Closed ain't no sunshine.

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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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ain't no sunshine.

Postby Caelum on January 15th, 2014, 1:28 am

Caelum did growl at the sight of those rat bites. The sound leaked up from the back of his throat, edged with a viciousness Kavala perhaps had not yet had the opportunity to glimpse in him. It felt altogether too easy, slick as the scalpel's edge now in his hand; and the sunlight in his eyes darkened to eclipse.

It took no especial empathy to ascertain that in that moment there was little in the world this healer wanted to do more than slit Haev Provedan's throat. Even sense might not have saved the slaver from him had it not been for the power of ranuri coursing through him back at Rattling Chains, driving him to leave as Larik wanted to leave and to get Elise safe as she so needed to be made.

"Ten chimes," he echoed his friend and fellow healer, signalling that he heard her and understood.

Then he got to work. It was with terrifyingly complete focus that he sliced Elise's arm open halfway, and then all the way to the bone upon discovering infected tissue even that deep. He wielded his scalpel with enough ruthless talent to make an assassin pale as he carved the disease out of Elise's flesh, following the slender lines of her intial wound and widening the area until lost tissue could be discarded and pus could be lanced.

He worked quick, too, cognizant of the time they had to do this before drugs wore and the agony grew too much to sustain unconsciousness in their patient. He did not need to glance up to know what Kavala was doing, feeling it with every pulse of divine magic coursing through his system, both Rak'keli and Nikali working in him, through him, in exquisite harmony that would be lost on too many in this world.

Once the wound was lanced and debrided to his satisfaction, he doused it liberally with carbolic and began the manipulation of bone, having discovered a series of hair fractures spiderwebbing through her humerus all the way to the elbow joint where it appeared a ligament had been torn. A pair of tweezers was lifted blindly from the kit and he began to slow, delicate process of lifting bone splinters from swollen muscle tissue. Once he felt that he had unearthed all of them, he carefully manipulated the humerus into the proper joint placement.

His timing was impeccable as right about then Kavala arrived at his side and he gestured with one hand to the obvious need before him. With her two gnosis marks from Rak'keli, Kavala had the ability to heal the bone and seal up the surgical wound he had made. When Kavala nodded, he moved back to do a quick rinse of his hands in the basin and then move to the smooth stone counter where he began to pour the prepared medicine into a mug. Once he was satisfied with the dosage, having measured it both by eye and with a the appropriate tool, he tucked the mug right into Larik's waiting hands and returned to Elise while Kavala was finishing up.

"Alright," he murmured, waiting for his friend's nod before he lifted their patient and resettled her on her stomach, carefully adjusting her head at a comfortable angle. Lash marks stripped her narrow make, hissing his breath once more. The skin of his own back twitched in reflexive sympathy. It would probably have stunned Kavala and the other members of the Sanctuary, but Caelum knew very well, very up close and personally, what it was to be flogged, skin flayed within an inch of your life.

Not trusting himself to speak, he reached for a bit of muslin and his favorite, curved needle.
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The best way out is through.
 
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ain't no sunshine.

Postby Kavala on January 15th, 2014, 7:52 pm

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All Kavala could think of was that somewhere this girl had parents. Somewhere sometime someone had loved her and now she had been reduced to this. She took the limb gently from Caelum and began work on the bone, healing it from the inside out. Her auristics swung across the flesh, as Kavala poured djed into her vision and filtered for what she really wanted to see.. dead tissue, disease, and bone fragments. Caelum was good, far better than she would have expected. He hadn't left a single sliver of bone loose in her body and he'd definitely got all the proud flesh out of her wound. Kavala glanced up at him, respect in her eyes, and she bowed her head and finished the job. There was a sense of companionship working in a room with another gnosis marked healer. Their energies mingled with a contented hum of recognition as they focused on the one thing they really needed healed.

