Closed nature boy.

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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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nature boy.

Postby Yra on August 7th, 2014, 7:21 am

67th of Summer, 514 AV.

"Go, get out," Calin's voice was sharp, as it always was, but incredibly terse. For the first time in the short amount that they'd known each other, the one man that Yra would consider an actual father was telling her to leave... and she was inclined to listen. However, the eyes of the Ethaefal were accusing and dour, blaming him as much for their predicament as he had blamed her. Between the two of them, it was easy to see where they did not get along. She was golden sunbeam strung into the fragile skin of a woman, the dusk and dawn lit in her features. He was the moonlit waters of the sea, stormy and fierce. They were unmatched.

She was loathe to consider him a father figure, but he was the only one she had, aside from that cold sliver of light in the night sky.

And he loathed her.

"Fine." Her words were snapped. She turned from him and the work she had ruined of his. Honestly, he was justified in his wrath: he'd been trying to fix a sail for days, and she'd endlessly and tirelessly questioned him about it. Of course, with his sister often in the city, she was left with little to do aside from talk to Calin, who refused to use Common and rather forced her to convey herself in Fratava, in which he took the opportunity to correct her on this word or that syllable.

They were both so frustrating to each other.

Without further pomp, she removed herself from the ship and his presence, boarding the docks without a backwards glance, but only after taking up the violin Eilin had left her. She might make some coin in the city while she was at it. People seemed to appreciate pretty buskers.

Calin returned to his work, much more relieved without the Ethaefal there. As she left him behind, she assumed it was because she sought the proper way to respond to things too many times. It was probably because she looked the way she did but she acted like she didn't know what she was doing, and to an extent, she was acting. She knew the world on an instinctive level. She wanted to understand it, though.

As the Ethaefal walked, seeking somewhere to sit down and play, she considered the storefronts looking down upon her. Few seemed welcoming, although all were beautiful. She simply noticed the looming darkness in their hearts too much, and Yra was nothing less than a child of the sun. There was only one that she encountered on this sojourn that caught her attention, earning pause.

The store was warmth. It was natural and beautiful. It immediately spoke to Yra, and she immediately wanted to enter it.

The outside was remarkable, certainly, but it was nothing compared to the inside, where the world spoke of the earth's warmth and bounty in such a way that Yra immediately envied whomever had known the dirt so well. It spoke to her of summer sunlight dappling the water, of earthy sunsets, and it smelled... beautiful. She found herself enraptured by the gold, the copper, the earthy texture and tone of everything, and she was glad. Glad enough to completely ignore the girl who spoke to her from the bar, instead stepping further inside regardless of customers.
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nature boy.

Postby Caelum on August 8th, 2014, 11:32 pm

An ethaefal’s chavi was inevitably complicated.

Defined by their long series of lives in accumulation toward ascendant goals, the ethaefal could not help but form incredibly intricate weaves of color and light to float within the Chavena between the Ukalas and the world to which they so often fell. Once fallen, they remained far from mortal. They were spirits given flesh and while that flesh could be injured, it could neither age nor decay. The dirt could stain them, but it could not cover their graves. The flesh of an ethaefal turned to ash upon the departure of their spirit. It was that ferocity of spirit that was replicated in the strands of their chavi.

Caelum had therefore expected a certain degree of confusion when he settled into a bed in his empty infirmary to explore of the chavi of Eida, daughter of Leth. The nature loving ethaefal he had met in Riverfall nearly a year gone and he had kept the handkerchief stained with blood from her skinned knee safely stored since, waiting for Nysel to call him. The Dreamer had called him, too, in the heart of winter when Morwen walked through the grasses of Cyphrus. Today while the heat shimmered over Plunge Pool Bay and a lazy breeze rustled the striped leaves of his favorite coleus plant on Alements' patio, Caelum felt compelled to go adventuring.

Afterwards, he lay staring at the infirmary ceiling, the hum of the tavern muted by the thick stone wall. Sunlight patterned the room, squaring off over clean, cotton sheets and the sanded, golden wood of the countertops. It reflected off glass cannisters of medical supplies and sighed with familar desire over Caelum where he sprawled. He was frowning, however, disturbed or perhaps merely confused by what he had seen in his celestial sister's chavi.

