Burdened

This guilt cuts like a knife. [Elhaym]

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role play forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

Moderator: Luminescence

Burdened

Postby Laszlo on March 11th, 2012, 9:05 am

Spring 77, 512
Tenth bell.


The skyglass in Lhavit was magnificent. Laszlo wasn't sure he would ever get used to it. Beautiful and luminescent in the moonlight, and even more colorful and brilliant during the day. Lhavit was a city of light. It called to him somehow, and it made something in his heart want to sing. Since stepping through the Amaranthine Gate, the radiance of the city had all but extinguished the shadows that Alvadas had left in the back of his mind. He was in a new place.

What kept him sober was knowing that the splendor of this place couldn't save Abalia from her fate. Even with Syna's light warmly embracing them through each day, and the city glittering like crystal, she would still die in agony.

Most likely, anyway. Whether or not her child would be born Symenestra was still mostly unknown. Others had recently claimed to know for certain what race his child would be, but Laszlo had refused to believe them. The true answer, he hoped, lied somewhere in the vast archives of the Bharani Library. If Ethaefal parenthood were possible, then it must have happened many times in the past five hundred years. Of the few libraries that existed in the world, if there was a record of it, it would be here in Lhavit.

So now there was the small hurdle of gaining entry into the place. The price for information, Laszlo had learned, was information. That seemed fair. All he had to do was write something down, about something.

Mountain travel seemed to be his specialty as of late, and aside from Abalia's pregnancy, the most prominent thing on his mind. He had traveled to Kalinor from Alvadas, then back, and then doubled back again, nearly catching his death in the storms the third time around. The trek to Lhavit had only been merciful in its change of scenery and being comparably brief, which wasn't saying much. Petch the Unforgiving. Grind it all up into dust and send it into the winds. Laszlo would be happy if another Djed Storm would come and shake the earth flat—save the peaks of Lhavit.

So were the words which Laszlo recorded onto parchment in scrawls of ink, the plume of his quill bobbing gently under the scrutiny of his hard, golden eyes. The stained tip of his pen scratched noisily against the thin, stiffly dried leather balanced precariously against his lap, silencing only when he paused to visit the inkwell set beside him on the ground.

The Ethaefal was sat on the road outside the Mhakula Tea House, propped modestly up against the wall of elegantly designed structure. Were it not for his horns and fine dress, he might have appeared as a vagrant yearning for alms. Instead, the blond looked like more of a romantic, sitting outside and soaking up the sunlight as he wrote his life onto paper, wholly consumed in his own world. In truth, Laszlo was a bit of both, but mostly neither.

While a vial of ink sat near one hip, a fragrant cup of tea was set on the other side of him. It was no longer hot enough to let fly ribbons of steam; by now it was lukewarm, though not one drink had been taken. Laszlo had purchased a cup mostly to enjoy the smell of it, which also helped overpower the acrid tang of black ink. Were it alcoholic, Laszlo might have been more inclined to down it all quickly.
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
User avatar
Laszlo
Team Imass!
 
Posts: 846
Words: 635811
Joined roleplay: September 3rd, 2011, 3:36 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Extreme Scrapbooker (1)
2011 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Burdened

Postby Elhaym on March 11th, 2012, 10:01 am

Image

If not for the thick cloth of her robe and the thicker cloth of the bandages that still covered her arm, Elhaym might have appreciated the sun's warmth. As it stood, it was simply hot as hell. A thin bead of sweat rolled down her right cheek, leaving a thin sheen in it's wake before dripping to the ground below. It had quite a ways to go. She was perched high, on the roof of the Mhakula Tea House. If not for her robes and their striking blue, the people passing by would not have averted their eyes and gone about their business. There was a certain benefit to a Shinya's colors, though there were half again as many detriments. Still, her lot in life was to protect… and today she was not idle.

He lounged below, encompassed by a vial of ink and a fresh cup of tea from the very shop she stood crouched upon. This one was majestic, a marvel of Syna's realm and a testimony to the true meaning of beauty. He was also a friend of the spider, and thus, a fiend. Her single eye hardened as she stared down at the top of his head. It was an odd view, one not often encountered... but this one had taken his sweet time inside, and she had had no intention of confronting him inside and making a scene. In her boredom outside, she had resorted to the childish impulse of testing her bodies limits, crippled as they were. The ascent hadn't been difficult even without the use of most of her left hand. The descent? The need hadn't really occurred to her until now. It was likely best to show him that despite her look of her mangled limb, she was not to be questioned or challenged.

