Choice and Fate
In the city of Socra, Magus Elfrida walked through the lobby of the judicial building and made her way to a small courtroom, packed full of her peers. In the centre of the circular room stood two men whom she both knew well.
One was Brother Cletus, a gaunt man in his mid twenties standing at just under six feet tall; He had short, dishevelled blonde hair and he wore his teacher's attire, his gaze was cast down as he hung his head with guilt and shame.
The other man was Father Thaddeus Octus, a towering, bald man at seven feet tall with a broad build to match; He was in his early fifties and wore the robes of an Inquisitor.
The room was silent and everyone's attention was focused on how this judgement would go.
'Son Cletus, you've been caught reading books again, books outside your station.' Said the Inquisitor. Cletus nodded without looking up.
'I've warned you before Cletus. You know what your purpose is, we all do. This is granted to us by Sors.' He continued.
'I'm sorry Father.' Replied Cletus.
'You will refer to me as Inquisitor while we're here.' Said the Inquisitor. Cletus nodded, still unable to meet the Inquisitor's gaze. 'You were taught to read so you could teach the skill to those who were destined for that kind of work. You are good with children, Cletus, the job suits you well. Our society functions because of the rules we follow. It allows the greatest efficiency of our work and the greatest happiness for the largest number of people. You know this, as does everyone else here. Greater knowledge is dangerous and is reserved only for those who are best suited for it.' Thaddeus held his arm towards Cletus with an open hand. 'If you really want to know more about the power of magic, take my hand and you will see why you can never posses it, then we will be done with this.'
Cletus stared at the open hand for a moment and hesitated, something ran through his mind, something he knew he needed to know. He then looked the Inquisitor in the eyes and grabbed his hand.
The Inquisitor clenched his hand tightly and their hands ignited. Several people in the audience gasped as Cletus cried out in pain, he tried to pull his hand back but the Inquisitor's grip was far too strong. Cletus fell to his knees screaming and the room was flooded with nothing but the tortured pleading from the injured man.
A minute passed and Cletus fell to the floor, his eyes rolled up and he started convulcing violently. The Inquisitor opened his hand once more and let the remaining ash and bone fall to the floor. His own hand was unscathed.
'See to him.' He said, gesturing to someone in the crowd, before turning his attention back to Cletus once more. 'You have a kind heart Cletus, please put it to good use.' He said before leaving the room. Elfrida turned and kept pace with him.
'I thought you were going to mark him.' She said calmly.
'That would be a waste, that boy has a lot of potential.' Replied Thaddeus. 'He wanted a choice and he chose. Now I hope he understands what it means to deny his fate.'
'Yes, I'm glad you could teach him, I would hate for him to have to leave. But speaking of fate, I've been called to work outside the city. Deistone stocks are low and I've been ordered to find a new supply.' She replied. Thaddeus stopped, turned to her and smiled, showing the first sign of emotion in a while. He opened his arms and embraced her with a hug.
'I'm happy for you Daughter Elfrida. You have my blessing on your journey.' He said.
'Thank you, I will do the Sortis proud.' She said, and they both pulled away, nodded their farewells and Elfrida headed out on her first mission.