Or, more rightly, what he had not seen.

Abruptly, he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Boots creaked as he rose to his height, fully dressed in a pair of lightweight, bark colored trousers and a cream colored tunic. The style was very simple, but the cut was exquisitely tailored and the material was of fine quality. Some might had liked to see him in bright, bold colors, but left to his own devices the proprietor of Alements dressed plainly. Bending down, he smoothed the bed, and next he returned the blood stained handkerchief to a locked drawer cut into the stone and hidden behind the length of his desk. It was in truth a temporary storage space and one that held weapons, gold, and a few other items of high value. He kept nothing there long, preferring his apartment above the healing clinic at the high-walled Sanctuary for the sake of both safety and secrecy.

Amber eyes, ancient as the stones they stole their color from, remained disconcerted as he passed from the infirmary and into the tavern. His stride was loose hipped and ambling, one hand rising to shove back through tangles of hair; and so it was like that he was caught off guard by the sight of another ethaefal.

To his shame, he stopped and he stared. One heartbeat, then three, and in time he shifted like an inbound tide to roll toward her with as much caution as there was genuine welcome in the curve of his smile.

"I have wine," he said in lieu of a greeting, coming to a stop before her. "It's fine enough to be a treat despite the hour. Unless there's something you'd prefer?" And he'd know the truth of her wants, too, in another moment or two. "I'm Caelum. This is my place. Will you sit with me?"
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nature boy.

Postby Yra on August 9th, 2014, 11:15 am

When Yra set her eyes upon him, she froze as if caught in the middle of doing something naughty, much closer to the metaphorical child with her hand in a cookie jar than anything else, but caught instead in a situation she'd not expected. Yra had not met another.

At all.

Looking upon him, she was met with the disconcerting notion of experiencing what others felt when looking upon her. It elated and upset her in the strangest way, but the slight smile that curled her lips betrayed only the elation. Her head inclined, horn sweeping lower in deference of him and his words, but she'd been too startled to speak.

Finally, Yra found her words, and her smile spread only briefly as she offered him her greeting, turning to face him wholly. Her fingers grasped tighter upon the neck of the instrument, a sign to betray uncertainty in the face of the unexpected, and she stepped nearer out of curiosity. Yra was a newborn. She was a child meeting the first of its kind it had ever seen. She marvelled at the similarities between them while befriending the alien nature of their differences. Brother and sister, but not.

Rather awkwardly did she recall he'd asked her a question.

"I would like wine," she said before the thought caught up and she recalled some of her earlier experiments with that substance. Rather than burden him, however, she let it go. Her next words were softer and lacked the tremor that had knotted them before. "I would also like to sit with you, yes." Unfamiliar with slang or contractions that would ease conversation into something smoother, her formality was simply one of many traits found to be telling of her youth, but it was one she did not notice.

Carefully did she watch him, then. Again, a child learning from an older sibling or adult would suit what she sought of him. Subconsciously, the ethaefal regarded him as the adult to learn from, even if it was unknowingly taught.
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nature boy.

Postby Caelum on August 18th, 2014, 1:11 am

It was the elation evident in citrine eyes that surprised Caelum. He was unaccustomed to finding that feeling in the countenance of his brethren, though to be honest he had come across remarkably few in his years back on Mizahar. For a little while, back in that pain shocked blur of his beginning, he had imagined himself to be the only one. He had dreamed himself near to the death with his thoughts of exile.

Time had matured him, and he had heard the voice of his beloved again. He would never be free of it, and he no longer wished to be.

"What are you called?" He found himself asking, a hand beckoning the lady to follow him. He knew better than to ask after her name.

Their names were lost to them, trapped in their minds like insects in amber, perfectly preserved but impossible to speak. Almost in retaliation, Caelum had collected a variety of names since his plummet, picking them up from the floor of his past lives and right out of the walls of various dreams that others had and into which he trespassed, leaving footprints of dawn light behind. He was Caelum but also Kas'bel, the Singer and daddy, Heiro and Butcher, Alpheus and the Alemancer. And that was just the start.

