When it twisted itself into a smile, it had an amazing effect on people, and animals too.
What most tended to slide over when performing their first glance inventory, were his eyes. While appearing as previously described, they were also an incredibly deep violet, with a depth of understanding far far beyond his obvious years. They might be characterised as 'appraising' eyes, an attribute gained through such close association with his Master.
They were a true reflection of the youth's soul; while he was not incapable of devious and sublimely disobedient acts, he would never use himself in aid of a cause that was 'wrong'. Such was manifestly evident, if evidence were required, merely by looking into his eyes.
During the last couple of years of their stay in the North, the old man became especially industrious in his instruction of Roache. There were very few subjects he did not go into in great depth. From languages to Court etiquette, geography to geometry, architecture to pharmaceutics, but mostly in control of the Art, and Shamanism.
The youth took this knowledge like the waters of the rivers flowing into the ocean. There appeared to be nothing he could not grasp, and while indeed some topics took years to percolate through, others were mastered in mere hours. The rate at which Roache absorbed some aspects which were considered difficult for the disciple of a Mage sometimes astounded the old man.
But then, some which were fundamental, and considered by some to be simple, were hard-won, an apparent battle with some inner intransigence contained by the young elf.
Such was the case when Sandoz found it time to learn to travel the Ley, to inject himself into the ether and see the world in it's true state. If the light from the lines of energy that girded and criss-crossed the land, this island as Sandoz later learned, was clear and golden, deep and aglow with power, then all was well fundamentally, regardless of the manifestations on the common plane. That had been the Mage's instruction for years, but the young elf had never seen. A trip into the ether could be a dangerous venture these days; there were forces which had slipped their bonds when Daffyd blasted himself and a few others into the eternal void. Forces which had been tightly bound by reason, were gaining strength with the spread of chaos, and as a result, nothing today is as it was.
But Sandoz had never known any other state than that which was the now. And since the episode of the Prince of Demons and his anticipation of elfin hors d'ouvers he had become increasingly aware of the fragility of life, his own in particular. Stepping into the ether and facing what could be mortal danger without his body even being there, somehow shook Roache near his core. It scared the daylights out of him, and he'd be the first, the very first in fact, to proclaim this.
The first few times, well, the first twelve times to be precise, the Master had to mentally drag his disciple kicking and screaming, figuratively speaking, into the ether. It took several visits before Roache would open his eyes, once there.
But gradually, over a time, the wonder and the beauty of the plane enchanted him, and he found what he was meant to see, and understood the necessity of returning again and again, regularly.
Still, the initial process wherewith he loosed his 'self' from his body was one with which he never grew comfortable.Time passed, as it seems to do, and the Master infused more and more knowledge into his pupil, for such had the infant he stole from the City Guard more than twenty years ago, become. There came a need for them to leave what had over the years become their tower of ice, and begin their movement Southward.
Roache knew the geography of the land, but as the weeks past, and they left the cold snowland he had been raised in, there were things he wound inexplicably strange. Perhaps it was that 'green' was something less than he had imagined from his readings, or the sky was not the perfect blue the Master had described in his hours of conversation. It might have been though, that they met absolutely no-one at all during their entire southward ride.