"What are you plotting there, Ethaefal?"

Her voice was harsh, as if gravel had been mixed into her words and showered down upon his ears. No doubt he would be surprised that her voice came from above him, and she capitalized on his likely confusion. With a grunt she twisted and slid from the edge of the roof, catching herself with her one good hand and the bandaged ruin of the other. Her torso strained and contorted, both legs swinging out for momentum as she launched herself towards the ground. It was a whirring display of blue and white hues as she twisted, dropping with ease and landing without a hitch in a crouched position to his side. It was good to feel whole, even if it was a lie. Her body had always been a fine tuned machine before, but these days she had to remind herself that not everything had been lost.

Elhaym collected herself quickly, patting her robes and shifting them back into position. Her bandaged hand went to her face, adjusting the blue cloth band that wrapped around her face. It was sewn with white flames, and from it hung several small skyglass charms that dangled against a terrible burn scarred cheek. They took the form of the sun, the moon, and stars. Her patron deities playfully danced to the backdrop of her hideous wounds, as if they were no bother.

"I know you. I've seen you with your friend, the spider. What business does a noble Ethaefal have with his kind?" She loomed over him, giving him a hard look over with her single eye. She could not let his stunning beauty sway her; if he was anything like his friend, he would use his charms and looks to worm his way inside her head and make himself seem harmless. Yet he said nothing right away... he seemed to simply take her in for a moment. Have a good look, then , she thought. Despite it all, it still hurt to have someone look at her so. She had never been pretty, but this... it still hurt. In perhaps a more childish display than her pre-adolescent decision to start climbing rooftops, she lashed out and struck the cup of tea with the tip of her booted foot. The blow splattered it's contents against the plastered wall of the teahouse and shattered the cup instantly. A pang of regret immediately moved through her; if this was this Ethaefal's first impression of the Shinya Order, then she had done them a great disservice.

"Answer me. I'll not have sympathizers for his kind roaming this city, even if you think yourself safe from our eyes Ethaefal. We tolerate any who pledge the peace inside Zintila's realm, man or beast, but we do not tolerate kidnapping and murder."

Could she have made herself any clearer? She thought not. Her left hand fingers spasmed, an awkward display that in reality was nothing more than the stubs of what was once her pinky and ring finger wiggling. Yet she could still feel them sometimes. A grinding sound permeated the air, her teeth working against each other in frustration as she tried to hide her hand behind her back. She truly had come across like a psychotic, brazen beast. Perhaps this is why she still wore a white sash...? No matter. The here and now was what was important, and she needed to discover what this Symenestra truly wanted from her city. His Ethaefal advocate was the most logical place to start, and she would get her answers.


Image
User avatar
Elhaym
Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind.
 
Posts: 476
Words: 567762
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2010, 4:25 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 3
Artist (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

Burdened

Postby Laszlo on March 11th, 2012, 10:51 am

Laszlo's head lifted. The voice that called to him had had no discernible source, but he spent a sideward glance in either direction anyway. His quill halted, though he did not move from his comfortable spot reclined against the wall. The sharp-tipped pen hovered above parchment as Laszlo kept vigil on his surroundings, assuming his accuser would show herself eventually. The question hadn't been a friendly one, though he wasn't entirely sure that it hadn't been in jest. Who would possibly think he was plotting anything?

A quick, azure blur shot through the side of his vision, but it was the sound of her hitting the ground that surprised him. "Gah," he cried mildly, dropping the quill into the crook of his lap. Ink stained the hem of his trousers, and he cursed inwardly. Pinching the end of the feather, he plucked the article from his offended clothing and dropped it safely into the ink vial. Crisis mostly averted, Laszlo rolled his attention back toward the woman who'd dropped like a celestial so ceremoniously from the sky.