He led her not to a table but to one of the cozy sitting arrangements scattered throughout the tavern. This particular one consisted of a love seat upholstered in comfortable worn velvet that had been made the color of celadon by time. A high backed armchair and a futon of worn, raw leather topped by a copper tray to act as a table completed it and Caelum waited for her to take a seat.

He hovered, but he did not mean to. It was out of a queasy combination of wanting to please and connect and also feeling something deep inside of him recoil as if in pain from the sight. He didn't look much in mirrors, did Caelum, and maybe for similar reasons. In every elegant line and day dreamt curve of Yra was the reveling of their Bright Lady. Syna lived in every echo of her faithful, steady and bright.

Elise arrived at Caelum's elbow, something terribly reserved in her indigo eyes, and Caelum murmured to her his wishes. The bartender hesitated, glancing between Yra and Caelum as if something worried at her, but eventually she gave a faint smile and vanished to fetch the requested wine.

"How long have you been here?" Caelum asked while sinking to a seat. By here he meant, quite clearly, not there.
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nature boy.

Postby Yra on August 28th, 2014, 9:52 am

Yra was a child, learning by observation, and so the other was subject to the intensity of a gaze that had found the one true person she could actually label sibling, and find it justified. In him, she saw what she'd lost, and that sense of despair that had lingered in her heart since her birth swelled and burst. She was not alone, as she'd thought.

Bile tasted bitter on her tongue.

"They called me Yra," she responded, inclining her head. In time with her words, Yra lingered over her choice of seats, before taking the loveseat and pressing herself against the furthest corner. The notion of being uncomfortable was a strange one for her, something she'd not suffered since her messy first day. The fact that she felt discomfort now did not settle her into her position, and she fidgeted. How did humans manage etiquette? Oh, yes. "What are you called?"

In their arrangement, Yra stared with unabashed intensity, mapping the lines of the forlorn sibling before her with fascination. She wondered if she'd known him, before the end. She wondered if she'd know if she had. He did not look familiar to her, and despite the unearthly beauty of an Ethaefal form, he was not the perfection she longed for. He was not Syna.

It took her a moment to register the second question and then it took another moment as Yra looked away to carefully count. If he noticed, she was curling a finger, counting the digits. Finally, she'd had her number. "Ten and four days," she said. Briefly, Yra was proud of her numeracy. How simple, she must be. Whatever smile had flourished in that sparkling moment of joy quickly diminished upon looking at him and remembering-- he was not the Svefra whom had allowed her their patronage. It wounded her to realise she felt pity for this brother of hers, and she mirrored his question. "How long for you?" And if she thought her time had been ages, she would be astounded by the tale of years.
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nature boy.

Postby Caelum on September 1st, 2014, 10:02 pm

"Caelum," he repeated gently. He did not blame her for not remembering it. It was a rather poor representation of who he was when compared to the name that sang even now in his mind.

A smile twitched along the line of his mouth and he sank to a seat in the armchair. There he slumped with a sort of indolent grace, noble carriage made no less so by the sag of shoulders and the propping of his ankle on the opposite knee. His hands slid lightly down the arms of his chair and on the back of his right hand shimmered another bit of leftover divinity, the mark of the goddess Rak'keli. He bore others, but they were hidden from sight. It was for his protection, and the protection of all he held dear as well.

"Yra, congratulations. You have survived the first ten days." On anyone else, the words might have been mocking; but he was perfectly serious, watching as she curled up in the corner of the love seat like a stray slice of blazing day. "They were some of the worst for me. I've been here --"

His hesitation was terrifyingly brief.

"Ten years and two hundred forty-seven days."

Elise arrived at that moment with a tray. On it was a blossoming glass decanter filled with pale gold wine, two glasses, and a small plate of fresh fruits and cheeses. All of this was set down on the ottoman between the ethaefal and Elise lightly dusted her hand across her boss's shoulder before departing, the looks they exchanged communicative.

Caelum leaned forward to pour the chilled wine into glasses and offer one to Yra.

"How are you?" He asked her, and the deceptively simple question held a wealth of compassion and curiosity. "And where are you living?"
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nature boy.

