, then slips into the gap between wall and boulder, getting dirt all over his wet clothes in his haste. 

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Inside the doorway the blue light multiplies in intensity, pouring over the stone walls and rippling through pillars of ice that line the left-hand wall underneath a crack in the ceiling. The light comes from a dias in the center of the once-grand hall, in which stands something long and thin.  

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Is that-?

Robin picks his way through the ice and rubble until he's standing before the dias. Squinting against the light, he reaches in and grabs-

 

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-a spear.

As soon as his fingers close around it, the light is drawn inwards, leaving the Artefact looking almost crystalline looking. Then it fades, and he's holding a mostly mundane-looking spear. 

Then there is a faint sensation of - curiosity?

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Robi takes it in both hands and looks it over, awed. If it weren't for the intricate designs along the spearhead and the strange metal the weapon is made out of, it could be any spear he's ever handled. 

He almost wouldn't have noticed the foreign emotion, if he wasn't expecting it. The Dagger felt fond, when he used it. But this Spear hasn't spent fifty years working with his mom, so it's not surprising that it's curious. Focusing, he sends his own curiosity back to it, like his mom had taught him. 

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A sense of surprise, and then pleasure. Then the Spear offers him a large tendril of magic - an information exchange, most likely. 

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Having been expecting this as well, Robin offers his own tendril - smaller, but he's only human, so that's to be expected. 

 

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The Spear takes it, and -

Power, first of all. All the Artefacts feel like power, even the least of the Lesser Artefacts offer their Wielders at least a bit of a boost to their casting power. This isn't a Lesser Artefact, however. Along with the power comes a sense of great determination, the will to right wrongs, to protect the helpless and raise up the worthy. Overlaying it all is the rumble of shifting earth, and a demand for truth.

Most of all, however, there is a prevailing undercurrent of fury. Fury at a great injustice, rage at an unforgivable betrayal, disgust at the Spear's inability to prevent it. This is an Artefact that was sealed at the height of its anger, and all that its thousand year slumber has done is refine it.

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And in exchange -

Frustration is first, that being his most potent recent emotion. The desire for recognition, for glory, for the chance to make his mother proud.  Determination to prove himself, to be great.

Next is kindness, an overarching generosity to other people, an offering of friendship and aid wherever he goes. 

Protectiveness towards his sister, gratitude and love for his foster parents. Robin feels strongly, and when he gets attached, he gets really attached.

Buried beneath it all, grief, old grief at the loss of an admired role model and a loved parent, and older still, a longing for what had been the most stable part of his life. 

Finally, the Spear should be able to feel a sense of Shadow, the echo of his brief bond with his mother's Dagger, even so many yeas ago. 

-and then Robin jerks at the fury of the Spear, almost dropping it in his surprise. He's never felt anger so powerful, never had cause to be so enraged. He doesn't drop it, luckily, what an excellent way to piss off his new partner on their first day that would be. 

"Wow, what's got you so pissed?" He mutters to it, his words echoing oddly in the ruined hall. 

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The Spear pulses dull blue in his hand, offering him only its own frustration in return. 

Some stories say that it's possible to become so attuned to an Artefact to actually speak with it, but until and unless Robin figures that out there's not much the Spear can offer in explanation.

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Yeah, that's going to take more than a few minutes to work out, never mind that their attunement can't be higher than C-class at the most. 

Artefact gained, Robin turns his attention to taking a closer look at the hall. 

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It's still there, as expected.

On closer inspection, the pedestal that held the Spear was not the only one in the hall. Six others line the hall to either side of a central path leading to the dias holding the Spear's pedestal. The others have carvings in them, presumably showing the Artefacts which belong there. Examining them, Robin can make out a bow on the left, a sword on the right, and a Gauntlet and a Book on either side. 

Before the Spear's pedestal is a depression in the floor, in the middle of which stands a wide archway. The depression is filled with water, which he will find freezing cold if he checks. 

Behind the archway is another door, this one unblocked by any boulders, leading to a narrow but straight tunnel.  If he holds the Spear behind him and squints he might be able to see a pinprick of light in the distance. 

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More Artefacts? Hm, he wonders what this place was for. Just a hall to store unused Artefacts, or something more? 

Pulling some twine out of his pocket, ties it around the haft of the Spear and then slings it over his shoulder, for easier carrying. He'll have to make a proper sling when he gets home, but this will do for now. 

He does check the water, in that he enters it, intending to get a closer look at the archway, and then he yelps at the cold and scrambles back out. He senses the Spear laughing at him and scowls at it over his shoulder, wringing the water out of the bottom of his shirt again. 

Close investigation stymied, he circles it from the edges of the artificial pond. Eventually, he gets frustrated with the low light and distance and turns to the other doorway, resolving to come back at a later time with light and supplies. 

As he makes his way down the tunnel, he pulls the Spear off his back, running his hands up and down its haft, checking the blade, and poking it woth his magic out of curiosity. 

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The haft is sturdy. The blade is sharp! When he pokes it with magic, it pokes back, and then offers the sense of earth Robin noticed earlier. 

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Right. Earth, and truth? He glances at the hard-packed dirt of the tunnel wall and regretfully turns down the earth-rumble, turning his magic to searching for the other effect the Spear's summary had shown him. 

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Truth, yes. The Spear offers him what he's looking for, along with a sense of amusement. 

It doesn't appear to do much of anything.

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Well, he should have expected that. It's probably either True Sight or Truth Sense, and there's no illusions or people here for either effect to sense the truth of. 

He sends back his own, self-deprecating amusement and shifts the Spear to lean against his shoulder, picking up speed in hopes of reaching the end of this tunnel sooner rather than later. 

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The tunnel eventually leads outside. The exit is hidden underneath one of the huge roots belonging to one of the ancient trees that dot this part of the woods. There's a great deal of very thick brush in between Robin and any clearer ground. It's not going to be easy to get out of here. 

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Luckily, Robin has a Spear! 

He grabs it just under the spearhead and attempts to whack his way put of the brush.

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The Spear is not precisely optimized for this task. Also, it's not exactly pleased about it either. Annoyed, it nudges the earth-rumble at its partner again.

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Robin pauses to stare at it. 

"What, here?" He asks, uselessly, "I don't see how that's going to help."

Still, he reaches for it, taking hold of the tendril and thinking uneasily of his brief, long-ago training in the basics of warmagic. He thinks he can maybe use the smallest earth spell he knows, a light quake to shift the bushes? 

But that might collapse the tunnel behind him, and he'd much rather use that than have to rappel down the hole he'd made every time.

He sends his worry and uncertainty at the Spear, hoping it might have a better idea than throwing earthquakes at the problem.

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