Closed X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Our heroes go on an archaelogical expedition on the Sea of Grass.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Leo Varniak on February 20th, 2013, 10:38 pm

Winter 40, 512 AV

It was early in a chilly midwinter morning when Leo Zaital showed up in front of Godiva's Refuge, on foot and leading Ember by the reins; the black firemane horse he'd bought at the Sanctuary was truly a horse fit for a king. He knew he might be a few chimes on the early side, but would rather err on the side of caution than make Eosi wait. Their meeting couldn't be a moment too soon and he was definitely excited about it. To the average person, heading out to the Sea of Grass to collect old coins and broken pottery may incite wild fits of yawning; Leo, on the other hand, possessed a keen interest in anything antique and historically significant. Which wasn't the real reason he was excited, of course.

This felt so very much like a test run for what awaited them in the future. Traveling through desolate lands, ripe with danger, moving from quest to quest - wasn't this the very first example? He had no idea what it would be like. Leo had mostly traveled alone thus far, with no-one to watch his back and no back for him to watch. Would Eosi's presence lift some of the tension or would his protective instinct add to it instead? What would they talk about around the fire as they ate their meals? How would they fight as a team? Those were all questions in need of an answer. Sharing one's fate with someone one was emotionally attached to the point of obsession did not come without its own pitfalls.

Leo was dressed lightly, as had become his norm. He would not don Rosela's clothes here, obviously, so he was stuck with his shades of non-color. A shirt and a light jacket plus a pair of trousers, all in various tones of gray and brown. He had packed much of his belongings into the horse's saddlebags and would be ready to leave the city for good if he had to. He hadn't inquired with Eosi about the length of their stay in the wilderness, and as such she had been left in charge of the rations. He supposed it would be a few days, but would not be opposed to spending more time in the wilds. In truth, it did not make a lot of difference where they went as long as they were together.

He knew the big picture about Eosi's work as an archaeologist. Mostly, she had been minding a shop where hardly anyone ever came in, and they paid her for it, which was intriguing. Then there was practical work like this, digging up old things from the grass. How they would know where to dig was still something of a mystery to him, but he trusted Eosi. She would be in charge of the operation, with Leo starring in the role of two arms and a shovel. The thought made him smile. He just knew she wouldn't miss the opportunity for a few playful barbs. That was fine by him. The champion of Ivak could shovel with the best of them if he put himself into it.

Leo squinted in the direction of the entrance, as if willing for it to open and for Eosi to get out of there already. The sky did not look as if it was going to snow on this day or the next, but after that? There was no telling. He stroked the horse's mane absent-mindedly as he wondered what she would be wearing today. Probably something practical, easy to move in, easy to put on, easy to slip out of. The thought had him fantasizing almost right away. What would it be like to have her in the tall grass of Cyphrus? His rational mind knew the mad danger in that, but it did nothing to make it less appealing.

"Yes, my friend, I'm beyond all hope," he joked with Ember as he waited, finding himself getting impatient to feast his eyes on Eosi Barlowe once more.

Last edited by Leo Varniak on March 5th, 2013, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Eosi on February 27th, 2013, 6:28 pm

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The dawn was young when Eosi rose to gather her things. It’d been a long week of preparation; gathering supplies, organizing the rendezvous, reading the logs of those who’d gone before her... Their destination was Kai’Neha Valley; a copse of trees largely devoid of Glassbeak activity, though there was no shortage of Snarlwing. They’d do a field survey there and then spend the night. It was a seemingly small task, but truthfully the most important. She’d set out first to make sure the coast was clear and then the larger half would follow. It wouldn’t do to get the whole society slaughtered, after all. Thinking of herself as bait was an apt comparison. The Inarta peered at the map, gave a wry snort and neatly rolled it up.

What made the whole experience doubly exciting was the presence of her certain special someone. Leo was accompanying her into the unknown, her secret blessing. Eosi was rubbish at navigating on her own. From what he’d said, he had traveled through Kalea and from what she’d been told the Valley was only a bell’s ride away. The rest was faith. She could only hope that he knew how to navigate.