Kavala let Caelum turn the girl and there was indeed more damage. When he reached for his needle, Kavala stilled his hand once more. She pulled a fresh razor sharp scalpel from a wooden box filled with them neatly separated, and lined gestured to the whip marks, both old and new, even those infected. "We can't remove the scarring completely, Caelum, but we can minimize them." Kavala said, toeing over a stool and sitting down. It was evident she needed off her feet for a minute. "You'll need to do it. My hands are shaking again." The Konti was weaker than she liked to admit. The bulk of her stomach far too large for her to be comfortable and had Caelum known the date of her conception, far to long in time.

"You need to cut the scars out, especially the fresh ones and the big welts and the stripes where they have opened her up and left her to heal on her own. Cut all that tissue out. She doesn't need it and its superficial. We'll stretch the skin across and seal them up in thin lines. It will hurt like crazy when she wake up, but we can keep her drugged on pain killers safely until the skin grows and stretches to cover her back. She'll look a lot cleaner that way, healing with thin lines of discoloration... a hair width.. instead of those long ugly welts of ridges. She may not care but if she ever wants anyone to see her back naked, she might like to look like shes crisscrossed with tiny scratches and not big welts of whip marks."
Kavala said, knowing she could close up the girls back better after Caelum did his gruesome work.

Once she'd rested a chime, Kavala rose and began to work on the girls back legs, behind her knees, and her heels. She worked on the wounds on her buttocks and did any other sort of repair that was needed. It didn't take long. If Caelum was quick with the knife, as soon as he opened a strip of flesh and removed the scarring, Kavala was there closing it neatly. It would not bleed and it would be completely healed, but the pain would come from the missing skin and the feel of the girl's back stretched tight until the skin could expand and compensate with new growth.

The girl woke slowly, ever so slowly, but she was blinking just as the last wound was healed.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
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Kavala
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ain't no sunshine.

Postby Caelum on January 21st, 2014, 9:49 pm

"Stay seated," Caelum advised Kavala.

He listened to her advice regarding Elise's lash marks. It was rolled around in his head for a short while. It certainly wasn't the first time he had heard of such a procedure, nor would it be the first time he had done a thing like it. Not the same, but close; and that had been a with a Priest of Rak'keli at hand.

That, like many things, was another story, for another day.

Ultimately, he nodded and selected the appropriate blade from the array. He weighed it briefly in his hand and rubbed his thumb along the seam in the handle while eyeing Elise's back. He visually mapped the path of his progress over her skin before bending over her to proceed.

It was a gruesome task. He slit along the edges of scar tissue and snipped beneath them, ignoring the slow rise of blood and ever so careful of the pathways that nerves tangled down a human spine. It was more than mere medicine; it was art. His focus was exceptional. He had sunk into himself, deep through the constant thrum of divine power that wove with Kavala's and through the velvet lined walls of ranuri's preferred passageways. He leveled himself beyond there, allowing his past experience to inform his present occupation in no less than two life times worth of memory.

His blade skated around nerves and avoided slicing through the membranes of muscle as he lifted history from Elise's back with razor sharp steel, ultimately discarding the gore dripping lengths of flesh into a bowl someone, doubtless Larik, had provided at his elbow. As he worked, he watched the bloody strips he had drawn through the girl's back disappear beneath the passage of Kavala's hand. He was grateful for that blessing, because without it he never would have agreed to undertake this particular procedure. Caelum did not understand why Rak'keli had chosen to limit him to the power of a single mark from her domain, but that had never stopped him from trying to heal anyone. Or anything. It just meant that his skills regarding more earthly procedures in medicine and herbalism had consequentially been pushed higher and higher in result.

Not a man unwilling to question a goddess, but there was a time and place for everything. He had learned with his fall to rely fully upon the divinity of no one in the patheon.

By the time the final pound of flesh was splattered into the bowl, Elise was waking. Kavala healed the last of those wouds swiftly and Caelum grabbed the damp towel offered him by the kelvic to wipe excess blood and fluids from his hands. He sank down, crouching like a corbie by Elise's head as her eyelashes fluttered open in revelation of clouded, dark blue eyes.

