Tranquil

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“Some laugh at me. I no longer mind.

Once upon a time, I studied as they did. I learned under the tutelage of an Enchanter and attempted to master the art of bending magic to my will, and while I did well enough I know that I struggled. I saw the way the Enchanter looked at me, the sidelong glances of worry and disappointment. While other apprentices were conjuring fire I could barely light a candle.

I was frightened of magic. When I was a boy, my grandmother regaled me with tales of the terrible Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds. She told me of the Magisters and how their evil magic infected the world with the darkspawn. She told me of demons, and how they were drawn to the dreams of those who possessed magic like moths to a flame. She told me all these things because, she said, the talent ran in our family’s blood.

And so it ran in mine. All my young life I had dreaded the thought, prayed to the Maker that I was not so cursed... but I knew otherwise. Deep in my heart, I knew. When the templars came to our home, I knew.

The mages’ tower was terrifying, full of secrets and danger. The templars glared at me as if I could spring full into an abomination before their very eyes. My Enchanter patiently attempted to teach me to marshal my willpower, my only defense should a demon attempt to enslave me, but it was no use. How many nights did I cry myself to sleep in that dark and lonely place?

Then my Harrowing came at last, my final test. Face a demon, they said, or submit to the Rite of Tranquility. They would sever my connection to the Fade, and thus I would never dream and no demon could ever touch me... but I would also be unable to do magic, and I would never feel an emotion ever again. Facing the demon was certain death, so my choice was an easy one.

It was not so painful.

Now I serve in other ways. We Tranquil manage the archives. We run the tower, purchase the supplies and maintain the accounts. Our condition also allows us to use the magical element lyrium without ill effect, and thus we are the ones who enchant the magical items. We are the merchants who sell these items to those the Circle permits, and the coin from those sales provides the Circle’s wealth.

Thus, we Tranquil are vital. The young and old may stare at me, ill at ease, but they would be worse off without me. They may think me a failure, but there is no horror for me now. I feel no fear of what I am. The shadows are merely shadows, and I am content.”

"-- Eddin the Meek, Tranquil of the Circle of Magi of Starkhaven, the Free Marches"
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