The soft cadence of horse’s hooves just beyond the window signaled his arrival. Her mount was saddled and ready, tethered to a post just outside. All the preparation needed was a flourish of her cloak. Eosi was out the door in a matter of minutes. As she emerged from the front of Godiva’s Refuge, she froze to admire her love. He was unkempt though certainly travel ready. ”Colorful as always,” she observed dryly, her eyes narrowing in mirth. He seemed to prefer the lack thereof, unless of course it was red.

Eosi looked officious, her wild red mane tied off in a leather thong. She wore her usual onyx cloak, boots and gloves. In place of a dress she wore a creamy blouse and earthen trousers, the map tucked neatly under one arm. ”We’re all but ready,” she continued, moving to the side of the building. It took but a moment to slip the knot loose and walk Ice to the front. ”Her name is Ice,” she explained. ”I picked her up years ago on my way through Taldera. She got me through a year of meandering through two whole regions and for that I owe her a great deal.”

Her feet carried her to Leo as sure as her heart did. ”Good morning,” she breathed pleasantly, kissing the narrow plane of his cheek. ”We’ll be setting out immediately, so be ready.” With that handed him the rolled map, swept onto her saddle and gave him an expectant sort of look. ”I hope you can read that, as I haven’t got a clue. I’ve been traveling with caravans my whole life, you know.” The threat of predators was something all people took seriously. Eosi had been cautious most of her life. That was subject to change.

”We’re headed to the Kai’Neha Valley,” she explained. ”Just a day trip to do some surveying – we have to know it’s safe before we start digging. You’ll be free to leave the next day, though I may be called to stay a bit longer. The place is known for its host of snarlwing.” Eosi knew as well as Leo that they’d be sticking together. There wasn’t else either of them would do.

”Love you,” she mouthed.

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Leo Varniak on March 5th, 2013, 9:38 pm

Leo's daydreaming came to an abrupt end as its source showed up on the threshold of Godiva's refuge, dressed up for adventure. There was this thing about Eosi Barlowe; whenever she was in his field of vision everything seemed a little brighter, the colors just a bit more saturated; it was strangely easier to be aware of the breeze on his face. He would be able to pick her even in the middle of a big crowd, as if her special sunbeam was pointing at her the entire time. It was, all in all, a very silly way to feel, especially if he had to explain it to his former self, but one he would not have traded for all the riches in the world. And so, when she finally showed herself, Leo rewarded her with a big lopsided grin. Ahh, another jab to his fashion sense. He had learned how to deflect such things very well indeed.

"I know better than to steal the spotlight from my colorful lady," he replied, just a hint of teasing in his voice. Leo took her in appreciatively, making no mystery of it as was their norm. She had an utilitarian pick of clothing on her, but it did not detract from her beauty. She had her hair tied, which gave him an unobstructed view of the sides of her face. Indeed, the ears were one of Eosi's secret treasures. He was absorbed in such thoughts when she approached him, leading her own mount by the reins at an easy walk. "Well met, Ice," Leo bowed slightly at the mare, "I must congratulate you on your choice of rider." His eyes twinkled with the unspoken joke. I would know.

"Ice, meet Ember. Ember, Ice." The Firemane was a tall, elegant Sanctuary-bred. Jet black with a creamy, off-white mane, she had been picked for her stable, adventuresome character. "I was prepared to come across as a simpleton for not calling my horse Blazing Bouquet Maryclaire Seventeen, but I am now reassured that makes it two of us." He accepted the kiss on his cheek with a slightly disapproving humming sound, only to intercept Eosi's lips for a quick peck on the lips. Which was already a definite improvement. He took the map, a little surprised by this sudden development, and hopped on his mount as well. He gave a light frown. "Did you find this in a bottle?" He gave the paper a cursory glance, wondering what in the world made Eosi think he was an expert navigator. He had survived Kalea, sure... by simply going East and moving one foot in front of the other for a sufficient length of time.

