After exhausting myself through a day of hard practice with Valaer's my bow, I was ready for the rewarding evening of feasting and learning which awaited me. Though my arms felt weightier than a pair of greatswords it did not stop me from roasting a well earned crab leg or two over the fire. We sat beside the fire all night - atop her den and overlooking the waterways which tangled into the treeline below - while Valaer tried to teach me about our people. Though I still find it difficult to accept that I am not who I always believed myself to be, and am in fact of the same Masceymer blood as she, I found wisdom and truth in her words. And it frightens me to consider their implications... as I lay here now under the soft embrace of my cloak - it's gentle blueish hue telling me that it's magic was keeping me as warm as protected - I can see her peaceful form across the dim embers, still all knowing and there to teach me. How could she sleep if she believed the truth of the words she shared with me? I found myself reaching once more for the old purple-covered book she gave me and once again read it cover to cover 'The Masmeri Mystery', written by an unnamed scholar most likely from the Imperial University. It's words paint her people - OUR people in such reverent light, but if any of this misguided written 'wisdom' is to be believed, well... for now I shall stare up and count the stars, wondering if my gaze catches one that resonates as the ethereal home I have forgotten. But moreso... if the blue star remains prominent even after dawn...
Another early start and another day of honing myself, though the thought of 'what for' still plagued my mind, I could not deny the satisfaction of seeing myself grow stronger and more capable with each passing day. The intoxication of it - now I think I understand what powerful mages go through as they feel ever increasingly powerful magicka flow through their spirit - and why the people of Nirn fear them for it. Today however did not bring my routine of hunting, archery practice, leatherwork, education and cooking. This morning after I finished preparing our morning meal Valaer led me to a different area of the raised walkways surrounding her den. She showed me a collection of the most exquisite blades I had ever laid eyes upon and told me it was time to forge my own. An Argonian tended the forge which rested in at the base of a rushing waterfall, and throughout the day she taught me how to craft these blades. The metal she used was like nothing I had ever seen - moonstone she called it - to which I was not surprised by this point as Valaer explained how it was touched with a power not seen outside of the realms of Oblivion - the same power which coursed through our veins. My early attempts were crude to say the least, but having only wielded even cruder iron and steel in the past, I was determined. I had to master this craft.
Amushsei once again found me at her forge before sun had even broken the canopy. It had become a daily routine for her to find me working tirelessly with my practice - constantly forging blades and melting them down to start over - and for her to hiss with amusement at my resolve. Today however saw my labour bear true fruit, for as she approached I turned with a smile befitting a Khajit as I presented her an identical pair of small dagger-sized blades. She grinned, holding one out to feel it's balance and scrutinizing it's edge before finally giving a nod of approval. I returned to share my success with Valaer in equal pride, only to be crushed by that ever judgmental gaze of hers as she glared down at me, "You are ready" is all she stated, leading me through the caves to a small workshop area set around an enchanting table. Valaer explained that as powerful as the metal of our blades was - as with my bow - their true power came from within me, and that in order to complete the exercise I must bond myself with the blades. For once - rather than forcing me to learn through hard practice - Valaer guided me through this delicate process, a fact which in of itself frightened me as to it's importance.
Setting the first blade atop the altar, she spoke an incantation while I stood before the altar. I watched the blade rise elegantly before me - it's immaculate blade glistening in the sunlight - and then felt her hand on my shoulder, "Baelai's blade is only Baelai's, for the hand of no other". At first I thought she meant simply that I should look after at, and found it quite insulting that she would assume any less of me after I worked so hard to craft it myself, but she continued, "This will hurt Baelai, but she must not fear". Before I could ask, I felt myself entwined by a mystical energy; crushing me and tearing me apart at the same time. My legs wanted to crumple beneath me, but the magic held me true. I wanted to scream, but it held me silent.
In that brief moment I felt betrayed by her nurturing all this time, and hated myself for being lulled into it. But then as quickly as the moment came it went, I watched as a spark of magicka pulled from my chest and engulfed the blade. With the fear and pain subsiding, I became entranced by the blade floating before me as it continued to glow with a gentle green hue which engraved writing down it's length before my very eyes. Instantly recognized my name I soon realized the true meaning of Valaer's words - for this blade now possessed a part of my very soul - it was a physical extension of my mortal frame - and I felt truly humbled, and a little embarrassed at my fleeting moment of distrust. We repeated this more calmly for the second blade - Valaer even allowing me to perform the ritual myself this time. She said it was important that I not just use the knowledge of the ritual, but learn and master it that I may teach others, for this was the way of the Masceymer.
Exhausted by the ritual, I slept right through the next day as my strength slowly returned. True to Valaer's word, it did, and when she returned my pandreas' - my daggers' - to me, I felt it return with increased vigor. I could still scarcely believe that these two small gleaming metal blades each possessed a fragment of my soul - it was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time as I took them in my hands and saw the engraved script emit that faint glow once more. I knew of course by this point what lay ahead, and sure enough Valaer once again sent me out to practice. My excitement quickly gave way to concentration as I realized that I had to learn entirely new forms to make the most of this twin-bladed stance. It was vulnerable, almost defenseless, but it was fast and agile - graceful and elegant like a a dance. My first day working with this new art was invigorating - sleep only bringing the anticipation of what tomorrow's improvements might bring.