Raistled knelt down by the stream, for the second time to rinse his bowl, and small mallet. The coughing was becoming evermore a problem. His herbs could only do so much, and he did so hate the repugnant taste.
But it's worth it. He thought. This power is what makes it all worthwhile.
Raistled was powerful. There was no mistaking that. Not anymore.
The sigil on Raistled's hand took care of that.
One did not earn the Sigil of The Gift through trickery. Nor through weakness. Those who attempted to forge the Sigil disappeared.Only those who had passed the test at the Tower of The Great Mage bore it.
One only earned the sigil.
The sigil became part of one's being, and one's being must be kept balanced. Those who gained the mark, gave something in return. When one took the test one knew that something would be given. One could only hope that what was given... or taken, for none gave out of self-interest... was not something that would render the power received useless.
For Raistled it was his health. He was prone to sickness, fits of coughing, wheezing, fever... and then there was his leg.
Raistled got lucky. For some lost their wit. Their sanity. Their to will to fight, to grow, to live.
But not Raistled. One might say that what Raislted lost was... beneficial. For when Raistled used his magic the coughing, the sickness, the pain... disappeared. The pain pushed him to grow even more in his magic. He reveled in it. He rejoiced in it. He lived in it.
He had power. Even those who initially opposed him, those who wanted to block him from taking the test at such a young age, agreed that he had power. He was the youngest to take the test.
And the youngest to succeed.
But that power came with a cost.
Some might say that Raistled was ravaged... but those who did rarely lived much longer.
Yes Raistled was ravaged.
Ravaged... but resolved.