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Humility was not something that came easy to Thom.

When it came, it came in blood and particolored fire, in manifold raging elementals screaming down on his head, in the heat of Jon's wrists where Thom gripped them, hard enough to burn.

It came in the darkness that was all he had left, after, and it came in the light that he saw when he woke, Giftless and broken, months later.

But when he stood, twenty years later, leaning heavily on a stout carved stick and looking at the bright pages who sat before him, arrogant and so, so young, he thought it might have been worth it.