City guard. There was a name for them, but Laszlo couldn't quite remember it He recognized the uniform, having first encountered them at the Amaranthine gate. She looked different though, fettered in wraps and bandages that told a vague story about her recent life. Staring up at her silhouette against the sky, it took Laszlo a moment to notice the wicked scar adorning her cheek, dominating much of her face and thus making her all the more intimidating.

She had accosted him boldly, speaking testament to her apparent vigor, despite her somewhat rundown appearance. If she meant to make Laszlo afraid, it was working. He wouldn't dream of challenging her, even if she was a walking battlescar.

Did she just call him noble?

"Good morning," Laszlo mumbled petulantly, initially ignoring her inquiries. Despite the desire to stand and stare down at her, he remained seated in the partial shade, ink drying on the parchment still on his lap. He was a gentleman, at least for the moment, and dutifully focused on her one visible eye instead of the scar on her cheek. It was difficult to keep his eyes from sliding back to it, being so conveniently located on her face. "Are you talking about Duvalyon?" He turned to regard his parchment again, already noticing a few spelling errors. There was a t that was left uncrossed. Picking up his quill again would be rude.

Damn, that was bugging him. He set the paper aside, returning his full attention to the guard. "Kidnapping and murder? That sounds serious. We haven't been involved in anything like that. We only just arrived a few days ago." Laszlo rested both arms atop his knees. "I'm not a sympathizer. Duvalyon is my friend, and a dear one. He's called a Symenestra, not a spider. If you know so much about them, you might be interested to know that he's an Esterian. He's harmless."

An outright lie. Laszlo almost flinched, wondering what Duvalyon would think if he overheard that. The Ethaefal assumed his reputation couldn't be tarnished this far from Kalinor. As for being harmless, Laszlo knew that wasn't true either, though the extent of that was unknown even to him. Still, he doubted the medic was interested in conducting a Harvest in Lhavit any time soon.

Azo are wise to fear my kind. The side of Laszlo's mouth pulled upward.

"He's probably a nobler man than I am," Laszlo insisted, tilting his head at the woman. He was looking at her scar again. "That word really doesn't suit me. Duvalyon has saved my life, in ways, and he's here working to save the life of another. I understand your scrutiny, but pardon me if I find it a little insulting. We mean no harm here." As an afterthought, he added, "I'm Laszlo. Do you have a name I can call you?"
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
User avatar
Laszlo
Team Imass!
 
Posts: 846
Words: 635811
Joined roleplay: September 3rd, 2011, 3:36 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Extreme Scrapbooker (1)
2011 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Burdened

Postby Elhaym on March 12th, 2012, 1:08 am

Image

His disinterested manner only served as kindle for the flame in her belly. She had expected outrage or a defensive attitude, but this one had met her accusation with calm rationale after his initial irritated greeting. Too calm, and too rationale. She bit her lower lip as he went on blathering, and her teeth sank in so hard she thought she might draw blood. The way he redirected her accusations of kidnapping was too nonchalant. That sounds serious. Was he mocking her? His voice was flat, like the Shinya who clustered around her every day.

To be lectured about the nature of a Symenestra was grating, but she truly did not know what he meant he called Duvalyon an Esterian. Nor did she care. A spider was a spider, and they would do this city the most good with their heads stuck on a pike by the gate and their bodies tossed into the mountainous ravines below. Her lone eye detected a slight smile after he finished the word harmless. Perhaps he thought this was a joke.

The sun pounded down on her back as she loomed over him, and the heat mingled with the irritation she felt. Another drop of sweat plowed it's way down her cheek, snaking down the curvature of her chin and falling freely to the landscaped grass below. She let him say his peace, but it changed little in her mind. So he had saved him? Who cares? All the more reason to protect him, to lie and to aid him in his heinous tasks. It was every Symenestra's birthright to be a murderer. No amount of talk could change that simple fact. He offered his name and made as if to stand, but Elhaym intervened. Her leg rose, and a booted foot pushed his shoulder back against the wall. She leaned forward, placing an elbow on her knee as she pinned him there.

“My name is Elhaym, Laszlo. If you find me overbearing, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do for you. You see, your friend may mean no harm... but it is his very nature that causes harm, whether he means to or not. I don't care why he is here, to save someone as you say or not. His people have innumerable sins to account for, and they are all guilty. Remember that, and choose your friends wisely. When he slips, and he will, we will not be kind. I most of all. I've given too much to this city to let beasts do as they please, cherry picking innocent women for their pleasure and carrying them back to their hellhole to birth more monsters.”

