Crane wasn't quite sure what to make of this strange cat - at first, it had appeared to be really out of place here in the wood, but his lacking expertise with animals did not allow for a better idea than "abandoned pet". Her behaviour seemed to fit with this idea, he reasoned - apparently, it didn't like rice, but chewed on the minced meat that the Manse had prepared for them a while ago - he still liked to watch how the food and cooking implements were floating and working all by themselves. It seemed to speak of ancient, lost glories of the First Age.. well, perhaps not for so long anymore. If the rulers of the old times were now returning, how long would it take for their glory to shine once again?
"Not very hungry, are you?" He asked, as the cat decided to end her meal, and was almost sorry for the unused food - perhaps he could get Physician to eat it? Crane almost never acted on this impulse for the practical jokes that were abound in mercenary bands, but that didn't mean he was forbidden to enjoy the thought of it now and then.
Meanwhile, the cat seemed more interested in him than in her food. He had never had a pet of any kind - the village of his childhood had kept a few dogs and cats to take care of the small predators plaguing any small farming village, but they did not exactly belong to him - indeed, mostly steered clear of him after the beginning of his apprenticeship. He could not help but to remember the old time as he absent-mindedly scratched the cat's ears (she - if it was a she - seemed to like that). Oh, how he had toiled in the small witch hut, mixing powders and learning astrological charts, constructing his first primitive charms and incantations .. it was nothing compared to the true power of the Exalted host, but Crane remembered it fondly. Learning the principles of essence under the tutelage of a wiser master had been a valuable experience - and, as he now knew, the third of the Five Trials of the sorcerer. He wondered .. what had he sacrificed, back when he mastered his first spell - the names of power, binding and wrapping the wind to his desire, the pattern of Essence forced upon it by pure force of will. Invoking it still filled him with a measure of that primal joy, the triumph of enlightened will over the petty laws of creation. But still - what price had he paid? His old life as a mere mortal? And if so - what would he have to pay next?
The cat, of course, did not have to concern itself with such weighty matters. Crane found that he began to envy it, and quickly rose to his feet - it was time to return to work and study, not get yet another mouth to feed. Physician was likely already training, and he would rather not be bested by his older friend.
Noticing that the doctor was already occupying the training range, and not wanting to intrude on him, Crane decided to spend the evening on a more interesting course of action - with a quick leap, he jumped atop a small wall of green stone, balancing easily atop it's narrow margin, then hurried along towards the smaller outliers of the main building that were resting serenely in the moonlight. A deep breath, and a jump - he landed barely at the edge of the rooftop, but did not hesitate to keep running. Not that he intended to add yet another speed march to today's exercise - this was only an interesting way to get him to the small central tower, otherwise reachable only by a narrow staircase that was cleverly hidden in the depths of the manse's puzzling architecture - he had taken quite a while to figure out the trick in navigating the rooms, and it seemed prudent to check if a mobile enemy couldn't simply bypass it entirely.
To his satisfaction, however, Crane noted that he couldn't quite do that - his jumps simply did not carry him high enough, and whatever invader that would try to get to the controls would have to outdo him in this reguard. Smiling in humility, Crane dropped down to the ground level and went by the rather humbling way of using the door instead.
As he had reached the tower, the sorcerer closed his eyes for a moment, opening his mind to the currents of essence. He was Exalted now, and the primal force of Creation came to him as easy as the sweet, cold night air would come to any mortal standing in his place. When he opened his eyes, he could watch the Physician train against his dreaded arch-nemesis - a menacing tag-team of wood puppets - and critique his handling of essence as easily as his combat movements. Really, he did rather well, and Crane was about to praise his companion as the Physician stopped, turned, and called out to someone in the dark. Frowning, the Dawn caste was glad he had not yet put away his weapon, heavy as it was, and grabbed it as he hurried downstairs to the training area.