"Hi," he said, pitching his voice low mellow and a summer sun. He had heard of medicine in music, in stories and timbres and tunes. He tried for a little bit of it here. He chose the Common language, figuring what with Elise hailing from Ravok that was the most likely one for her to know. "You're safe. It hurts, I know, and I'm sorry. But we're trying to help you."

Elise stared at him with pain and panic in her eyes, swallowing thickly, and a slow tremble began to work up through her limbs like a fever.

"We need to get you in the bath," Caelum murmured, and glanced at Kavala before unwinding to his feet.
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ain't no sunshine.

Postby Kavala on February 6th, 2014, 6:51 pm

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Kavala gratefully took a seat as Caelum worked. She stretched out her long legs in front of her and leaned back, easing the burden in her middle and placing her weight on a new spot – the small of her back – as she reclined in the chair. She watched Caelum with troubled eyes, a hand soothing over her overdue stomach. There was an artistry watching the beautiful eth pull a blade out and slice up the woman’s skin. Her eyes roamed down Caelum’s arm to where his strong corded hand wrapped around the blade and inserted it oh so delicately into the woman’s back. A warmth flooded Kavala’s features and she tamped it down immediately, not letting it be welcome in this place or time. The woman under Caelum’s knife had suffered. And while Caelum was practicing his art and mastery of medicine on her, she was not enjoying it.

Kavala glanced away, thought of the cold weather outside and how brisk the wind was. She thought of the ugliness that must have happened when the woman’s scars got inflicted. She thought of dogs, cats, horses that would foal out next season… and she counted the scales on her right hand. Caelum was right to set her down and aside – and she hoped for all that was sacred she was too far away from for his Ranuri to distract him with Kavala’s secret shame.

Still, the Konti couldn’t help it. Her eyes traced back up to the service Caelum was performing and watched once more. He had an elegant hand. The strips of grisly flesh he was removing was minimal and in the long run would do the woman better to have a back full of sensitive undamaged skin rather than big ugly strips of scar tissue that gave her no feeling.

The Konti’s scaled hand reached up, dragged through her hair – even bloody as it was – and she struggled to her feet to go wash her hands. Then she pulled the translucent lengths of her hair back into a pony and wiped her face with a thick fluffy towel. She picked up another, moved to Caelum’s side – her eyes avoiding what his hands were doing – and reached up to wipe the thin sheen of sweat at his brow as well. “Stop scowling like your going to explode in rage on her. If she wakes up, which she will soon, and see you looking like a thunderstorm rolling in from across The Sea of Grass, you’ll scare the life out of her. And that intense expression while wielding a knife on her back is doing bad things to me too. Smile Caelum. For the love of Nysel, please.” Kavala said with an amused smile, then stepped back giving him space. Her need in that moment was for Caelum to relax. And though he might pick up on it immediately, it was a carefully schooled need one born of the necessity of distraction and nothing else.

Kavala really did want Caelum to relax, but what she wanted worse was something far more unthinkable.

It was time for Kavala to work, and she laid her hands on the woman’s back and slid them from her shoulders to her hips, much like a lover would. Cool power flowed through the Konti causing her to sigh in pleasure as the skin Caelum carefully carved sealed together and rewove for the woman a back that was more acceptable. Kavala didn’t neglect the muscles under and encasing her ribs either. She hunted out every bruise, every strain, and every stress fracture.

Overall though, she wasn’t in bad shape. “I bet they were going to sell her for pleasure or as a breeder. She isn’t in bad shape physically. As far as I can tell her joints are all solid, well functioning, and her overall physical abuse has been minimum. Mentally, we won’t know until she wakes. Gods, Caelum, I’m going to be sick if I find out Have is importing human women as slaves to Riverfall and the Akalak are actually buying them. The Nakivak system is at least on the surface honorable. But this… would she have ever seen the light of day or got the freedoms a bracelet would allow? Or is there a darker side to Riverfall we don’t know about?” Kavala asked suddenly, glancing up to meet her friend’s glittering eyes.