Her voice wavered a bit as she spoke, a testament to her emotion. Elhaym was not the stalwart protector Lhavitians likely imagined guarding them, but in her mind she was just. Were they not simply monsters? From where she stood, her actions were necessary and correct. The Symenestra did not ask to be born as they were, but that was not her concern. Why couldn't anyone else see what was so readily apparent? Hard decisions to some were simple to her. If it were up to her, she would take their heads the moment they came to this city. And their sympathizers? If they loved their spiders so much, they could go back to Kalinor with the rest and throw their lives away.

OOC NoteLazslo graciously allowed me the freedom to assume my actions in this thread landed. No god modding cries, please!


Image
Last edited by Elhaym on March 12th, 2012, 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Elhaym
Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind.
 
Posts: 476
Words: 567762
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2010, 4:25 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 3
Artist (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

Burdened

Postby Laszlo on March 12th, 2012, 7:02 am

Any pleasantness in Laszlo's perfect features had gone. Warm, molten gold aimed sharply at Elhaym in a mild glare while his shoulder lay captive beneath her boot. Knocked back from his attempt to stand, she held him fast, to the point of pain. He itched to throw her off, but contained himself. Friendly around here, weren't they?

Welcome to Lhavit, Laszlo.

"Monsters," he echoed ruefully, glancing down at the cuffed leather of her boot. Choosing finesse over force, Laszlo lifted one ink-stained hand and gently nudged her foot. To ensure that she would be persuaded into releasing him, he pushed a wave of fresh djed through his arm. It pulled at his skin and tingled, a sensation he had not indulged in for weeks. It sent a warm, pleasant shiver down his spine. Get off, something insisted.

With a grunt of effort (he'd been comfortable), Laszlo arduously pushed himself to his feet, rising about a head taller than the woman in front of him. The glare in his eyes softened as he regarded her again, rubbing at his shoulder to remove the dirt and residual ache. "They're all guilty, Elhaym?" he asked her calmly. His face now carried something like disappointment. "I wish I could be that self-assured about anything. I won't tell you what to think, but in my opinion there's something monstrous about holding one man accountable for sins he didn't personally commit. On the other hand, I have watched humans do despicable things. Perhaps I might blame you for them."

Her attention was too focused; Laszlo wondered if Elhaym had a personal interest in Symenestra. Perhaps a friend or family member had been taken. She was Lhavitian after all, it wouldn't be unlikely.

A hand reached into his rich, blond hair, alight in the morning sun, scratching at the base of one horn. The Ethaefal was looking rough, about a week due for a shave, though the bedraggled stubble on his jaw only made him seem ruggedly striking. If he wasn't inhuman enough, the light hit him so his skin gleamed like brushed bronze. Although he was new to the city, Laszlo looked more like he'd been grown out of the skyglass itself.

"I won't try to convince you to trust me, or him," Laszlo continued, leaning back against the Mhakula's wall. "If it reassures you to keep an eye on Duvalyon, then by all means, you're within your rights. I'm positive he won't do a thing to earn your ire. However, you should know that the woman I love is sick and dying and he is her doctor. If for some reason you do arrest him, or kill him, you'll be killing her too."

He sighed. "I haven't had this kind of trouble with guards since Syliras. Didn't expect it here."
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
User avatar
Laszlo
Team Imass!
 
Posts: 846
Words: 635811
Joined roleplay: September 3rd, 2011, 3:36 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Extreme Scrapbooker (1)
2011 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Burdened

Postby Elhaym on March 12th, 2012, 8:19 am

Image

A few of Mhakula's patrons had stopped to gawk at the scene she was making, much to Elhaym's dismay. She had to twist her neck harshly to allow the rubberneckers into her narrowed field of vision, and their presence deepened her scowl. Laszlo himself muttered something, and then made a gentle push to get her off him. What was she doing? He wasn't a Symenestra himself... and people were looking at her. This wasn't the way the Shinya operated. Her tight hold on him was released, and Elhaym took a few steps back for good measure.