He nodded slightly, still perusing the map. "It's not that I'm jealous or anything, but I think I'll be keeping my eyes on you throughout the entire thing." He clicked his tongue against the palate. "Besides, I definitely want to be there when you unearth that invaluable broken chamberpot that's just waiting to be found." He smiled. "I kid. I am just in high spirits today. Love you too." And with that, he stirred Ember into an easy walk towards the city walls. Leo was curious to see what would become of this little adventure. Snarlwings were a source of worry, of course, but they had both survived worse, and if they fell to such pests then they wouldn't have stood a chance against what awaited them anyways.

"Why did you pick this job? I hear they were looking for an archery instructor, too." He seemed genuinely interested in her thought process. He knew the broad strokes about her mother's dedication to archaeology, but that didn't strike Leo as her primary interest.

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Eosi on March 5th, 2013, 10:38 pm

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His reply lifted her spirits. Had it been that bad? Eosi could never tell. Perhaps Leo’s presence helped her relax a bit. By comparison, she was feeling buoyant, practically giddy. ”What can I say?” She combed a hand through an auburn tangle. ”It’s natural.” With a wink they were off, already falling into their usual dynamic. Being around Leo felt wonderful; it was the type of feeling that seemed too good to last.

She was half-tempted to retort, but instead she smiled enigmatically. The double-entendre was plain enough. She had the decency to blush, at least. But hearing their names said together felt strangely right. There was a cadence and a contrast there you only heard in stories. Ember and Ice. ”I like it,” she said simply, looking back to him. Two could play that game. The smile she wore showed her teeth, a rare expression. With the rising sun behind her, she shined.

”You’re too much,” she laughed, shaking her head. ”You’re in rare form today.” Leo had a very keen wit when he wished to use it. Perhaps he’d never had the opportunity before. It wasn’t likely he’d had many friends, what with his mission to save the world and all. His kiss was met with a summery giggle, then a sigh. ”I’d make love to you right here, but I think the neighbors would complain.” It was a gentle reprimand. The closer they became physically, the less they accomplished practically. Eosi was a quick study, after all. She shied away from making the same mistake twice.

”It would have been a very large bottle, dear.” Her eyes twinkled with humor. ”That would be the map provided to me by the Antiquities Society.” Not that he hadn’t already inferred. But something in his expression didn’t sit right. ”You do know how to read a map, right?” She found herself mirroring Kara Bloomsheart’s tone. It was uniquely incredulous, amused and patronizing. That was one particular idiosyncrasy she didn’t hope to retain.

He really was in rare form. Eosi nearly cackled at the chamberpot remark. ”We’d be in luck, then.” Finding anything on a sampling survey was fortunate indeed. ”I’m glad you’ll be watching me and that you’re in high spirits. And that you love me,” she added wryly, looking from beneath her lashes. ”I’ll be watching you too,” she said, pulling a telescope from the saddlebag to peer at him.

The next question struck a different chord. Her youthful expression aged suddenly and she quietly pondered her reply. ”To honor my Mother.” Just thinking of her had the potential to wound. ”So much of who I am came from her. I had a nominal amount of knowledge from following her around as a child, so it was a good fit.” But that was only part of the story and it’d be unkind not to tell it all.

She sighed as they rode. The gate was already on the horizon. ”Sometimes I think it was hypocrisy that killed her. She’d lipservice gods she did not care for, mocking them in a way. I’m a particularly pious individual and it’s all because of her. To think she meant none of it…” She glanced away. ”She worshipped Ivak in earnest… But I’ve never quite understood some elements of my past. Most like, I’ll never really know.”

Their talk had already taken a more serious turn. ”I’m sorry,” she said earnestly. ”Before I met you, things weren’t that optimistic. You’re my silver lining.” That brought a smile back to her face, a shy one this time.

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Leo Varniak on March 6th, 2013, 5:09 pm

He was still wrapping his head around the map. He had seen a few in his time, one of which etched on a medallion at the very onset of his adventure, but that had been in Syliras, a place he was intimately familiar with. Here, every mark carried the mysterious tint of vagueness. He thought he could identify the sinuous line with the Bluevein river and the dotted line as the final segment of the Kabrin road… but the triangles and squares were a mystery to him. Copses? Hillocks? Springs? Death traps? Why couldn't these people provide a meaningful legend besides the drawing? But of course, he thought. This wasn't meant for general consumption; the makers must have assumed the reader to have received proper training in its use.