Then she stepped back because Caelum had dropped into a chair at the woman’s head. He spoke and the slave blinked, then Caelum started to move.

Kavala put a hand on his shoulder, holding him to his seat for a moment. Fast movements and tall beautiful men suddenly materializing in front of scared withdrawn women weren’t a good thing. Kavala made sure she moved, dropped down on her heels, and positioned herself where the young woman could see her. She gave Caelum a quick look and the began to speak.

“You don’t have to say anything right now. But please listen. We are healers. Caelum here went and did some work for your master. Your master paid him for his work by giving you to Caelum. The slavers who owned you felt you were going to die because you were so sick and they had no means to make that right. You had a wound in your arm that was septic – gone bad and was poisoning you. We fixed that. We also cleaned up your back and the rest of you that had wounds or scars. You are going to live and you will feel better in a few days. You will not be required to work at all doing anything at all until you are fully recovered. Take as much time as you need to recover. You must eat and drink everything we give you as you recover. What we give you will help speed your recovery.” Kavala’s voice was slow spoken, clinical, and without issue.

“Caelum is your new master. This situation can and most likely change, but not before he says so and not before you accept those changes. You will ask him permission before you do anything and you will … and if you do not there will be trouble... you will go to him with all your needs. He is to be told immediately if you are cold, hungry, or in pain or in need of anything. You will not be harmed or used for anything including work or pleasure, while you recover. There is no set timeframe for your recovery. You and Caelum together decide that. He’s going to pick you up and put you in a bath. You are in dire need of one. And we are going to treat you for several things, first and foremost we’re going to get rid of the infestation in your hair. Nod if you understand?” Kavala said, finishing off her gentle but firm lecture that set the boundaries for Elise’s existence for the next few days.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
User avatar
Kavala
I am more than the sum of my parts.
 
Posts: 3022
Words: 3290117
Joined roleplay: October 25th, 2009, 1:46 am
Location: Riverfall
Race: Konti
Character sheet
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Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 19
Featured Thread (1) Trailblazer (2)
Overlored (1) Master Merchant (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

ain't no sunshine.

Postby Caelum on June 19th, 2014, 4:15 pm

A sigh left him when Kavala wiped the sheen of sweat from his brow. Her desires unraveled like a satin ribbon through the core of him, penetrating the thick haze of concentration that had enveloped him as he worked. Little by little, the scowl on his face relaxed and fell away, encouraged not just by his friend's reminder but also by her need. Without thinking about it, Caelum turned his head toward Kavala and ducked his chin. His nose brushed her temple and he inhaled the scent of her hair, nuzzling as he came back to himself and redefined the borders of his mind -- his needs, his patient's needs, Kavala's needs.

"Relaxing," he promised.

Blinking, he lifted his head and began to clean off his hands with the damp cloth and basin that Larik wordlessly provided. The kelvic eagle made a good physician's assistant though it wasn't his forte. Caelum sensed that Larik really wished to remain because he felt tied now, to him and to Elise, haunted by the echoes of his and his sister's pasts.

Caelum watched Kavala channel Rak'keli's divine energy and in his mind's eye he imagined he could actually see where Kavala's healing powers mingled with his own that remained layered over Elise like a thin, pliable sheet of amber colored glass. Years ago Hadrian Aelius had attempted to teach him a small thing or two about the magic of auristics, but Caelum had not had the either the discipline or the emotional capacity at the time to learn magic. He still disliked magic, though he typically made an exception for that of the divine; but he could work it all the same. Soon, he knew, it would be time for him to pay attention his projection magic so as to use it in tandem with his growing skills in unarmed combat.

But not now.