He stood, and he stood tall. Elhaym had to tilt her head considerably to meet his eyes, and she only did so briefly before beginning to pace back and forth in short and choppy swaths in front of him. It was easier not to look at him. To look upon an Ethaefal was to look upon something divine, and it served only to make her more aware of her own ugliness. She nodded sharply when he commented on the Symenestra's guilt in an unwanted answer to his rhetorical question, but focused her eyes on her bandaged hand. She began to curl what was left of in and out of a fist, a procedure she had grown accustomed to when dealing with the formation of all the scar tissue that was hidden.

"Humans do horrible things. Blame me if you want." She snapped, halting to face him again. The tiny skyglass trinkets hanging from the cloth that covered her left eye danced in the light, casting tiny prismatic shafts of light over her warped and scarred face. "Your misdirections don't count for shit in Lhavit, Laszlo. Do humans murder? Of course they do, but the very act of our existence is not a curse upon every other living race."

Her voice strained and seethed with contempt, and her bandaged hand seemed to mirror that anger as it remained curled into a tight fist. Too tight, in fact. Flecks of crimson began to pool at her knuckles... the scar tissue underneath had yet to fully heal. Perhaps because she seemed content to never let it. She bit back a curse and shook her hand lightly, half distracted from his words for the moment. Yet she took notice when he interjected with another misdirection, an attempt to worm his way into her womanly instincts and draw out pity. Sadly, it wasn't totally ineffective.

"If she is sick, there are people here who can help her. Why trust her with him?"

The shift in her voice was barely discernible, but it was there. She cradled her bandaged hand in her blessedly whole other, and gave him another once over. Ethaefal did not belong among the common people, she thought. Standing there, even next to a tea house in pedestrian clothing and stained with ink like a buffoon… the way his skin glistened was almost memorizing.

"Syliras is far worse. The Knights may have cut off his head just for looking at them wrong. I know Syliras well, and believe what I say Laszlo. Lhavit is Zintila's realm. She is kind and benevolent, and all who keep the peace within her city are treated well enough..."

A few seconds passed before she could no longer hold back.

"You were in Syliras? How long ago? Is it...?"

Her father was still there, and it was not the first time she had wondered if he still lived through the devastation that day. Her understanding of the events as a whole were sketchy at best, but she could only imagine Lhavit had not been the only place affected.


Image
User avatar
Elhaym
Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind.
 
Posts: 476
Words: 567762
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2010, 4:25 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 3
Artist (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

Burdened

Postby Laszlo on March 12th, 2012, 9:17 am

She changed, as Laszlo watched her. Elhaym the guard still stood before him, held together by tightly wrapped strips of cloth, but when she asked about Syliras, a mortal woman showed through her rough veneer. A human, capable of worry, compassion, despair. Laszlo was relieved to see her appear, instead of feeling like he was talking to an empty shell of armor and city colors. Whatever malice had born of her unprovoked aggression tucked itself neatly away again.

"Sorry. It was two years ago," Laszlo responded quietly, seeing the worry nested in her single, dark eye. The Storm, he mused, remembering the blood and sweat he'd spent during that violent ordeal he'd gone through in the mountains. Abalia had been at his side, afraid for her life in a more visceral way than she was now. People died, that day. People that were there only because Laszlo had paid them. It was here too, he realized. He still didn't know whether Alvadas was still standing, and only remotely cared because there were people there he didn't loathe. Could it really have gone as far as Syliras? "I don't know what has happened there."

And he knew, first hand, how Symenestra were treated in Syliras. There was a good possibility that, should he ever return, he may be arrested on sight in either form. At least one man there would always remember him: a blind fisherman, whose last visual memory was a panicked Widow. Laszlo considered mentioning to Elhaym what delightful surprise the sunset would bring from him, but decided against it. Her wrath was relenting; best not tempt it again.

Elhaym paced before him, pieces literally missing from her body, brandishing healed and healing injuries that made the long gash along Laszlo's side look comical. Even still, she was on her feet, armed, defending her city from perceived threats. She was the picture of strength and perseverance. Elhaym stood in stark contrast to shadowy memories of 'friends' from Laszlo's recent past. It was both intimidating, and promising.

