Kale: Look, this is . . . I see a lot of things that aren’t real.
When I’m not sure, my dog helps me tell the difference. She’s sick today, so I had to ask you. But most of the time I can tell on my own!
For instance, those birds don’t look real . . . I have a feeling the ground isn’t bubbling . . . You probably don’t have a pointy crown, or a hideous scar all over your arm . . . And I bet those trees aren’t blue.
Leif: His scar is not “hideous.”
Thorn: You were right about the rest of it, though.
Kale: Ah. Okay, now that I have put my entire foot in my mouth, will you let me slink away in peace?
A little drabble comes to mind, but Thorn sounds horrendously out of character however I phrase it. Can’t figure out how he’d say. “Stay with us so your dog won’t have to cope with sad vibes that you didn’t have SOME enjoyment today… also so Leif isn’t left struggling alone if things go like on my birthday.”
Well, Thorn has figured out that Kale doesn’t like to rely on people more than necessary, so he would frame the first part as “let’s you and me do a nice thing for your dog” rather than “let me help you.”
The second part, though, isn’t something he would ask of a near-stranger. If he was in active-crisis mode, he would ask Kale to call some professionals. And if he felt like this outing was putting him at serious risk for bringing on active-crisis mode, he’d just leave early, and find something to do with Leif that was still fun but less stressful. At this point he trusts that Leif would understand.
Give Kale some credit, if there was one thing he could be sure on Thorn was a hallucination (the crown) then anything else he saw that was eye-catching (the scar) would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination could be a hallucination too.
The “foot in my mount” comment notwithstanding, just because Thorn has SOME scar doesn’t mean that what Kale sees is real – he may see the scar worse that it is.
OT: Erin, is there a record or registry of soulswords, if they reincarnate?
Yes there is!
Oh yes. The Ceannic government keeps a record of the heartswords of all its knights. Open to the public, and searchable by shape, color, and features. It goes back to the days of Rhódon, although the farther back you go, the more of it has been damaged or lost.
Non-knights who draw a heartsword have the option to be registered, and those records are sealed until after the wielder’s death, for privacy. Some government records are also classified and sealed for security purposes.
Rowan’s heartsword is on record at the National Museum in their 16th-century collection, complete with a little biographical sketch. Thorn and Violet both have swords that only appear in ancient, faded, flaking records, with no personal details that survived. Peach’s sword has been recorded twice: one from a few centuries ago, one much older. Birch and Juniper, nothing yet.
Actually, why wouldn’t the identities of the knights be under classified clearance anyway? As a rough analogue to our own SOCOM operators, wouldn’t knight families and loved ones be put in danger by an enemy looking to hamstring Ceannic national security by going after a weakpoint with that information being publicly available?
What information? Like, presumably, the public information doesn’t include home address. Just name, office (order? district?) and details about the sword.
They’re classified if you’re in a division that does covert/undercover ops. And for everyone else, the only information available is really general stuff — nothing that makes it easy to track down your relatives.
A lot of their work involves nonhuman enemies, which makes a difference. Dragons and hurricanes aren’t going to be looking you up on the net to strategize about your weak points. Meanwhile, it helps build confidence and good relationships when the local population can look up exactly who’s protecting them.
What do Kale’s flowers on his wreath mean?
Purple carnations mean moodiness. Blue carnations don’t mean anything, because they didn’t exist until genetic engineering long after the Victorian era.
I mean, the trees might just be him colourblind against green, though his mind makes things in green. The birds might be some sort of spirit. Thorn’s horns could have something to do with either his name, the cat he has, or the dragon he probably slayed. Bubbles, though, probably not useful information.