After the Fall

Interlude: An Unexpected Flame

Embers flared as the figure breathed in. In the faint light of the burning pipe, the man’s face was only barely visible, red-hued in the dim light as he stared down from beneath his hood, eyes fixed on the pages of his book. Although the brief, faint glow of the pipe was the only light in the dark, musty room, the man didn’t seem to notice or mind. The embers settled, and the room once again plunged into complete darkness. Amidst the utter blackness, a page turned.
Suddenly, the room burst into light. The light wasn’t strong – a single candle – but compared to the total darkness of a moment before, the bright red glare shone like the sun. The glow of the candle bathed the wall of the small room in crimson light, revealing a complex lattice of metal bars and candle holders arranged across the wall. There had to be hundreds of candles, all arranged in an odd, asymmetrical fashion across the wall. The candle that now burned with a bright red light was located on the far left of the wall, one of the farthest candles from the center of the apparatus. And yet it shone balefully, flickering defiantly against the shadow that was so at home in this lightless room.
The man’s surprise was unmistakable in the silence of the moment, though he barely moved. He slowly brought his hand up to the pipe, gnarled fingers curling around the worn wood. His gaze flickered across the wall as if half expecting something else to happen. Then he waited. Several long moments passed as the candle flickered balefully. Then, without warning, the candle snuffed out as quickly as it had flared. After another moment, there was a creak in the darkened room and the sound of scraping wood. The pipe flared again. This time, it was mere inches from the still-smoking candle, and the embers smoldered as if stoked by an unseen flame. The man’s hooded head bent down as his lips moved silently, reading out some sort of inscription in delicate lettering on the candle’s holder. The man exhaled slowly, then turned and shuffled across the room. A shaft of flickering torchlight invaded the room as a door opened. The man glanced back at the wall one more time … even in the yellow torchlight, his skin had a reddish hue. The figure trudged out of the room in his simple brown robe. As he walked down the hallway, his steps became purposeful, and his sense of quiet patience lay abandoned on the table with his still-smoldering pipe and book.

Comments

Meta warning.

I suspect this array of candles is tied in with the fountain(s) in the world, seeing as someone’s history check led them to recall something about a bunch of fountains like this being installed across Valetar. Or something like that. After all, what do I know? I bombed the Arcana check on that summoning circle pretty hard, although I at least had that idea of taking a rubbing of the inscription (although Gomes’ idea of sketching it and leaving out key parts is probably safer, what with my apparent stupidity with magic).

I wanna know mooooore! D:

Interlude: An Unexpected Flame
 
Jawndar Princess_Buttercup

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