Leo snorted. Eosi wasn't helping, either. "I do know how to read a map," he grumbled, "I just like it better when they read themselves to me." The destination seemed close enough to the city that it would take some talent to miss, at any rate. "It was easier in Kalea. I could sense all the pressure and magma flows and I'd use those to get my bearings. I wish there were a few more volcanoes around here, too." Kalea had been optimal in many ways. Leo suspected Ivak's power would always be at its peak in that region. By contrast, Cyphrus was abundant with flammable things, but the underground was nowhere as strong or dynamic. It would be useless to try and explain that to Eosi, however. It wasn't something he could easily put into words.

He folded the map with as much dignity as he could muster. Oh well, no-one had all the skills in the world and this one seemed better suited to Eosi's innate precision than Leo's intuitive way of getting things done. By now his love was pondering the question about the job with more emotional investment than he had anticipated. She missed her mother more than she was willing to admit. Leo missed Lina, too, but in Eosi's case, she had been taken away by a random, meaningless accident of life. There had been no conclusion, no greater significance to her loss. It had shaped the girl in fundamental ways, growing thorns to protect the rose.

He smiled back when she did, but did not reply right away. He needed a little time to find the right words and was content with watching the city scenery roll by in silence. When he did speak, his tone was soft and thoughtful. "Something I found out at the Sanctuary, living with Nysel's devoted, is that what we do never truly disappears. Every little action, every decision, every word we speak even when nobody's listening… we can never take it back. And it's all written in the chavena for the rest of eternity, if only you know how to look for it." The two riders marched in front of the gates of Riverfall, and Leo allowed Eosi to take care of things here. The city was under quarantine, but since she was with the Antiquities Society and their destination was nowhere near the infested zone, they would be able to acquire the proper permissions to get back into Riverfall.

Once they were out, the Sea of Grass stretching endlessly in front of them, Leo stirred Ember on a leisurely trot and waited for her to catch up. "If it's answers you seek, Kavala Denusk - the owner of Sanctuary - is the one you want to meet. I'm sure she would walk your dreams for you and come back with something useful. Some would call such abilities a double-edged sword… and claim that some things are best left unknown… but I'm not among them." If given a choice, Leo would always want to know, every time, down to the dirtiest detail. "My own mother was a mystery to me, as well. She still is, in many ways."

Leo eyed her sideways, as if about to give some truly insightful philosophical remark. "What did you pack for lunch, love?"

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Eosi on March 11th, 2013, 7:04 pm

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Leo’s eyes were unfocused as he studied the map. It was obvious he had no idea what he was looking at. Eosi was compelled to grin; he was up the river without a sail. Truthfully, she’d learned how to read it well enough… So long as they didn’t make any abrupt turns, they’d arrive with ease. Still, she chose to let him twist for a bit longer. ”When you meet a talking map, let me know.” It was all she had to resist laughing. ”And as fond as I am of volcanoes, the idea of Cyphrus erupting strikes me as unpleasant. Everything in moderation.” She winked.

In many ways, Eosi felt exposed around the Champion. Her heart was all but beating in his grasp. His insights were appreciated, but at times startling and oddly specific. She’d attributed it to his gnosis in the beginning but with time, it was apparent there was more to it. He had this way of seeing to the heart of things, exposing a person’s true nature. It wasn’t persuasion - Leo didn’t seem interested in ingratiating himself to anyone, not in that way. It was something more, some sense of a person’s very essence… Potential, perhaps? His other mark? Eosi first stopped to consider the rational possibilities.

But what he said next was sobering. Eosi nodded gravely as their horses walked. ”Fitting,” she remarked, eyes far away. They were upon the gate already, slowing to a steady halt before the imposing Akalak guard. ”Good morning,” he said warily, eyeing the compass medallion rose at her breast. ”Hail,” she replied, producing her paperwork in a flash. ”I’ve been authorized by the Antiquities Society.” He scanned the letter and seal at the bottom, eyes narrow.

