Unused talents do some strange things.
Say you’ve got everything lined up perfect in your life to be, say, a dressmaker. You’ve got the right kind of hands, a steady nature, creativity, patience, ready access to cloth, loads of free time, the works. All the stars aligned for you to make dresses. But you don’t, right? You take all those traits and you apply them to something else. You, I dunno, you do detail work in a coin mint or something. And it turns out that all those talents that make you good at dressmaking, by freak coincidence, are also great for engraving portraits of old dead guys on coins. Who knew, right? And you spend your entire life thinking of yourself as a naturally gifted old-dead-guy-coin-engraver when really, you’re a dressmaker.
My dad was like that. Or, um. My creator? I mean, I always called him Dad, he liked it, but nor-erm, mortals – umm, hell, this is harder to say broadly than I thought. Ah. The conventionally alive get up in a titz about the idea that I have a Dad but not a Mom or whatever, so I call him my creator in company and Dad at home. Isn’t that weird? I think it’s weird, I dunno, maybe you don’t.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’m Revise. That is, Ms. Revise, not ‘miss’ anything, though you can call me Ree because the conventionally alive get annoyed about my name too. “That’s a verb, that’s not a real name,” when, like, elves get named Cherry Blossom and stuff. When did Common get short shrift for stupid names anyway? Does being named Sorrow sound more poetic when it’s in drow? I dunno, but it annoys me and when I get annoyed I get all – getting ahead of myself again, sorry. It’s just. Haven’t really had the chance to talk about this all in order! I mean, you wouldn’t expect it but I don’t really write much, so I don’t keep a diary, and, like…
Okay, focusing. I know, I know, being recorded for posterity and all. I do appreciate it!
So, um, Dad had problems. They weren’t his fault. His house was pretty, um…they didn’t trust anything magic or supernatural, like, at all. They lost their family fortune like six generations back to some wizard or something and never got over it, right? But it turns out Dad’s psychic, which is the biggest no-no ever, so they send him away with some private tutor who beats the crap out of him and makes him so ashamed of it that he never really manifests his powers. To help him focus on literally anything else, they apprentice Dad to this artist, right? And it turns out Dad’s really, really good at art. His pieces really bring out the emotion in people, they linger even after you’re done looking at them and influence your whole day, maybe even your whole week if you’re weak-willed.
Like I said, unrealized talent does weird things to people.
It’s weird to say, but my first thoughts weren’t anything, like, deep. There was no big giant inner monologue about my own existence and how amazing the world was. The world seemed, like…normal. I knew about the stuff I was looking at, I had an idea of the world itself, even, but especially the stuff that Dad had drawn or written about in his sketch book, because, well, I kinda am that sketch book. First thing I did was pick myself up off the pages into, well, this form, and ask Dad what was wrong, because he was really frustrated with a piece.
Describe myself? You can see – oh, right, recording. Duh! Sorry, not used to sound-based – anyway, sorry again!
I’m, um. I’m about four inches high and I’m made of a lot of lines and words. I mean, it looks sorta like I’m made of ink and graphite and a bit of paint but that’s just, um, a translation? Or an expression of my inner nature maybe. Frankly I’m pretty sure I’m mostly made of will or whatever but I’ve got a body, and it’s humanoid with the usual bits. Arms, legs, head, hands with five fingers apiece, feet with five toes. I’ve got these little lower-case ‘a’s for pupils and the tiny little clothes I put on get turned into these cool art pieces that change styles sometimes, though that might be because I have to make all my own equipment because, well, I’m four inches high. No one makes stuff for me.
Anyway, um, hair, many colors, kinda chin-length, I’m experimenting with a ponytail but I’m not sure if I like it ’cause I keep getting headaches. And I’m, well, I’m a psion. A little tiny psion. I study the arts sublime et cetera so forth, and to be honest I really like it. Dad approves. He didn’t wanna do to me what his parents did to him, you know? Plus now that he’s rich on his own they’re steaming mad that he cut them out of his life. Heh. They can bite my tiny little butt.
I spent a couple of years with Dad trying to figure out what I am. I’m, um, I’m still not entirely sure but I’ve figured out that I’m alive, I have both a mind and a soul – so much relief about the soul thing you do not even know – I’m free-willed and I can bleed, get injured, and probably also die. I haven’t tested dying yet, though if I keep adventuring I might have to. Um. Record it for posterity if I do?
No, that’s not depressing, that’s practical. It’s my death and I’ll be as flippant about it as I want to, Mykael.
Anyway, I took up adventuring after a bit because I wanted to see more of the world. I also heard stories about how adventurers help people and all that, and I wanted to help people. I, um, I know a bit better now but I still help people because, y’know, exercising my power purely selfishly would be kinda stupid. I’d be just like Dad’s parents and they’re miserable bastards and I hate them, so why should I be like them? Plus adventurers go places where you can find ancient knowledge sometimes, and I’m sorta trying to figure out what I am still, so. I mean, maybe I’m not the first? Maybe I can find some book to tell me.
The life’s not bad. I eat and drink and stuff but honestly feeding me is easy and I don’t need a bed because I can sleep in Mykael’s spellbook. I cuddle up against the evocations on cold nights. They keep me warm. Mykael wanted me to record this into this little crystal thing he made that saves voices and stuff because, I mean, what if I am the first and some poor art girl down the line comes looking for answers and I didn’t leave her any? Plus supposedly this whole exercise helps you get your thoughts in order and, y’know, this kinda has and I’m glad I did it.
Anyway, how to end the first entry. Um. I suppose I’d just like to say again that, y’know, the world isn’t always right about who you ought to be. Society likes to act like it has a limited number of slots and people planned to fill them, but honestly, most people are accidents just trying to get by. I’m an accident too, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I decided to do something, um, interesting with my life, but I decided. You decide too, alright?
And, y’know. Check your talents. Maybe you’re not a dead-guy-coin-engraver after all.
How do you make this thing sto-