CW: The general topic of death.
My soul was floating in an expanse of stars. I died protecting my husband from an attacker. The assailant went down with me and I could only hope my love was safe. "Are you ready to move on? Or will you expend my blessing?" I looked up. Four grey eyes stared back, awaiting an answer. Without hesitation I replied. In a flash of comforting warmth, I felt air fill my lungs as life was breathed into my body. Gentle arms embraced me as I came to. My injuries were gone, leaving only scars. The feather shaped burn on my hand was a reminder of the second chance I received.Death is an inevitable part of life, but there are a handful of ways around it. Resurrection spells aren't guaranteed and are expensive. For those lucky enough to befriend a phoenix, there is hope at one more chance to live.
Individuals who receive this blessing can be identified by a single marking somewhere on their body. The top of a hand is the most common spot for this to appear. Each phoenix has their own unique mark. Before using this blessing, the mark looks like a tattoo. The lines appear as if they were inked in a metallic color. They emit a subtle glow in dim to no lighting. These markings are almost always a feather of some sort.
Mark of Hope
Known Phoenix Blessings
When a phoenix touched person dies, they do not resurrect right away. Their soul is given a choice; it's always voluntary and never forced. They must be willing to return at the time of passing. Some individuals changed their mind by that point and move on peacefully to their awaited afterlife. Older folk at the end of their lifespan usually let go of the blessing. Those with unfinished business may still accept the resurrection to ensure it's done. They'll then pass peacefully for good afterwards if nothing else happens. When someone does use the blessing, their mark burns away during the process. It will no longer look like a tattoo, but a raised burn scar in its place. This will not cause the person pain afterwards or affect the skin in a detrimental way. This blessing is a one time use only. There are no records of anyone receiving a second mark from their phoenix nor have any gained a mark from more than one bird.
A Voluntary Return
I've lived an extensive, rich life full of wonderful memories. I wouldn't have traded it for anything. The day I received a phoenix's blessing I was elated. I was young, spry, and had many adventures left in me. It was an insurance to start anew were anything horrible to happen. Well, I can say I was lucky enough to have never used it. I suppose it let me sport a cool tattoo for the last half of my life. My grandchildren always loved seeing it. I'm growing weak and my time is drawing near. My beloved life partner of 60 years passed two summers ago. I think it's about time I allow myself to join them. We have so much to catch up on and I can't wait to see what they've made of the other side.