”Alright,” he agreed, still somewhat hesitant. The pair of them didn’t look like much. They weren’t heavily packed and neither seemed particularly war-like. Appearances could deceive. She glanced over to her love, a man who could single-handedly level a city if so inclined. He looked like an average traveler, perhaps a craftsman or the like. The faint trace of a smile tugged at her lips as they passed through. Her life hadn’t been so humorous, so sweet before she met Leo. That alone was enough.

”You’re very curious,” Eosi said simply. She’d learned that long ago. He didn’t have to wheedle for the truth. It was attracted by his very essence. ”I believe certain things are best left unknown.” She was very forbidding, in that sense. There were no hard and fast rules to morality, but she held strict standards nonetheless. ”The truth would have to come from her lips,” she added. It would be a violation of their relationship, otherwise. Her mother was dead but her soul lived on, kept by Dira. It wouldn’t be right.

”Did you? Ask about your Mother, I mean.” Now there was a delicate subject. Eosi kept an open heart but a silent tongue. She didn’t want to push Leo into anything. Whatever he chose to say, she’d listen. But quicker than a hummingbird, he was on a new topic.

”That’s for me to know and you to find out,” she replied coquettishly, sticking out her tongue. Leo and lunch went hand in hand. His temperature ran hot at a constant, so his body craved the energy. That was what she supposed, at any rate. Her specialty was causing injury, not curing it.

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Leo Varniak on March 12th, 2013, 11:10 pm

Leo also gave a secret smile as Eosi introduced them to the guards on duty at the gates. His was born out of the seriousness with which she stated their business; the way she mentioned the Antiquities Society, she might as well have said they were on a quest to save the world. There was no such thing as half-hearted attempts to Eosi. Leo thought the guard was slightly taken aback, as well. Certainly the regular members did not go around waving their symbol around like a badge of royalty. He said absolutely nothing, entirely content with her handling of the situation. He was coming to realize she was far better than he could ever be at taking care of their daily routine.

Outside the city, the atmosphere changed all of a sudden. People all around Mizahar were very familiar with the psychological shift from walls to no walls. It felt like the air itself had grown slightly sharper with the metallic scent of danger. This was the wilderness and anything could happen here. Leo was careful to match speed with Eosi so that neither one of them was left behind even for a second. Even without looking at her the entire time, he made sure he had her in his peripheral vision. His eyes were roaming, looking for burrowed enemies, or beasts in the grass. He covered his half of the panorama, trusting Eosi to watch hers just as carefully.

He turned his head only once, as she gave her opinions on secrets. He had seen this coming. Discipline defined Eosi Barlowe, and she would not disobey an order even if the superior who had issued it was long dead. "Her lips or Ivak's." The remark was only logical. The only other way a soldier could be freed from obedience to such an order was through another order from an even higher-ranked officer. Ivak would know something, Leo was sure. Whether he would tell her was another matter, though. He suspected the god would do so, but then again why hadn't he manifested to Eosi? Didn't she fit his worship like an old glove? Or was this another test on his part? The fire god knew of her. He had mentioned her in passing.

"I did ask about my parents," he nodded gently, "but it's complicated in my case. Apparently my chavi is very bright, which makes it very easy to locate once you've met me even briefly, but it's also very connected and there are all sorts of pathways leading to mortals and gods. It's not easy to investigate. Those powerful connections I've made tend to overshadow even my blood relations. The most interesting thing I found out is that I most likely have siblings somewhere in the world." His eyes narrowed, signaling a shift in mood. "Though certainly none as handsome as yours truly."

So she wouldn't tell him what she'd packed for lunch. Leo knew what he'd rather have in an ideal world, and only a very specific food could provide him with the nourishment he really wanted. But alas, this was not the time. "I just hope the grub is half as savory as the quartermaster." A short pause. "Also, in the event I develop a sudden temporary injury preventing me from feeding on my own, you will be all that stands between me and starvation. It is a grave responsibility, I know." And then: "I would do that for you, comrade Barlowe." Another pause. "Are we there yet?"

