A/N: Disclaimer: I don't own any of the names, characters, setting contained within. Bioware/Black Isle/Interplay does, with the exceptions of this particular Charname.

Amidst the tomes were manuals, manuals of war. Military training: ancient, foreign, analytical, pictorial. Buried between shelves blanketed with dust and lost to time, I found my calling. The way of the blade, the path of purity. Cloistered within fortress walls, within hallowed halls, I studied.

— Flamerule 2, 1368 DR

She put the journal down. Apathy was not her normal state, but tonight indifference held her. It had been that way for the past tenday. The act of gathering her thoughts on parchment did little to ease her mind. Not even her meditations cleared her thoughts. Cross-legged, she focused on the single candle and its flickering flame. Gently, she gathered the manual beside her and carefully leafed through its brush-worked pages. Paper. Symbols she could not read until Father had given her the lens.

Balancing the manual on her left knee, she lifted the stone to her right. Almost reverently, she set it before the candle. In the dim light, it glistened. Metallic, crystal, stone, black-grey. It had made its way to her in Mirtul, falling from the stars. None of the constellations seemed to claim it, she reflected. Often, she had wondered where it had come from and why. It had struck the sea one night, slamming through the high tide into the beach below. In starlight, she had scaled the walls and cliff, only to find it hot and fused to the glassy-sand around it. The breeze had buffeted her, and for hours, she waited for the stone to cool. The journal flopped, its pages sliding. Mirtul. Ches. Hammer. Daily entries. Hours of musings crammed into short, cryptic sentences. Poetry-like, in some cases; harsher in others.

Enough, she decided. The inkpot and pen she pushed aside, and took up the empty brazier. It was meant to summon the spirit of fire from the elemental plane. Nothing she had employed could melt the stone.

As the manual instructed, she focused her will. The circle of runes were there to give her focus, holding no innate properties of their own. This summoning demanded no magic, and the flame should be enough to shape the stone.

No being of flame came. Her call unheeded, she concentrated on the stone itself. She concentrated on her core, on who she was. A life of discipline, of purity. The body and the mind. The will. Her essence, her ki.

The stone split, infused.