Postby Yra on September 3rd, 2014, 12:58 pm

Yra inclined her head. That he'd had to repeat himself went over her head; in her first few days, she'd also forgotten the name of what she was, and the name given her, when wonderment and the flickering undercurrent of joy inspired by Syna overwhelmed her.

She could not help but watch him, equal parts fascinated and enthralled. She could watch him in silence and be content, reminded of a past existence where all was sunlight. She was drawn to the subtle shimmer of light that flashed over his hand but thought nothing of it, unable to recognise the mark of a god that did not look like the Oceanus on the limb of the Svefra.

Yra took his words in silence, left with nothing to say. What could she say? It was rare that she was rendered so silent and she didn't enjoy it. Her nose wrinkled, if delicately, and she worked out how long his term had been upon Mizahar. In the end, she could only take it to mean he'd been present for a long time, and her throat constricted. She almost wanted to cry, but she would not do so here.

Reprieve was granted when the woman returned, although the food did not appeal to Yra. Nor did the wine, but she was willing to forgo distaste and the memory of her disgust in her first glass in order to entertain her host. She accepted the glass with a murmured word of gratitude and flashed the barest curl of smile, simply to send the message home.

"I am well," Yra responded, once he'd asked of her. It was a hollow truth, though. Yra thought often about Syna, about the Goldenlands, and she thought often about bitter words spoken by a bitter Svefra. She was healthy and smiling, and often her mood radiated with the joy that Syna herself brought to the land, but the stirring of anger slivered her thoughts. His words, the length of his time away from Syna, only rended her faith further. She would not tell him this, though, but it spoke in her face when she looked down and away. "I stay at an inn," she eventually tacked on, as afterthought.

After a moment, Yra was able to face him again, but she did so behind the rim of her glass as she sampled the wine. "Does it get easier after time?" She did not think it necessary to clarify what she meant.
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nature boy.

Postby Caelum on September 11th, 2014, 3:26 pm

Desire tip-toed through him, blossomed from his chest to spill outward and rub like velvet down the length of his insides. Long fingers stretched and he inhaled, listening both to the words Yra was speaking as well as the needs her soul unconsciously communicated to his via the medium of ranuri. He tipped his wine glass up and drank more deeply, perhaps, that he should have. Afterward, he set it aside on an end table and leaned forward once more.

This time it was to reach for her, golden eyes traveling over the grace of her features as he drifting fingers lightly through the spill of her hair. He tuck a loose coil back behind her ear and a smile dented in, fulfilling her desire to touch him. Though Nikali’s gnosis did not tell him why Yra wanted to touch him, logical deduction was to prove that he – perhaps that even both of them – were real.

A few loose strands of Yra’s hair were kept, looped about his fingertips and sparking them with even more gold. Slouching lazily back again, he tucked the hair (and therefore the key to her chavi) into his pocket.

“Yes,” he told her, absolute conviction weighing his words. He met her eyes and there was a swift swelling affection in them, a silent answer to her soul’s tune. “It gets better, darling. You find your place in the sun again. It won’t be the same. It will never be the same, but different does not necessarily have to mean less.”

An eyebrow rocked mildly up as if to punctuate his point and he turned a glance toward the tavern portion of Alements, one small but terribly important piece in the puzzle that was his homecoming.

“I opened Alements in Spring. Until that time I roamed, travelling over half the bloody earth forth and back again. Twice I attempted to put down roots, but storms came and blew me on. Gods beckoned. Desperation drove me on. I heard her once –“

He looked back at Yra then, his expression stilled. There was no mistaking whom he meant with her. The pronoun was held in his mouth like a flower, beloved and breakable.

“Out in the grasses, warming over the fevered body of my friend. It was then that she began to call me.” He fell silent, struck by simple memory. Syna had called him, summoned him right to the end of a world. He missed her, and he loved her too, of course. It had just taken him a long while to figure that out. After all, one does not love breathing.

“Would you like to work for me, Yra?” And so he offered what perhaps he should not, moved both by sentiment and the slow slide of her need to be home, to have a family, for intimacy and affection. It grew into his own easy as that.
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nature boy.

