[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Kavala goes missing and the whole of the Sanctuary springs into action.

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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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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Sybel on December 11th, 2013, 3:51 pm

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10th Day of Winter, 513 AV

Sybel sighed dreamily, looking to Syna as she slowly ascended the sky. It was newly daybreak and she’d awoken to a blanket of snow, glistening in the newborn light. She relished the moment, feeling safe within the walls of the Sanctuary, purposeful as she assessed at a glance which areas would need shoveling and which would not. The woman stretched and then slowly turned, readying to go wake her fiancée and then check on Kavala; perhaps she’d bring something for her to gnaw on. The Konti had been mysteriously losing weight, though she’d never admit it.

It didn’t take much to stir Vanator from his sleep, at least not where she was concerned. ”It snowed overnight,” she whispered at his ear, kissing at the exposed flesh there, lavishing in its scent and warmth. ”You should take a look.” With a girlish giggle, she kissed him again, this time on the lips, no doubt waking him from his stupor. But before he could think to wrestle her back into bed, she danced just out of reach. ”I’m going to check on Kavala,” she explained with a wink. ”I think she’d like to see it, too.”

She lingered for whatever dialogue was to follow before sauntering off, skipping down the halls of the Within until she reached the woman’s chamber. As far as she knew, Riaris hadn’t stayed the night, though no doubt she’d be expecting him soon. Sybel rapped lightly on the door, pausing for a few moments. Kavala normally rose early, but the pregnancy had been wearing her out. After a chime or so of no reply, she knocked again, this time more insistently.

Something was not right. Usually she’d make some smart remark, or tell her to come in. The silence worried at her nerves. Sybel knocked one last time, hammering on the door. ”Kavala? Are you alright? It snowed last night–“ she opened the door as she spoke, readying herself for whatever consequences were to follow. But rather than seeing Riaris’ naked purple bum, she saw something far worse. Her heart dropped to the floor and shattered.

An empty bed. She wasn’t there.

For a moment, her mind went black and her body took over, carrying her just across the threshold. Was there a note? Had she gone out to enjoy the weather? What had happened? The Benshira scanned the furniture, until she found Cadra, who was still sleeping at the foot of the bed, half-concealed by the tangle of sheets that the Konti had left.

”Cadra!” She cried. ”Wake up!”

The cat slowly opened its set of lantern eyes, stretching languidly as cats are wont to do. ”Kavala is gone,” Sybel explained, fighting the urge to shake the Kelvic. ”Did you see where she went?” In a whorl of light, Cadra shifted into her human form, still stretching and naked as the day of her birth. ”Gone?” She finally took a moment to glance around. ”What do you mean? When I fell asleep, she was right here…”

Her eyes suddenly grew wide. ”Go wake Caelum,” Sybel said at once, in a tone that brokered no argument. ”Now.” Cadra nodded in assent. ”Have Larik go fly around, see what he can find.”

They immediately parted ways, Sybel nearly breaking into a run on her way back to the bedroom. It was all she had not to throw the door open. ”Vanator,” she said, her voice strained. ”She’s gone. Kavala is gone.”
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Caelum on December 11th, 2013, 4:29 pm

The possible delight there might have been to experience a beautiful, naked Cadra literally pouncing on him in bed was vanquished before it could even begin. The kelvic cat’s needs splashed over Caelum even as he was surfacing from sleep, yanking him so swiftly to the surface of wakefulness that when combined with the fact of Syna’s rising he was severely disoriented. Blankets puddled into his lap even as the transformation accosted the night-walking Drykas, kidnapping him away with the inevitable transformation into the sun slathered ethaefal.

By the time Caelum was blinking stunned, golden eyes at Cadra, the cat was staring back at him equally as wide-eyed from where she crouched at the foot of his bed.

“You need me to find Kavala,” Caelum verbalized what Nikali’s gnosis mark was telling him. Even as he spoke, Cadra’s desperation was driving him out of bed. He flung back the covers and rose to his feet.