Laszlo looked down. Propped against the wall, he began attempting futilely to rub away the ink from his fingers. He could have built an argument to justify the Symenestra's existence as a race, but now wasn't the time for that. They could argue ethics another day, if Elhaym didn't remove his head by the end of this one.

"My… her name is Abalia. Her condition is special and Duvalyon has experience with it. We left Alvadas because the physicians there wouldn't be able to help her. No offense, but I came to Lhavit for its library, not its doctors." Giving up on his hands, Laszlo looked up again. He stared past Elhaym to the buildings behind her, the towers that rose on the Zintia peak and the ones beyond it, and the murky, heather mountains that made the horizon. "I'm glad we came here, though. Lhavit has been a massive silver lining."

Warm amber returned to Elhaym's bandaged face. He should change the subject quickly. "Sorry. I didn't mean to… Um. I don't know what has happened to Alvadas either. The storm hit us in the mountains. I'm alive because men died to bring us here. I'm glad your city isn't in ruins."
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
User avatar
Laszlo
Team Imass!
 
Posts: 846
Words: 635811
Joined roleplay: September 3rd, 2011, 3:36 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Extreme Scrapbooker (1)
2011 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Burdened

Postby Elhaym on March 12th, 2012, 10:09 am

Image

"Oh..."

She pursed her lips inward, her thoughts reaching out to her father. Armande Vormav had never been much of a figure in her life, but on the eve of her journey to Lhavit he had come crashing back into her life. Their relationship had been reconciled, and for the first time in so long she had felt truly happy. It pained her to look down at her hand and see the same sort of crippling her own father had suffered. Like father, like daughter. Vormav's were not made to be long for the world, it seemed. She only prayed her father had not departed quite yet. That prayer was sent not to Zintila, but to any god who cared to listen.

An awkward silence bloomed between them, filled only with the ambient sounds of Lhavit and the muffled voices of happy people milling about in their day to day life, all the better after a cup of fine tea. Hot sweat foiled her, and the itching of her robe became too much to handle. She cursed under her breath and turned from him, quickly undoing her sash and sliding her arms free of their thick sleeves. She wore a white tunic underneath, matted with sweat and sleeveless. She still wore her Acolytes pants, boots, and the colored bindings that wrapped from her ankles to her shins, and so was not entirely out of uniform.

She folded the robe with practiced ease, and bent to lay it on the ground to her side. Her right arm was thick and corded with muscle, and her left matched it well if not for the same horrific scarring on her face that covered the length of it up and onto her shoulder. The bandages only traveled halfway up her forearm; it seemed she was more concerned with denying the people of Lhavit the aesthetic of her mangled hand than anything else when it came to those bandages. Let the world see, it was too damn stifling to wear it any longer. The proof was the sweat that caused the white garment to clung to her torso tightly, further highlighting the warrior's body. It was thick and powerfully built, so unlike the Symenestra he associated with.

"Don't think I've forgotten your strange friendship with your Duvalyon. If you need help though, it is my duty to serve. You probably speak of the Bharani Library, yes?"

Her legs folded gracefully under her, and she seemed to melt to the ground into a perfect crosslegged position of both relaxation and readiness. Both arms were held at her sides, as if frozen halfway in some gesture. In truth she was calming herself. The Symenestra were a threat, but if this Laszlo spoke truthfully than he too was someone who deserved protecting… and protection wasn't always about the act of guarding. Sometimes, it required a more delicate touch. Reassurance, information, and good will...

She focused hard, eliminating everything from her mind. All faded to black, save the sound of her breath and his own. The mummer of passerbys and the muffled laughter of those within the shop slowly vibrated into nothing. Annoyingly, she still felt the obtrusive heat on her back, but that could not be helped. She was not good at this, but she tried. She imagined a flame, flickering silently with no kindling to speak of. It floated alone there, accompanied by her breathing and his.

"I honestly do not know what kind of damage the library suffered. I've not asked, nor checked myself. I have been inside it before though, and I've spent many nights there. If you need information, you will likely find it. Pray that all it once held remains intact. You have no idea how close we came to your fears being reality."

It was so hard, so very hard. She wanted to be a good protector, to keep these people safe. To do that, she had to play by the Shinya's rules. That meant doing this, keeping herself under control and neutral. Her tone suggested that as she spoke, losing the accusatory edge that had sliced at him before.

