From the Ashes

Should one expect any differently from the Phoenix Born of Blood?

In his day Raxin earned this title driving deep into enemy territory and emerging on the other side, his enemies dead at his feet. For years now Mnemia had done much the same. She didn’t always escape unscathed, but the outcome was becoming very familiar; she lived while those that stood against her died. So far only a few had escaped this fate. And each time she arose from the blood of the latest battle she was a different woman. It may only be a touch of knowledge, or a maneuver finally mastered, but she was always reborn stronger than before.

This time she would rise from the ashes more than just stronger, but visibly changed as well.

Moving about the rigging of the Rejoice Mnemia was wearing as little as was required in the name of decency, and in the Wavecrest Archipelago during the month of Ascending Fire that was very little indeed. Almost all of her solar trappings were gone, all except the skin mount amulet that still clung to her right shoulder, masked with thin chains to create the illusion that it was an elaborate piercing. Her hair was also different, dyed black and cut short. Here, looking like any of the other Tya around her securing the ship, Mnemia held little resemblance to the intimidating solar exalt most knew her as; and that really was the point.

With a final pull on the line she expertly tied down the sail now wrapped and bound to the rigging of the small courier ship where she had lived for the last few days. Then with a grace she still wasn’t entirely comfortable hiding she dropped down the mast, her speed and direction changing with each handhold until she landed softly on the deck. At least she hadn’t just jumped. Technically she could drop a mile and still land as if it has only been a foot, but that was a relatively new trick so it was easier to not rely on it. Not like the perfect balance or her fast step… Still, no one gawked as she looked about so it couldn’t have been that bad. During her time on the seas Mnemia had witnessed a number of expert sailors do what she had just done, but they also had more experience than Tya Diania supposedly did.

That had been Celeste’s idea, as had the hair. Mnemia still had some time before Kadon was ready to… implant the Rage of Kallaberse, but the solar’s prerequisite training had been completed during a short stretch of down time she had spent close to her family in Seahaven. Now she could call either armor or weapon with a thought from Elsewhere which removed the need to physical carry that massive arsenal or constantly lumber about in a half suit of orichalcum. All of her tools were still available to her, she just no longer had to display them wherever she went. And rather than risk revealing to any that might be watching that Mnemia could now do this she had immediately switched her identity. Tya Diania was a relatively new recruit wishing to get as far away as she could from her former homeland of Onyx. And to see if the identity would hold Diania had just returned from a relatively quick 3 day trip to an outpost halfway between Seahaven and Gateway.

The trip had been an interesting lesson in restraint. It wasn’t that the captain and crew were bad at what they did, it was just that Mnemia was so much better. More times than she could count she saw opportunities to cut time off of the trip whether it was hugging the coast to utilize the thermal drafts coming off of the island or reading the currents in the water, but in every case she held her tongue. Tya Diania wasn’t supposed to know these things, and while Mnemia was able to explain away a bit of her skill with her mysterious past thousands of miles to the north and the long trip south, she had to be careful not to push it. It was unlikely her cover would break on the waves, but when they got back to land the crew would talk and that would be the true test of whether or not Mnemia could pull this off.

Eventually she would don the Rage and even Diania would disappear, but between now and when the others returned to pick her up in five days time she would embrace the role of this new persona, taking the first steps in distancing the circle’s continuing crusade from the vulnerable family she constantly sought to protect. And to that end she disembarked, heading for the nearest bar. It wouldn’t be a huge celebration, but you weren’t really a sailor if you didn’t spend your first night back in port blowing your hard earned coin on drink.

From the Ashes

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