Theo: I Thought We Were Friends

Echoes of muffled cursing permeated the clearing where Theo perched, cloaked in shadows, as was his way. Few things brought Theo a feeling of safety quite like the darkness; a feeling he was searching for in this moment. His thoughts roiled like a storm within him, each curse a flash of lightning illuminating his anger and determination.

“Nothing but a broken fool through and through. You wanna make a God? Who fucking doesn’t?… Fuck, so many lost opportunities. You could have been a friend, a teacher, a mentor, who knows. If you need me to shape a God for you, why would you want to lose me? Why would you not have asked me to help with the task you gave Alphonse? Why would you fuck with my family? Why would you use magic to compel me? Do you think so little of me that you don’t think it will come back to bite you in the ass?”

He sighed, the weight of his words heavy in the silent night. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We knew you were going to betray us eventually. That was the whole point of the obligation lab, one more thing you failed at. You cannot control yourself enough to even betray us properly! You must do these things now, your mission too urgent, your decisions tainted. You would sacrifice us all in a heartbeat given the opportunity. You do not care about relationships, your people, nor your long term likelihood of success. Your plan is to claim the power that is here, and then to destroy that which you perceive as a threat, everything else is a means to that end.

You have proven that you are a threat. A threat to more than just the Benalians. A threat to me and mine. A threat that we cannot face alone. A threat that cannot be tolerated to continue.”

He emerged from the shadows, the clearing bathed in the eerie glow of the central fire. The Undesirables were gathered around, each carrying items that symbolized their struggles, triumphs, and the history of Luisant. Theo’s gaze swept over them, a silent nod to the unity and strength they represented.

“Tonight,” Theo began, his voice low but resolute, “we stand together to invoke Primus, the Keeper of Luisant and Legacy, to empower us against Krosis, an Wayward Elf, who seeks to use and abuse us.”

He instructed them to place their symbolic items in a circle around the fire, creating a physical representation of their collective strength and history. Aryeh placed a hunting bow, a symbol of survival and resilience. Cole added a basket of foraged berries, representing the land’s bounty and their connection to it. Frank, despite his injury, offered a worn piece of cloth, a testament to sacrifice and healing. Cobalt added a broken chain, symbolizing freedom from past oppression.

One by one, each member shared a story from Luisant’s history, feeding the flames with their memories and the strength of their ancestors. Aryeh recounted the battles against marauders, Cole spoke of the famine and communal resilience, and Frank shared the wounds and sacrifices borne by their people. Each story added depth to the ritual, connecting the past to the present.

Theo concluded the ritual with a powerful invocation. “Primus, hear our plea. We stand together as one, united in purpose and in strength. Empower us to defend our home from those who would oppress and control us through your power, your wisdom, and your protection. Guide us in our fight against Krosis and his manipulations. In your name, we fight, we stand, and we prevail.”

As they finished, Theo led them in a symbolic act of unity. They each cut a small lock of their hair or a piece of cloth from their clothing, binding them together with twine. Holding hands, they formed a circle and placed the bound tokens into the fire.

As the ritual concluded, the fire flared brightly, smoke seeming to mystically hang in the air like the mists of old, a sign of Primus’ presence and blessing. The Undesirables felt a surge of energy, their spirits lifted and their resolve strengthened. Theo looked at each of them, knowing that with Primus by their side, they could face whatever challenges came their way and protect their beloved family from the Krosis’ machinations.

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