“It’s snowing!” Cadra hastily told him, scrambling to her feet on top of his bed, glossy auburn hair spilling down her body.

Caelum nodded and reached for cold weather clothing and began pulling it on.

“She’s missing!” The cat added and hopped down to the floor. “I have to go –“

“Tell Larik,” Caelum finished for her, curving around to face her while fastening his pants. “Tell him to fly to the beach and see if there are tracks or if the boat’s missing. She probably went into the water. Go, sweeting. Quickly.”

Cadra vanished out the door and Caelum hastily finished getting dressed. He was stomping into his boots while turning a corner in the hall to discover Sybel en route for the room she and Vanator shared. Swiftly deducing that the Benshiran already knew, he called, “I’m going to the healing clinic to throw together some supplies. I’ll meet you in the courtyard, yes?”
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Vanator on December 11th, 2013, 6:23 pm

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Vanator did indeed suspect Sybel of waking him for more amorous purposes, such was the ardent manner in which the Benshiran awoke husband to be. But no such luck. Snow? Snow meant shoveling pathways, clearing doors, cold feet. All the more reason to snag the woman and drag her back beneath the blankets. But the younger woman deftly avoided the strong hand that reached to seize her thigh. His plan foiled, Vanator flopped back onto the bed.

"Alright, let me get dressed and I will meet you up top. Just be ready for the snowball whooping of your life, desert girl." The Drykas teased, showing no actual inclination to rise from their bed. Sybel flitted off, as giddy as a yearling. Van rose from the bed, slipping into his wool pants and a long-sleeve green wool shirt. Vanator thought he heard a ruckus out in the hall as he shoved his feet into his riding boots. Suddenly the door flew open and an out-of-breath Sybel charged in.

"What do you mean, gone?"
Vanator looked up at Sybel perplexed. "There are at least two dozen places she could be within these walls alone. She is probably in the kitchen, or more likely in the privy, I swear that baby has been kneeling on her bladder for a who season. The library, the Circle, the barns, the clinic...we just need to get everyone up, she is around somewhere."

Vanator did not appear alarmed, and for the most part he wasn't. It was true, his sister could be anywhere in the facility. But Van was a bit concerned. Kavala was late in her pregnancy, her ability to get around hindered by her large, round tummy. Van was more concerned Kavala was up doing chores that he had forbid her to perform, for her own health and the babies.

Seizing his cloak from a peg and snatching up his wool gloves, Van turned Sybel around by the shoulders. "Come on, lets go find her, she has to be around here somewhere."
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Faryon Whiteflower on December 12th, 2013, 8:04 am

It was hard to sleep in some when noises of running feet and what could have only been a serious conversation that elevated due to the echoing of the tunnels. Down underground it was still hard for Faryon to determine what time it was exactly, before she had the grace of Syna's rays awaken her each morning. Now only her internal alarm clock truly knew and right now it was saying it was too early.

The young Drykas attempted to get dress and do something sensible with her long kohl shade hair but just wasn't going to happen half asleep. She fumbled with her newly purchased winter clothes and was pretty sure her bun was crooked. Finally getting on her riding boots after the fourth attempt of trying to stick her feet in the holes, Faryon was dressed and ready to find out what was all the commotion.

By the time the teen had gotten dress and what not, the loud noises had dissipated. However a sense of something wrong seemed to linger the hallways and it urged Faryon to quickly find someone to find out what this dread was. Now fully awake, the Drykas rushed through the library, and straight on to the kitchen, only briefly glancing around to see if anyone might be eating breakfast. No such luck, and continued onwards to the tunnel that lead up top.

It was bright and white everywhere, apparently a decent amount of snow had fallen last night and didn't look like it had any intentions of melting anytime soon. Faryon was definitely wishing she had grabbed her cloak as well but right now she didn't have the time to go back to her room.

"I should check the healing clinic, there is always someone in there." Faryon huffed to herself.