Postby Yra on November 16th, 2014, 1:36 am

If Yra was surprised or alarmed by him touching her, she did not express it. The Ethaefal regarded the other with solemn eyes of a vibrant, joyful colour. If she tilted her head against his hand, she did so without comment or meaningful word. He had verified something she'd wanted to know. He was very real. This was not some sun-sung hallucination in a moment of dizziness.

There was a brief flicker of pure joy in her heart before the moment had ended, she'd given him a smile, and returned to her distance from him, unaware she'd leaned forward until that moment.

The gratitude was unspoken, also.

"I have already resolved myself to living with the difference. However, your words are comforting," Yra said eventually, the smile flourishing. There was hope there.

Yra took his preoccupation with Alements to look him over freely, identify the similarities between them, and find herself even more happy. It was such a unique sensation to be so full of joy that she wondered if this would be the way she felt if she met with Syna again. Eventually, she looked around, now taking advantage of the moment to absorb as much of his establishment as she could.

She'd been right when she'd looked at it from the outside and found the place to be bright. It really was. It spoke of friendliness and kindness and the Ethaefal wanted to immerse herself in it, in the warmth it promised. She did not regret entering.

Of course, when he spoke of the sun-Lady, Yra could not hide the stricken expression that flitted over her features. The flare of envy in her chest, surrounded by the warmth of bright feelings, blossomed.
She fought to crush it. Envy had no place; Caelum had lived more and seen more and Yra was but a child compared to him. It was hardly reassuring and the envy did not fade easily.

Perhaps he was unaware of it, but his question distracted her from the envy and her newfound attempts to recall Syna's visage as it had been in the Goldenlands. She looked at him, meeting his gaze, and shifted in her seat. It was a brief moment of thought, but Yra had no reason to deny. It appealed to her in many ways and was a single need that the Ethaefal could admit to. "Yes, I would," she responded. She smiled again. "If you are certain, of course. I would be very... happy to work for you."

It was followed by a quick glance around the Alements again, considering it. Yes, she could enjoy being there. Working. "I have not worked before, though. Is that fine?"
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nature boy.

Postby Caelum on November 18th, 2014, 2:21 am

"You have only been alive in this body for ten days," Caelum pointed out. It was bright humor that encouraged his smile, an element of joy that Yra had brought in with her by the simple fact of existing. "Of course you haven't worked before. Come on. Let me show you what I've built here."

He rolled to his feet in a fluid motion and held down his hand to her, long fingered and noble. If she took it, he would weave their fingers together companionably and steer them a meandering path through the tables and sitting areas. There was a quiet pride in him as he showed off Alements to this stranger, his sister. It was hard won and weary, like the first exhalation after sitting down. He had come a long way, both in footsteps and in spirit.

"We number the tables, one through nine," he explained. His voice was pitched low and easy and he pointed out each table as he counted. "And the sitting areas by color, which are obvious. Blue, green, red, and yellow. So if Elise or I asks you to take something to a guest, you won't have to know their name or recognize their faces. Not immediately. We'll just say take this to Jorim at table three. It seems simple, and it is; but I swear when the night's settled in and we're packed full back from the patio, it can be easy to get confused. There's three patio tables, too. Patio One through Patio three, starting at the door."

The bar was next, to which he merely gestured. "Dirty glasses. Clean glasses. The rest I'll teach you as we go. The first thing you should remember is to serve nothing I or Elise haven't first approved. There are a number of herbs here that could be dangerous, nasty, and flat out deadly in wrong measurements or mixtures. Most mistakes are a simple matter for me to fix, but there is reputation to consider in addition to welfare."

A shrug sloughed off his shoulders. He did not seem overly concerned. In fact, it was growing more and more obvious that he trusted Yra. Immediately and with deceptive ease, she was relieved from all his doubts. He believed she could do this and would heed him and, further, thrive. It was a matter of faith. He had faith in her, and that was the beginning and the end of his decisioning wherein she was concerned.

"The kitchen," he murmured, and he ushered her into the wide room. Granite countertops and a heavy wood table in the middle. Stone smooth sinks and a heavy oven alongside a wide hearth. Copper bottomed pans hung from above and it was well used and clean, comfortable and homey if not so luxurious and bright as the tavern mains.
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