Without thinking about it, Caelum scowled again. "Kavala, there were primarily women at Rattling Chains and they were all of breeding age or shortly to obtain it. Why in the name of Kihala would Haev Provedan purchase so many girls from Ravok if not to sell them to the city? Where are they going if not to the Akalaks? And what are the Akalaks doing with them if not using them for breeding purposes? I pray to Nikali that these women are at least being granted the rights and comforts of official Nakivak status, but I've seen too damn much not to doubt it. Not across the board. Of course there's a dark side to Riverfall, and we do know about it. Everyone knows about it. It's just a matter of how many choose to look away and live in happy fucking ignorance."

Having managed to work himself back up into a fury, Caelum closed his eyes and forcibly willed himself calm. His long practice of meditation aided him in this regard, and by the time Elise was opening her eyes he was able to speak to her in a calm and reassuring manner. When Kavala gestured him back, he shot her a confused look but remained seated as bid, leaning back so that Kavala could sink down and speak her piece to Elise.

He fought to keep himself from frowning, an automatic reaction to some of what Kavala was implying with Elise; but he knew his friend was right. With effort, he put a smile back on his face and unraveled to his feet..

"I understand," Elise whispered, voice husky and accented with the chill of the north. "Yes, mistress." She swallowed and watched as Caelum bent down. "Yes, master."

"Caelum, please," he corrected her quietly. "Call me Caelum."

Elise was gathered carefully against his chest and the young woman winced and squeezed her eyes shut, but she failed to make a sound. It was a short walk to the waiting bathtub where Caelum lowered his patient into the warm water. Elise remained silent and weakly attempted to reach for the soap, but Caelum dropped to a seat on a three legged stool and lifted the soap first. This he tossed lightly to Kavala so that she could work on Elise's limbs while he went to work on Elise's hair.
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Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
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Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
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ain't no sunshine.

Postby Tribal on August 16th, 2015, 5:42 am

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G R A D E S

Caelum

Experience

  • Body Building: 2
  • Endurance: 1
  • Observation: 3
  • Socialisation: 2
  • Riding: Horse: 1
  • Medicine: 1
  • Cleaning: 1
  • Logic: 1
  • Intelligence: 1
  • Drawing: 1
  • Meditation: 1

Lore

  • Location: Rattling Chains
  • Location: The Sanctuary
  • Observation: The smell of sycamore and birch wood
  • Social gestures work just as well as words sometimes
  • Vanator: Was once a Zith slave
  • The Sanctuary: A peaceful place to die
  • Medicine: Human female anatomy
  • Haev Provedan: The Slaver
  • Observation: The look of a dying girl
  • Observation: The smell of a septic wound
  • Mathematics: Time keeping
  • Medicine: Mending hairline fractures
  • Elise: No longer a slave
  • Sewing up open wounds


Kavala

Experience

  • Endurance: 1
  • Meditation: 2
  • Philosophy: 1
  • Logic: 2
  • Leadership: 2
  • Persuasion: 1
  • Organisation: 2
  • Planning: 1
  • Intelligence: 1
  • Mathematics: 1
  • Auristics: 2
  • Cleaning: 1

Lore

  • Observation: A sixth sense
  • Ink: The Imperial Watcher
  • Indigo: The Imperial Watcher
  • Medicine: Insomnia caused by pregnancy
  • Vanator: A man heavy with guilt
  • The Sanctuary: A peaceful place to die
  • Haev Provedan: The Slaver
  • The Rattling Chains: A living nightmare
  • Kavala: A long pregnancy
  • Elise: No longer a slave
  • Caelum: Masterful with a blade
  • Riverfall: A city with a dark underbelly

Notes: Woo! That one took a while, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I thought this was a great story with some really beautiful pieces of text hidden away for the reader to find. Enjoy the grades and please feel free to get in touch via PM if you feel I have overlooked anything.
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Tribal
Lost in the Tall Grass
 
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