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Eosi on March 19th, 2013, 6:10 pm

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Leo concealed a smile as they passed through. ”Something funny?” Her tone was innocent enough, but her expression spoke otherwise. It was difficult to be serious when he was poking fun. ”I didn’t realize my rigid formality was so amusing.” Eosi fluttered her eyelashes. She was absolutely certain of how ridiculous she looked and she simply did not care. Life was less of a burden around him. The weight of responsibility could no longer hold her to the ground. Giddy, she spurred her mount into a trot, urging him to do the same.

With a sigh, the mental fist around her gnosis loosened its almighty grip. Being Invalti had a key advantage, especially in the wild. Eosi’s vision sprang outward, encompassing everything within a mile under the sun’s caress. It was always strange, adapting to seeing in multiple directions. Her mental sight came from above, yet her physical sight was directed in front. It had taken years of adjustment to ride and use her power at the same time. There’d been several times where she’d been swept clean by a low-hanging branch, all because she focused too keenly on one side of her vision.

”Do you know the nature of my mark?” Eosi asked conversationally. ”It greatly extends what I can see. I look through the sun's eyes.” With a gentle wave, she gestured ahead. ”Just off the road and slightly to the left, there’s a clearing where two young songbirds are competing for a female’s affection. They’re putting on a real show of it, too. Behind us, the guard appears to be nodding off in the new light. He’ll be relieved of duty soon, I’d imagine.” All of this was said without the minutest glance back. She grinned. ”I can be useful at times.” She had a talent for understatement.

”Yes,” she replied softly. Her lips or Ivaks. Leo was a quick study when it came to character. It was further evidence of his leadership. This was not an easy topic for her. Eosi sighed with gratitude when they shifted to more pleasant things. She feigned shock. ”Who could be more handsome than the great Leo Zaital?” With disapproval she shook her head, then laughed. ”Your chavi is bright, eh? I might have guessed. You are truly one of a kind.” Her hazel eyes radiated love. ”Do you wish to meet your siblings?” This was truly interesting. Did Leo guard his identity with jealousy? Or was it colored by his usual carefree ambivalence?

She watched with pointed amusement, saying nothing. His rambling was more than adorable. It was positively entertaining. ”No dear,” she said. ”Not yet.” There was more to come, she assumed. ”I sincerely hope all of our travels will be like this.” Her eyes seemed very slightly abstracted as she watched the sunny road ahead. It was a balancing act to keep tabs on their conversation, watch where she was riding and search for danger all around. Her bow hung heavier somehow at the thought. In the process of mounting, she’d slung it across her back.

”You’re very colorful when you want to be, you know that?”

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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Leo Varniak on March 21st, 2013, 11:05 pm

In truth, Leo was more than happy with Eosi's rigid formality. She never spoke in haughty or arrogant tones; it was more like she expected everyone to share her perfect awareness of where she stood and where she wanted to go. "That's fine," he said, stroking his chin both to hide his smile and come up with a proper reply. "You are very flexible where it counts, after all." And he would elaborate on the matter no more, instead laying his hands down to touch Ember's mane. Kavala had made it clear that subtler communication with the horse was preferable to using the reins most of the time. Simple pressure with one's legs could achieve pretty much the same results in a much more natural way. He pressed inwards to signal the need to pick up more speed and keep up with Ice's trot.

Ever the learner, he listened to the explanation of Invalti with near-undivided attention, only turning to check on his surroundings despite the presence of a portable watchtower riding by his side. It was quite amazing. Syna's gift may not be as flashy as Ivak's and indeed it served a very specific purpose, but its potential was immense. Her sight encompassed literally everything under the sun. "Impressive. You never needed a map... or me to begin with," he mused aloud, "except maybe in the event of a cloudy day." He suspected she really just wanted to catch him off guard with the map. Leo could be unwittingly comical when outside his element.

"So, around noon you may get a full bird's eye view of your surroundings, but as the sun sets your vantage point gets lower and lower, correct?" Just after dawn and before dusk, one could say her power was at its weakest, as even a row of trees would be able to block her vision... but on the other hand, because of the angle clouds would have the least impact around that hour of day. The implications were interesting. A part of Leo's curiosity stemmed from his desire to make the best of both their abilities and always know what was and wasn't within their possibilities.

