Uri was sitting at a simple table, focusing on an open book in which he was recording his thoughts and experiences from the past few days. Other than the table with a second empty chair the room contains only a pair of beds inset into one wall, one above the other, a pair of folding doors leading to a closet, an old beat up pack and other adventuring gear currently sitting up against the far wall, scarred and punctured armor piled next to it and a large walking stick leaning against the wall next it, everything together in case of a rapid departure.
Abruptly and without any ceremony, a young dark-skinned elf steps into the room in a huff holding a piece of paper torn on one side as if ripped from a book. “Who do you think you are to issue me a summons?”
Without looking up or ceasing to write Uri responds to Sarya’s exasperated tone, “First, I think I have been given charge of you as my apprentice. Second, when has a note written on a page torn from a book ever been considered a summons?”
Before Sarya can offer a response Uri continues “Also I think I made it clear in the note that I wanted to speak to you at your convenience so as not to interrupt your tasks involved in the running of this vessel nor your studies.”
As Uri finishes up what he was writing and laying the pen down across the open journal he continues to speak, to the frustration of the young apprentice who is standing just inside the room, the door having closed behind her, mouth partially open with an interrupted response. “Never the less you are here now and it is long past due that we had a discussion about the direction of your research and how best to progress you from an eager young apprentice to one of the youngest masters Tabohr Monastery has ever had.”
Uri looks up to finally look her in the eyes. “I am well aware that you don’t have the warmest feeling toward me after our confrontation before we delved into the depths of Demrim and whatever transpired between you and Andri upon our return. However I thought after our talk before we left on our current journey that we had put some of that behind us after I explained why I had such a strong reaction, that it was not just about me expecting you to do what I asked because of our relative stations and that- ”
At this point Sarya cuts him off in frustrations “Are you planning on letting me speak at some point or did you plan on talking at me again?” Uri stops talking and motions for her to continue. After a few breathes Sarya does. “So you are aware I am not sure if I am going to stay at Tabohr Monastery or not, so you may end up wasting your efforts on me.”
A bit of worry passes over Uri’s face but seems to go unnoticed “Sarya, teaching and guiding someone as talented as you is never a waste of effort, no matter where the choices you make take you. However, if you don’t mind my asking, what is it that you want to do that you feel cannot be done at the Monastery?”
“What I want is to study this ship. I want to unlock its mysteries.” She says raising her arms to indicate the vessel around them. “What I don’t want it to sit in lectures on subjects I already understand or that I have picked up on after the first explanation while waiting for the other apprentices struggle to catch up.”
Uri gives her a crooked smile “Well that’s good because what I want you to be doing, and Andri agreed with me, is to study this ship and to unlock its mysteries. That will obviously entail you skipping the regular lectures from the other masters at the Monastery. This will make it easy to find your unique contribution to the Monasteries stores of knowledge but it offers its own difficulties. This magic or ‘technology’ is so different that you will not be able to rely on much, if any, common understandings from the Masters that will judge your work as you would if you were delving into the workings of the Weave and you could assume that anyone listening would understand the basic principles in play. This work will require you to explain every detail and principle as if no one knew how anything functioned, because they will not. Also it limits how much aid I can be as I will be unable to teach you anything. At best I can help guide the direction of your studies, point out gaps, and help you organize your thoughts.”
Sarya starts “But Captain Stardust-“
Uri continues. “-can help explain the workings of this magic. Yes, I know. But be wary around him, He has so far proven trustworthy and at times seems to have a sense of right and good but I have also seen him threaten to burn people’s homes when he did not get what he wanted. He is also dealing with a lot of loss and that can cause even the best people to struggle and hurt those around them.” The last bit, spoken of with the emphasis of one who knows from experience what it is he is talking about. “But let us talk of other things. If you are to be my apprentice and I am to be your master then we should probably talk and get to know one another and how the other thinks.”
Uri pushes out the second chair at the table with his foot offering it to Sarya. “Did Andri ever talk to you about her Master and her apprenticeship, how she decided on the focus of her studies and continued work after her apprenticeship ended?”
Sarya slowly takes the proffered seat, feeling better that her decision regarding the Monastery seems to be delayed for the time being. “She told me that Master Uri intimidated most of the other initiates and was extremely strict with her, forcing her to live up to the potential he saw in her.”
Uri chuckles at the start of Sarya’s description “I did have a way of scaring most of the hopefuls; I think many of them were afraid I’d have the cleaning latrines and chamber pots for months if they crossed me. However, I have a feeling that would not work with you. And yes I did set the bar very high for her but always low enough that she could reach or exceed my expectations of her. She was a surp-“
Sarya cuts Uri off again, surprise on her face and incredulity clear in her voice “You taught Master Andramia? I thought you were likely a descendant of her former master, named for him, possibly a friend and maybe even a former apprentice, given that you continually refer to her in such familiar terms.“ She pointedly looks at his ears. “You’re human and you expect me to believe you somehow taught one of the senior members of Tabohr Monastery?”
Uri looks at her and gives her a knowing and somewhat condescending smile. “Child, you know things are not always as they seem on the surface, certainly your studies would have taught you that. Consider what your former Master studied and take a closer look at me, not just with your eyes but your head too.” At that Uri focuses his inhuman eyes directly on her.
Sarya takes long moments considering what he has claimed and what he said before thinking through her time with Master Andramia and what Andramia had told her about her early work. As the pieces begin to fit themselves together he eyes go wider ending in a small gasp as the significance of those eyes become clear. “You’re-“
Uri quickly cuts her off with a gesture “I believe you have it, but please keep it to yourself. There are many at the Monastery that know what you have pieced together but no one still living outside of its’ walls knows. It is not something I share lightly or often anymore but I thought it would be a good way to show you how much I am willing to trust you.”
Sarya, awe evident in her voice “That fight should have been nothing for you yet you come back complaining of damaged armor and bruises…” The implied question left hanging in the air.
“There is a lot to my story and I would rather not discuss it here as I believe that these walls may have ears but I will say I am what you see in front of you and what I was is mostly gone.“ Uri starts flexing the muscles in his right hand. “Although some of it seems to be coming back. Now you know a significant piece to who it is I am, hopefully, we can figure out who it is you, Sarya Glynlee, are and what you truly want from life.”
Sarya still a bit awestruck at yet another new and hard to fathom revelation. “Yes Master Uri”
Uri sits back with a smile expecting a long discussion planning out the next couple of weeks of where she wants to start at with her research of the ship.
“Did you really go out of your way to talk to Captain Stardust about my age?” At which point the smile drops from Uri’s face, his cheeks go a bit red and he begins to attempt to stammer an explanation all while Sarya smiles at having caught him off guard.