"If you speak the truth about your Duvalyon, then I will leave him in peace. If your friend is truly ill and in need of aid, I will help you. Know this; if you lie to me, you are lying to the Shinya Order. I am not..."

What? I'm only an Acolyte? Not even really a Shinya? After the way she acted, the fact that he didn't know the difference between a white sash and a black was likely the only thing keeping him from laughing in her face and sauntering off to find the first Shinya he saw and report her harassment. Well, she had just told him not to lie to her, so she had little choice.

"... I am only an Acolyte of the Order, but they will know. I will know."

And she could make Laszlo's entire troupe very miserable if that were the case.


Image
User avatar
Elhaym
Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind.
 
Posts: 476
Words: 567762
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2010, 4:25 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 3
Artist (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

Burdened

Postby Laszlo on March 13th, 2012, 2:31 am

A sneaking smile crept onto Laszlo's face, inspired by something Elhaym had said. He thought he could almost hear Duvalyon's low, silken voice, tinged with pride and annoyance. I am my own Duvalyon, thank you very much.

"I understand, Elhaym." Did he? The Acolyte's warning snuck past Laszlo's casual defenses and quietly struck a chord in him. Lies and deceit were what got him in this situation to begin with, and not just the falsehoods of Ionu's Alvadas. Laszlo had lied to everyone there, including Abalia. Sometimes it felt necessary, like concealing his hypnotism. Other times, for instance when he'd lied about his name and race, there was absolutely no reason at all for it. Just playful whimsy. As much as he would have liked to blame the City of Illusions, his motivations for lying had been entirely selfish.

Even now, Laszlo was lying to protect Duvalyon. It felt justified and necessary, but his guilt and regret nagged at him. The gravity of the consequences he was current living forced him to rethink. If the truth was found out, the outcome could be much more severe in light of Laszlo's deceptions. Though the Ethaefal had good intentions, Duvalyon was truthfully in no real danger to start with. He was capable of taking care of himself, and had even conducted Harvests without landing his head on a pike. What good could come of Laszlo making things up, even for his sake?

Barely two days in Lhavit, and already Laszlo was beginning to weave a brand new tangled web. It was a bad idea… no, a petching terrible idea to start this again. He should leave the weaving to true Symenestra. Best stop this lying before something new and terrible happened to the only other person in his life he actually cared about.

It occurred to him suddenly that Duvalyon was possibly the one person he'd ever been completely honest with. Now the Symenestra was sacrificing a great deal of his time, crossing mountains, and potentially risking his life for him. The realization was so astounding that for a brief moment, he felt physically stunned. His heart ached, and traces of that rose to the surface to dim his features.

"Thank you for your offer," Laszlo said genuinely as he knelt to the ground, beginning to collect his things. He could have returned to his writing, bathing himself in the sun, but his concentration had been lost. The inkpot was corked and pocketed, along with his quill. He collected his small stack of mostly blank parchments in one hand. Whatever he'd written on any of them had become smeared by his spilled tea. Shaking bits of broken porcelain from the pages, he carefully straightened again. "I'll remember it. I'm still finding my bearings in Lhavit, so I need all the help I can get. I may call on you, some time. No doubt we'll meet again." And you're certainly hard to miss, he thought bleakly.

He found it interesting that Elhaym had sat herself down to meditate during her conversation. The Lhavitians, the… Autava, wasn't it? Laszlo had quickly learned of their reverence for honor and peace. Despite her earlier outburst, the Acolyte's conscious effort to use calming routines on herself showed a certain self-awareness and modesty. Rage, he knew, was a toxic thing. Finding ways to quiet oneself and maintain an inner balance was probably not easy. The scarred woman painted an intriguing picture of the city and the Star Lady's people.

"Actually, there's one thing. Someone at the Cosmos Center had mentioned something about… registering as a magic user. I have yet to do that, but I'm a little lost, and I can't remember where she said to go. It's a little difficult to get used to walking on roads that aren't inexplicably on fire or sideways. Or finding buildings that don't wander around the city. Finding this teahouse was just happenstance."
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
User avatar
Laszlo
Team Imass!
 