But naturally, he was mostly just curious about Eosi in general.

Leo's expression turned neutral at the question about his siblings. He wasn't sure he knew the answer himself and it showed. "You know, I barely even got to talk to my father. The one chance I had, I didn't even know it was him. And I kept telling myself it'd be like meeting a perfect stranger, because we'd never spent any time together... but in a way I was wrong. Some things don't depend on distance, I guess. Perhaps it's the same with my siblings, if they are still alive." With Rhysol taking an active interest in exterminating the Zaital bloodline, there was no guarantee of that at all. "We are survivors. Righteous people, but not necessarily nice or colorful ones. You have a miraculous effect on me in that regard." He said it with a sense of wonder that reflected the truth of the matter. Eosi had a talent for bringing out the best in him from some nook of his heart that even he didn't know about. She truly gave him colors besides red and black.

"Our travels..." His voice trailed off. It still seemed unreal. It had been so sudden but all the pieces fit together so smoothly. "Where would you go if we had a choice, love?" The city shrank smaller and smaller behind them as they went. "Me, I'd love to travel to the moon and experience what it's like to see our world from there." It was one of Leo's secret flights of fantasy. Impossible, probably, but then again stranger things had happened. "Everywhere else is just so close to home." He showed a glimpse of teeth in a quick grin, wondering if Eosi would like to return to Denval to find out what had happened there... or maybe some other place had captured her heart with tantalizing stories and promises of greatness.

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Leo Varniak
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X never marks the spot [Eosi]

Postby Eosi on April 3rd, 2013, 9:46 pm

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My, he was getting bold. Eosi couldn’t resist smirking. His riding style piqued her interest, and she glanced over to get a better view. ”That’s interesting. I’d expect you to be using reins.” Communication was far easier with him. Normally she’d keep an observation like that to herself. ”Something you picked up along the way?” Her tone was light but transparent. She frowned down at the strap in her hands, suddenly feeling inadequate. ”Hmm,” she mused. Was it better to ride without them? Or was he just being eccentric?

”That’s a great observation,” she said, genuinely impressed. ”My power is dependent on the presence of the sun in the sky. Of course, you have prior experience with these sorts of things.” The smirk was quickly returning. ”You’re quite popular, after all.” Just as he’d said before, the gods favored him above others. He had a transcendent personality. Of course, she’d learned that simple fact the day she met him.

When it came down to his family though, Leo’s decisiveness faltered. He spoke of his Father with reverence, love and an acute stab of regret. His sincerity had a unique power to move her where so many others failed. ”I think you’re miraculous, all on your own. But perhaps in finding your siblings one day, you’d be content. Despite how we think of it, this quest does not have to end in death. If you carry on, this new goal might give you the strength.” It was nice to think of Leo amongst others like him, laughing and at ease. Eosi smiled, hoping for a place in that image one day.

”Where would I go?” That was a very interesting question. Eosi hadn’t attributed much thought to that in times passed. ”I was told as a young girl that there is a city made of glass… Sailors would bring word now and again. It’s supposedly high on a mountaintop, overlooking the world. I always wanted to see that place. It honestly sounds too good to be true.” She sighed, lost in memories of the past. ”It’s called Lhavit, the Diamond of Kalea and there they practice magic without being afraid.” It was like a mantra, almost. ”That and Skyinarta. I’d like to know if my Father is still alive… And if I have another family, somewhere.”

Somehow, she knew she did.

”Let’s live on the moon and breathe through our skin,” she concluded. Her face looked rather vulnerable in the rising light of the sun. ”We’ll watch Mizahar along with the stars.” Of course, Eosi had always secretly thought that way – if only to be closer to the sun. Suddenly feeling self-conscious, she cleared her throat and endeavored to ride further ahead. Her little lapse in restraint was embarrassing.

”I don’t think Ivak would be too pleased if we did that,” she murmured.

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Eosi
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