The clinic was right next to the tunnel and she quickly made a beeline for it. Please Rak'keli, let someone be in here!
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Sybel on December 12th, 2013, 3:29 pm

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She breezed by Caelum in the hall, who was already dressed and en route to the Clinic. ”Right,” she called back, glad for the Ethaefal’s innate ability to manage crisis. Healers were wonderful, wonderful people. But upon arrival at the bedroom, Vanator didn’t seem as concerned as everyone else was. In a way, she was secretly grateful. The woman wanted nothing more than to think he was right and that she was simply overreacting. There was just something amiss, something deep in her gut.

She allowed him to turn her at the shoulders, as if to march her out the door. The woman was a little irritated by Vanator’s inadvertent patronizing. In a sinuous motion, she slipped out of his grasp. ”Stop that.” She said seriously, casting a penetrating look in his direction before stalking out the door. ”We’re meeting Caelum at the Healing Clinic,” she continued, inclining her head in that direction. ”From there, we’ll decide where to look.”

It was hard not to think the reason she’d never wanted to be married in the first place was the male inclination to minimize. Because she had a more extreme reaction to the situation than he would have, it was all too easy for him to dismiss her, even if subliminally he too sensed something wasn’t right. Still, it was in the nature of men. Perhaps next time, she would only wake him after she’d determined with absolute certainty that Kavala wasn’t just taking a leak.

Her irritation was manifest in her expression, but it wasn’t overt. She simply strode along with a businesslike façade, attempting to get a hold of herself. It would be wrong to think of herself in a situation that was clearly about the wellbeing of another. If it still bothered her later on, perhaps it’d be something to consider. But not now.

As soon as they got to the clinic, she spotted the young Drykas healer that’d joined them last season. ”Faryon,” she called out. ”We’re having a bit of trouble finding Kavala this morning. You wouldn’t have happened to see where she went?”
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Caelum on December 15th, 2013, 10:08 pm

Inside of the healing clinic, Caelum removed a careful assortment of jars, vials, packets, and tools from the the clean shelves to stack them inside of the leather line pockets of his bag. It was more than was likely to be necessary in many of the possible scenarios, but Caelum had learned from a long series of difficult years that it was better to be over-prepared and seem the paranoid fool than under-prepared and therefore ill equipped to tend to the wounds of a ravaged world.

His boots thudded against the floor as he stepped out of the supply room and shouldered the bag. The worn collar of his leather jacket was turned up and he cast a slanting glass down the empty hall, wondering at the echoes of emptiness that dusted his awareness. Kavala was not here.

Of course, Caelum's initial reaction had been based off the extreme pull of Cadra's need; but as he stood alone in the early morning silence, the grace of his first goddess soft on his face, he wondered if the cat had not been right. The konti sought the sea out of natural instinct when going into labor. The fact of this had been a source of worry for Kavala for some time and Caelum had been sweating it himself. He had determined that he would stop her, and he had been vigilant in his watch.

But of course it had happened in the night and in the settle of snow, when Caelum slept hard and deep from a long, laborious day. Now she was alone and probably giving birth deep within the first womb of the world and though there was a certain poetry to it there was little comfort for a man who was experiencing the slipping of another life out through his fingers, running from him like the wind.

In short order, he pushed open the door to the healing clinic and spilled back out into the day, squinting against the glare of all the snow and changing his course to approach the others.
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Vanator on January 2nd, 2014, 2:32 pm

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Vanator had made the mistake of responding to Sybel's concerns in the same manner he would Larik or Cadra, or the other staff that he often 'fathered', with attempts to allay fears by adopting an ''everything is going to be okay' attitude. His Benshiran fiance was not a worrisome soul to be placated. Sybel was fiery, independent and when she had a gut feeling, Van had better take heed.

After Sybel's sharp retort and menacing glance, Vanator stepped back with a furrowed brow, hands raised in apology. Edged words lingered on his lips, ready in defense of his pricked pride. but the urgency in Sybel's voice regarding Kavala spurred his deeper sensibilities and he held his tongue, instead strapping on his dagger belt and shoving a hand ax through it as he accompanied the raven-haired trader into the hall without a retort.

Caelum appeared, also hastily moving through the hall and passing them as he let them know he would be at the clinic. The young Whiteflower entered the corridor as well as they all made their way topside, peering down halls and into rooms as they went. The three stalked into the snow-blanketed courtyard, squinting as morning sun reflected from its crystalline surface. Overhead, Larik screeched as he soared towards the beach.

They turned towards the clinic when Chalce appeared around the corner, a basket of meat scraps for the falcon mews in hand. "Chalce, have you seen Kavala?" The intartan woman shook her head, eyes widened in wonder at the sobriety in the Ankal's voice. "We can't find her, look around the mews and kennels, would you, and stop at the barns and tell Aweston to look as well." With her instructions, the broody ginger hurried off.

A clatter of the clinic door announced Caelum's entrance to the courtyard, supplies in hand. "Has anyone seen anything, or remember her saying anything that might give us a direction?" Sybel's concern, shared by Caelum and Faryon, had spread to Vanator, who now worried for his very pregnant sister, his apprehension now audible in his tone.
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Faryon Whiteflower on January 8th, 2014, 3:39 pm

Faryon was stopped mid run by a voice, that broke the silence that the snow had created throughout the compound. The teen said a quick silent thanks to Rak'keli for answering her plea so quickly. Turning towards the voice, the teen recognized it as Sybel. She haven't gotten much of a chance to get to know the beautiful Benshira yet but she did know that she was Vanator's fiancé and despite this wasn't very fluent in Pavi. So the Drykas had to search through her limited Common to find the right words.

"No, yesterday was the last." Faryon replied with a swift shake of her head as to confirm it. "Is that what's wrong? I just woke because of lots of noise." The girl hoped she had said everything right. If Kavala was missing, language barrier was not exactly what everyone needed.

The girl waited for Sybel's reply, chewing on her lip in worry. She tried to think of where Kavala could have possibly gone off to, especially on such a cold day and how enormous she had grown. Not that she would have ever said anything in front of the pale lady.

Faryon wasn't exactly a midwife but Kavala had told her when she first arrived that Konti were at danger when pregnant and about to give birth, that the sea calls to them. She wonder if that's what had happened, Laviku had call her to his depths. Over the season, the Drykas had become to regard the Konti woman highly and look up to her, even possibly as a motherly figure.

The teen was just about to voice how can she help when Caelum came swiftly through the clinic doors and soon was followed by Vanator. Worry and concern laced the Armsmaster's words and question. It was an odd thing to hear but not completely as she dwelled on it for a few ticks more.

Switching back to her native and more comfortable language she voiced what Kavala had mentioned about the sea calling to pregnant Kontis.
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Sybel on January 9th, 2014, 1:51 pm

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So Faryon hadn’t seen her either. Sybel flexed her jaw in frustration. This did not bode well. Vanator seemed to have fallen in line as well, as he and Caelum both arrived. She felt sudden guilt for chastising him. Sybel wanted to apologize but now was not the time; it seemed Faryon had something to say. The girl started speaking quickly, half in verse, half in gesture. Her first language was Pavi, so this was not the first time she’d seen her switch so fluidly.

As she listened, she picked up snatches here and there, single words without context. But Sybel didn’t need any context. ’Sea,’ Faryon had said. Her eyes met Caelum’s. ”Can you sail the catamaran?” Oh gods, sea travel. This was not how she envisioned her day. ”Because I’m have a feeling we’ll need it.”

She had never seen Caelum sail before but she was relatively certain Vanator couldn’t either. This was going to be a fun. ”We ought to grab whatever is needed.” She gave the girl opposite a reassuring smile. ”Thank you,” she added, moving to help people with whatever before they all went out to the dock, for good or ill.

So, was she on Reverie Island then? Kavala would likely wish to be somewhere familiar without being home. But that was only a guess, and furthermore, what is she was simply in the midst of the ocean floating about? Sybel normally did not worry so much, but this was serious. If she were trying to give birth on her own and complications arose, then the Konti would be in trouble. What was she thinking?

Feeling slightly nauseous, she grabbed whatever she was able and followed the group outdoors.
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[The Sanctuary] The Eye of the Storm

Postby Caelum on January 12th, 2014, 6:33 pm

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Providence was upon them, Caelum realized, because Reverie Island was only a mile off shore. It was a short distance, one that was easily capable of being swam by a competent swimmer insolong as the tides were not in the dangerous heat of storms. The fact of the matter was that Caelum not only wasn't a competent swimmer, but he also needed to be able to haul medical supplies; and he was not at all foolish enough to imagine that Vanator, Sybel, and Faryon wouldn't be needed.

A decade previous Caelum had been fished out of the waters off the coast of Black Rock by a pirate named Nel Sayo. He had proceeded to spent the following pair of years off and on the Bright-Eyed Mariner as they traveled the known world. In fact, he had caught passage upon it, beneath the same captaincy, en route to Riverfall last summer. It was one of many quietly pocketed secrets Caelum kept to himself, far too many tangles and shadows in even his short years back on Mizahar, let alone in his lives previous.

Of course, he not been aboard ship as a crew member in nearly eight years; and when he had been a member of the crew, his primary role had little to do with the actual running of the vessel. He was then as he is now -- a healer. Of course, he had picked up some sailing skill, impossible to avoid so altogether and no hand on board was ever wasted. But again it had been a very long time.

Having collectively decided that Kavala had most likely taken to the water, their destination was Reverie Island, the small semi-tropical bit of land a mile off the Sanctuary beach. Caelum sent Faryon into the healing clinic for the second bag of medical supplies and various articles taken from the clinic cupboards while sending Sybel back into the Within to load up on some very specific food stuffs, et cetera. There was likely to be a decent stock of supplies aboard the Dreamcatcher, but the ethaefal was not going to take any chances. Vanator he enlisted to head straight to the dock with him whereupon he showed Vanator how to do a check of the ship.

They began at the hull, checking to assure that lines were secured and that there was no scratching or damaging undergone while the catamaran had been moored. The purpose was to work their way down the length of the thirty foot boot all the way aft to ascertain that everything was as it should be: that the fresh water tank was full and uncompromised, the anchor lines were firmly wrapped, and everything from the gallery to the spare berth was undisturbed and still in the pristine condition it ought to have been left in. Caelum checked the sails himself and by the time he was finished, the others had arrived and were boarding.

"Store the supplies below," he instructed Sybel and Faryon. He tilted his head at Vanator and beckoned him over to the tiller. "Hold this steady," he instructed, one hand chopping to the left. "Port side --" And then he gestured to the right. "Starboard. Don't let the starboard go at angle to that strand of rocks. I have to give us a good launch else we'll heel about." He nodded his head down the shorline and then hopped back on deck to loosen the lines. Tossing them in, he moved to the stern, noted Vanator's steady hand on the tiller, and then bent down to give the boat a strong, forcible heave.

Quick as anything, he unraveled to his feet, chasing the boat down the short dock so he could take the quick jump back aboard as they skidded out into the water, tugged by the tide.

"These catamarans are disgustingly easily maneuver," he muttered to whoever happened to be listening, casting an eye up to the main jib as it rattled eagerly. "Which makes them altogether too easy to oversteer, but they have little drag. With any luck, we'll get there fast."

Unfortunately, "fast" was a relative term when it came to an only somewhat skilled sailor who hadn't actually sailed anything in years upon years. What ought to have been a quick, pleasure cruise stretched into three hours of cursing and dark glowers from the otherwise imminently capable ethaefal. At long last, they pulled a bit roughly dockside on Reverie Island and Caelum swung himself out to tie the lines back up.
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