Posts: 846
Words: 635811
Joined roleplay: September 3rd, 2011, 3:36 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Extreme Scrapbooker (1)
2011 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Burdened

Postby Elhaym on March 13th, 2012, 9:32 am

Image

His voice fluttered in the blackness, fanning her flame violently. Simple words threatened to break what little hold she currently had on her world, but she did not give up. Orange and red hues bloomed in her mind's eye, filling her with a sense of control. They very thing that had scarred became a source of focus now. Whether she dumped her rage onto it like oil and caused it to flare up in anger, or smothered it with an attempt at inner peace that left it deprived and starving. His words were not lost on her though; she perceived them distantly. She simply sat, placid and unresponsive.

Until he mentioned magic. Her mind's eye shattered, and her physical eye snapped open to the harsh sunlight and his fuzzy form. After the harsh glowing sunlight that made everything seem to vibrate adjusted into something more manageable, she craned her neck to find his eyes. Where hers was muddy and dark, his were vibrant and divine.

"A wizard then."

Her body moved quickly, lurching into action like a snake striking out at a helpless mouse. Her legs tucked into her torso as she rolled onto her back, and in an explosion of nothing short of pure momentum her body was flung to it's feet under the power of her muscular torso and powerful kicking legs. Twin feet slammed into the ground in unison and she straightened. The entire display had been completed without the use of her hands; a feat quite easy for her but baffling to the more sloth residents of the city.

"I won't ask you why you've opted to curse yourself. Maybe it wasn't your choice, as it wasn't mine. Either way, you gave up your immortality when the ability to manipulate djed became known to you. It will kill you, mark my words. Just as it will one day kill me, if someone else doesn't finally succeed first. Gods know they keep trying."

Her voice was deadly serious, but she actually chuckled at the last bit. She cast a glance down at her arm, and would have at her own face it were possible.

"The Koten Temple it is, then. I will show you the way."

Elhaym leaned down with a grunt to snatch up her robe, and folded it gently over her left arm. It concealed her hand, and a goodly portion of the marred skin that comprised her arm. The little charms dangling from the cloth canted over her left eye chimed as she turned to look at him once more, ever awkward as her neck strained to get him inside her vision.

"It is good that you told me. Many people think they can slip by and not let their practices be known, but we always find out. Always. I may have misjudged you Laszlo... may have. Follow me."

Her pace was quick, but even the mere mention of djed had caused a stirring within her. For a long while she had shunned the use of her own magics... the things that had happened that day were terrifying. It had taken every ounce of courage she could muster to even harness her astral body again after that day, and she now wished she hadn't. It was incessant, nagging at her as it were a restless limb deprived of movement for too long. Not only did her astral body groan, but the Flux beckoned as well. If she were to explain it, she would say that she stood upon the edge of a dam. On one side, a calm and tranquil river flowed silently, but on the other... hell and power frothed and churned, screaming for blood and release. It was always tempting.

Her brisk pace came to an abrupt end, her body freezing save for the sharp movement of her crippled hand rising to her face. She placed two fingertips to her forehead, and began muttering something under her breath. In her mind she saw her fire roaring. Within danced a shadowy and translucent version of herself, pounding against the flames and weeping for release. Aside it was a snarling beast, bulging with muscles and growling in such a guttural tone it was hardly conceivable. This was how she viewed her magic now. A shadow of herself, and a beast. It only took a moment for her to block out any question or comment from Laszlo concerning their sudden stop. These forces had to be reined in before she could worry about his own djed problems.

The fire glowed hot with her two aspects caged within, and she fed that flame with the fear and anger she felt when they came. Fear for what they were capable of, and anger because despite it all she needed them. The fire roared for a split second, and after the display it died down to something smaller... and they were gone. For now.

Elhaym opened her eye, feeling the weight of her addiction falling from her shoulders for the moment. She wondered if it was like this for everyone... or was she truly not meant to wield such weapons? She resumed their steady pace as if she had not stopped at all, and ignored any further inquiries about it.

"You won't mind me asking, I'm sure. I'll know in a few minutes whether you want me to or not, so there's no reason to hide it. What do you practice?"


Image
User avatar
Elhaym
Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind.
 
Posts: 476
Words: 567762
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2010, 4:25 am
Location: Lhavit
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Medals: 3
Artist (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests