Closed Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

The falling of an Ethaefal.

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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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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Pisces on December 1st, 2014, 8:05 pm

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Winter 2nd, 514 AV - Late Night

He did not notice he had left until he was plummeting towards the earth. The Ukalas was but a faint glimmer, a dream of which he had spent 500 years within. That dream, however, was broken and twisted into the nightmare that was the small oval-shaped body of water that was steadily growing larger. Leth was high in the sky, though the falling Ethaefal accepted his fate as he plunged into the tepid water, narrowly missing the docks jutting out into the bay.

Struggling in the sea, gentle waves lapping away from his point of entry and white bubbles rising to the surface, he breached the water line and coughed, rather ungracefully. The night was dark, and the newborn Ethaefal was internally met with questions of 'why' and 'how'. Vague memories of losing friends in the Ukalas to the very tear that he fell from quickly dissipated. His mind faded, turning blank and quiet as if pages were being ripped out of a book. Whatever he had felt while falling was replaced by a longing to go back to wherever he had fallen from, a longing to once again be with Leth.

There were no tears along with the questioning of the Gods, though as he heaved himself onto the closesy dock and lay upon the rough wood, shivering and regretting ever leaving the water in the first place, one question remained. For as all he had forgotten, he did not nearly recognize this place, and he did not nearly recognize the stars in the sky. He only knew that he had been gone a very, incredibly long time, and he knew that this was not the same world he had left. But still, one question plagued his mind.

Why now?

The answer to that question was not found within himself, though he wished it could have been. Instead, he sat up, still shivering and running a cold hand in his hair. He had only been on the dock for a chime at the most, and now he could feel the horns curving from his temples, as smooth as glass though the color yet unknown. The ethaefal was frantic, now feeling his face. His beauty was gone, replaced by something grotesque and twisted. It was now that he wished he had never surfaced.
Last edited by Pisces on December 21st, 2014, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Caelum on December 2nd, 2014, 2:28 pm

Little Lillian Tolliver had watched the night fall over the Plunge Pool Bay from the window of her father’s bedroom. She was supposed to be in bed where he had put her, tucking her in beneath a soft pile of blankets with a kiss and a story. She did not usually stay the night at Alements, her father preferring to keep her safe behind the walls of the Sanctuary; but when she learned that Caelum was staying to take care of a patient recovering from a fever in the infirmary, she had begged and begged to remain with him. He had relented and told her a bedtime tale of Laviku and Avalis that ended up being half a love story.


A tiny hand pressed against the thick glass and she stood barefoot in her nightgown, peering out at the vast sky and the equally as vast sea beneath. Pale hair was gathered back in a single, thick braid for bed. It roped over her shoulder and was tied with a frayed, violet ribbon. Her breath fogged against the glass with a gasp when she saw the shooting star and the child stood transfixed as the waters erupted beneath. In a sudden flurry, Lillian whirled from the window to the door to slip out into the hall. Bare feet rushed soundlessly over the carpet, down the stairs, and through the short hall into Alements mains. She glimpsed her father through the half open door to the infirmary, but did not stop to call for him. Instead she continued her race, weaving through the tables and squeezing out through the double doors Caelum had not yet locked up for the night. They thumped behind her, and in the infirmary an ethaefal of Syna looked up from his work.


The hem of Lillian’s nightgown flapped at her ankles as she spilled through Alements patio and onto the dock, steps only slowing as the light of Leth’s moon and the dim glow of the lantern at the tavern door illuminated the fallen star.


She came to a stop right in front of him, blue eyes big as plates, and said, “Have you come to see my daddy?”


Within, Caelum closed an ashwood kit of rare, prepared herbs and rose from his desk in the infirmary. A final glance was given his patient, sleeping soundly with fever broken in one of the beds, and he headed for the door to investigate.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Pisces on December 3rd, 2014, 12:18 am

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The newly fallen ethaefal was greeted by the large, dimly lit blue eyes of a little girl. He had heard her little feet thumping towards him, though he didn't really notice. Too absorbed in his own thoughts, the appearance of someone was new. Goosebumps littered his skin, growing more abundant as a light winter breeze blew past the pair. How the little girl could stand being in the cold in nothing more than a nightgown, the Ethaefal could never truly know. Her question, however, brought with it ample confusion. The language it came with was comforting, to say the least, despite the time differences between his knowledge of Pavi and hers. He knew immediately that he was far past the glimmer of memories that rested in his head. Too cold to move his hands, he leaned forward towards the little girl.

"It depends...does your daddy have blankets?" His Pavi was spoken with a distinctly old accent, making the entire phrase feel outdated though still understandable. The young girl nodded, and the ethaefal grimaced. Gods it was freezing. He thought about offering his name, and though the only name he knew echoed in his head, he already knew he wouldn't be able to speak it even if he tried. He settled for quietly rubbing his legs, trying his best to keep himself warm. A sudden, second breeze didn't help, and he felt the need to dive back into the water, which had seemed much warmer than being sopping wet in winter. He shook water out of his hair, looking at the girl now.

"Can you get him for me, then?" He used his hands this time to augment his Pavi, the fingers stiff from the cold. The ethaefal himself did not even attempt to stand, preferring to stay close to himself in an effort to keep warm. His grimace changed to a slight smile as she ran off towards the figure that now appeared in the doorway of the building whose docks he assumed to have crawled onto. Perhaps he was lucky enough she had noticed him fall, as he doubted he would've been able to make himself get up and walk towards the lantern light.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Yra on December 4th, 2014, 4:57 am

Under scrutiny of the moon did Yra walk the streets, shoulders hunched against a pervading breeze that brought with it a flurry of snow. Under the moon, during the silent night, everything seemed bleaker, more stark, than it had in the other seasons that Yra had experienced. The change, even though it had been gradual in its transition as the colour of her sweeping horns had been, was as unwelcome as it was alarming.

It was cold. The snow that had fallen brought with it the feeling of freezing, something akin to the freezing she'd experienced when she was birthed in the Suvan. Yra, who feared drowning most out of all things, feared the piercing cold that she associated with the depths of the sea.

Therefore, one might wonder why she chose to walk alone at night when it was coldest. It was in a fit of frustration that she chose to, however. Her bedroom had felt too hot and she'd been too restless, so she'd left in naught but her coat and the ragged clothes she'd found most comfortable during the autumn. However, that was the problem; her clothes were not suited for the weather. She'd be returning home soon.

It was while Yra dwelled upon the thought of going back home, curling up in bed, and sleeping that she heard it. Voices, drowning out the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore. She paused, hands curling into fists within her pockets as she hesitated and considered her options.

She could see them, down the wandering street from her at the docks, at the place Caelum hovered over ill strangers. She strode forward, expectant, but was stopped short again at the sight of the man of the two, completely overlooking the child with him.

As an ethaefal uncertain with her lot in life and with what others of her kind might appear to be, she never considered Leth to have ethaefal of his own and, having never seen one, she did not know how to react at it.

So, she stood there, still as a frozen blade of glass, as he accompanied the child towards the Alements, as Yra could see from her vantage point. Eventually, she moved again, intent on offering assistance and satisfying a growing curiosity that accompanied the arrival of a moon-born. She approached warily, cold in her coat, and with an intent gaze at the ethaefal within the doorway, attempting to wordlessly convey her need to join.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Caelum on December 5th, 2014, 1:13 am

The proprietor of Alements came to a stop on its threshold, a bar towel dangling from his hands. He was backlit by the dim glow of candlelight flickering out from amid the long green shadows of this place he was slowly, step by step, making into a home. Dark eyes peered out, across the patio, down his dock, watching his daughter run toward him on bare feet, the thick braid of her hair bouncing behind her. A single, long stride carried him out from the protection of the walls and he slapped the towel over his shoulder before catching Lillian and swinging her up into his arms in a single, fluid motion.


"Daddy!" The toddler bubbled with excitement. Little hands gestured backwards, towards the end of the pier and the sodden figure collapsed upon it. "Look who came to see you! I saw him fall. I saw him."


"Well, petch." Caelum stared, stricken, for several long heartbeats. The distant figure of a woman finally drew his attention and the knot of his Drykas-style braids slid against the nape of his neck as Caelum looked at her. Yra, daughter of Syna and his employee, was also here to witness this strange event.


He was clearly being invaded by his gods-be-damned brethren.


"Daddy, petch is a bad word," Lillian, hydrangea blue eyes dancing, informed him.


"Don't repeat it," he muttered and gave the konti a little squish, causing her to squeak, while the currents of need converged upon him from the ethaefal. The fresh fallen creature was in desperate need of heat, warmth, and answers to a question that felt as though it had been posed him by the stars themselves. Caelum knew from experience, however, that Zintila could hardly bring herself to care. Meanwhile, the almost-new-fallen Yra wanted to join them, to discover, to learn and find out what manner of thing this way to wear the statuesque grace of the blessed by night.


Caelum stifled a sigh, rose a hand to gesture Yra over, and approached the figure on his dock. The toll of his footsteps seemed to boom against the dark waters. He stopped just within arms reach of the Lethaefal and peered down, expression grave and practically aching with a degree of compassion unsurpassed in this world.


"Welcome back," he greeted simply. "Why don't you come in and get warm."


"What's your name?" Lillian swiftly interjected before she could be hushed.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Pisces on December 5th, 2014, 2:19 am

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His gaze swept harshly over the little girl and the building she was running towards, his eyes pausing at the sight of a man whose stride and manner left a bitter taste in his mouth. His steps resounded, and his visage dripped with vague, long-forgotten memories. He recognized this man, though how and why was only added onto the gleaming pile of unanswered questions. He did not notice the second woman approach until she was standing in the light, though her face did not bring back the same emotions that he had felt looking at the man. The man's words, however, echoed in his head.

Welcome home.

The Ethaefal almost didn't catch the little girl's question, though this too caused him pause. He had no name, none that he could remember or speak in this world. His celestial name rang through his head like a bell, but he could not dare repeat it. He stood up slowly, every fiber of his body creaky and aching in the cold. Eyes dragged across the unfamiliar constellations in the sky, head picturing the older, more familiar stars that were etched into his mind. One came to mind, that of a fish. Pisces. A bizarre sense of humor washed over him in that moment, and he exhaled sharply before answering the little girl. His own watery birth seemed too funny to the Lethaefal.

"Pisces, for I am a fish out of water."

The name felt weird in his mouth, but also oddly right. It fit too well, and he did not believe it to be coincidence that he remembered that formation of the night sky. He followed the pair into the building, warmth immediately washing over him. He stood there, dripping water onto the floor and shivering. The girl who had appeared before only seemed to look confused, and he felt somewhat drawn to the man whom probably building he had practically landed on. Pisces own lips were turning blue and purple, his nose red and his fingers and toes gaining an unhealthy cast to them - as if someone had spent much too much time in cold water.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Yra on December 5th, 2014, 2:42 am

When her unspoken demand to accompany the two of them was acknowledged, Yra fancied that her brother-in-the-sun's gesture was given only out of resentment. She resented it, but the smile she offered him was as sincere as it could be, if embittered by the cold and the moon and the glare of the snow.

Her steps brought her nearer, curiosity begging to be satisfied, and quietly disliking that this child of the heavens, if it was what he was, should be welcomed onto Mizahar by his own kind where she'd been dropped with no grace within the Suvan and left to the whim of svefra and akvatari.

Syna must dislike her. Her heart ached.

She didn't wish Caelum to know it, so the dismay was swallowed and compassion crept forward, borrowed from the man and his daughter.

Leth's graceful child spoke, but the words he used were unfamiliar to Yra, who had followed him within with the intent to catch him should his legs lose the strength to carry him. Once inside where the warmth rejuvenated her extremities, her chilled fingers pressed into his side, urging him out of her path, as she stepped from their small group in order to do what she believed Caelum would expect of her: to care for a patient.

"I will bring towels and a blanket," she informed the three of them, waving away help that might be offered her. However, she had not yet left them when she stopped, swayed, and turned back to inquire at Caelum. "Do we require tea?"
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Evalin on December 6th, 2014, 8:59 pm

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Time was passing by once more. Ticks clicked past and past and past, leading the world and those that resided in it on into a future... all but one, who stood on the shores edge free from the passage of time and eternity itself. Anchored as she was she could not move, but merely watch as day turned to night, seasons into years, and the young crumble into dust and ash.

It was a night like most within the Alements. It was quiet, free of the ruckus that was brought in by the light and the people that polluted the tranquil peace of the world. It was at this time that Evalin found the establishment most enjoyable for rarely was there anyone but her up and about... save for Caelum. He was unlike any mortal the Nuit had ever met. He could work nearly as tirelessly as she could, which was a feat in and of itself and earned a small amount of respect from the Immortal who needed neither sleep nor sustenance to continue on with her work. Besides him, however, not even a whisper there was. The darkness ruled the night, and within it walked the Immortal Witch who was shunned and hated by those who dwelt in Syna's domain. The night was her refuge, the dark her protection, the silence her words of acceptance.

Near the back of the infirmary is where she was now, her area curtained off from prying eyes and a bed bare of any dressing was before her. Upon it was the body of a man who had died recently of 'mysterious' causes, or so the records would say. He was someone who opposed Caelum's work, a threat if you would, but that was no longer the case. Now he was a tool to help Evalin in her study of medicine. Give the very nature of her existence the Immortal had quite a bit of knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of many humanoids in Mizahar, however, that knowledge was not all inclusive. Mostly it was bits and tid bits learned through accidental trials from curious ventures. Now as Evalin separated the folds of fat and flesh and reached her bare hand into the man's abdomen her studies were much more liberal.

What she did now was a simple test to see if she could identify the organs as she fished through the man's insides. The biggest obstacle, however, was found after the initial cut through the stomach. A thick apron of fat rested over all of the organs underneath. The man was large, and so his apron was exceptionally impressive. Raising her hand Evalin pulled on the strings of her djed, calling to the djed that controlled her nails and lengthened one on her index and middle finger. As she did she hardened, sharpened and edged the nail, making it easier to cut into the fatty tissue. With her left hand she grabbed a handful of the fat and pulled it taunt, and with the other she began to cut at the edges, quickly releasing its holds and piercing deep enough to see the beginnings of the organs below.

When Caelum stood and left the infirmary Evalin had barely noticed, assuming he was off to attend to his daughter or perhaps some other task. He had no reason to keep her informed of his every action and duty after all... but still it was with some surprise she heard the Alements door open and close several times more than it should have had it been only Caelum entering. Pausing in what she did the Immortal listened, and upon hearing voices she quickly took up a dirtied blanket and threw it over the corpse before exiting the curtain, making sure it was closed behind her. As she walked past Caelum's patient she quickly grabbed a towel from the stack near his bed, proceeding to quickly wipe her hands clean as she entered the main tavern area.

Evalin wore her normal body this day, that of a woman with a slim figure and pale skin. Jet black hair was tied back into a ponytail to keep it from getting in the way of her work, and she wore a brown linen dress that reached down nearly to her completely bare feet. The dress was sleeveless, and where skin was exposed her skin was seen to be as white as death itself.

As she came through the door from the back Evalin's eyes glanced briefly at Yra, those blood red points lingering only a fraction of a tick on her before switching to observe the others in the room. She glanced at Pices, taking longer to observe his nearly naked body, beautiful form and gracefully curving horns before quickly identifying who and what he was. Finally her eyes fell on Lillian, where they lingered a moment too long while her craving came flaring to the forefront of her consciousness before she was forced to tear her gaze away and turn it instead on Caelum.

"Were we expecting guests...?" she asked softly. When she spoke her lips turned downward slightly, and there it was revealed they all ended in a slight point with her canines slightly longer than average. From her came an aura of naturalness, as if her very presence was wrong. Because of this Evalin rarely cared to be alone with those who did not already know her, for fear they may become frightened by her mere act of being.

Wiping the last of the blood from her hands Evalin laid the red stained cloth on the counter, glancing back at the group before addressing Caelum once more, "Shall I make any preparations?" Preparations for a guest, for a patient, or for an enemy. Whatever it was Caelum required Evalin would see to it that it was done, and while she spoke she never came above a whisper.

OOCThank you for allowing me to join :)
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Wretched Aura: As a Wretched One Evalin possesses an unnatural aura about her that causes unease in those who get too close. It can come as a prickle of the hair on the back of the neck, a sense of 'wrongness' about her. How people experience it is different depending on their personality and how they handle the unnatural and unknown. Animals tend to become more agitated, more easily sensing how wrong Evalin is and often avoiding contact with her.
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Caelum on December 9th, 2014, 12:28 am

A laugh leaped out of him like a goldfish, tail flashing in the light and spraying sunlit drops of water all over everything. It was the sort of laugh you could not escape, helpless and tangible as smoky molasses. You could put your hands into that kind of laugh and spend hours cleaning it out from between your fingers or a lifetime consuming it and it alone, no other sustenance required. When Caelum laughed, half the world paused to listen.


"A fish out of water," he wheezed, overcome with the irony of the situation. "Pisces. You're Pisces and a fish because you landed in the water and holy petch I can't --" He dissolved, one arm still cinched about his daughter as he sort of stumbled backwards and into the edge of one of his heavy tables. He sank to a seat there, strong shoulders slumped as he let out all of the hard won joy of his life.


"Daddy?" Lillian asked amid her own tentative ruffle of humor. "Daddy, is he Uncle Fish?" She turned her head to look right at Pisces. "Are you Uncle Fish?"


"Yes. We absolutely do require tea," Caelum gathered up enough breath in him to say. His free hand gestured, accepting Yra's gracious offer with clear gratitude while he hauled himself off the table and toward Pisces. That same hand landed on the naked man's shoulder, heedless of the naked, the wet, and the cold while the winged snakes of Rak'keli's grace flared to life. His gnosis mark licked up with a light not unlike flame and pumped warmth into Pisces' freezing form. It was like drinking a desert wind, absorbing the summer light, and it flooded through the newborn ethaefal to chase off more than mere the chill.


Caelum met Pisces eyes. "Come on," he invited, and tugged firmly to get the man moving toward the still smoldering hearth in the far corner. A thick rug and a few cushioned chairs surrounded it. "Come in." His mouth twitched toward a smirk. "Fish."


Switching gears, he looked to see if Yra was terribly shaken by witnessing an ethaefal's fall so close to her own. He made a mental note to investigate this path before moving his attention toward Evalin. The sight of the White Fox took some of the color out of his eyes, as if by her presence Evalin was able to reveal some of the more dangerous aspects of Caelum's personality.


"Blankets. We need blankets and clothes. If you don't mind, there should be a spare set of my own in infirmary cabinets."


"Do fish wear clothes?" Lillian asked, terribly interested.


"Yes," Caelum automatically confirmed. "When they're out of water."
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Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

Postby Pisces on December 9th, 2014, 11:35 pm

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The faintest hint of a smile tinged the edges of his lips. Someone understood his humor; this man, who Pisces found himself inexplicably drawn to, saw the joke in his statement. Pisces was, in essence, making fun of himself. The fish welcomed the influx of warmth from the unfamiliar mark on the man's hand, something which forced itself onto the tip of his tongue as a gnosis. Still soaking wet, but not cold or on the quick route to sickness, the Ethaefal listened carefully to the words in a language that was familiar, but didn't come to him for a few chimes until he realized he actually knew at least a little bit of what they were saying. The fish nodded at the offer of tea, though he was late as the woman had already moved away to prepare it.

He turned to face the little girl who had found him now. Her question was entirely amusing, though he failed to see the resemblance between her and the man she called 'daddy'. Her scales sparkled in the low light, and the 'fish' thought he saw the faintest hint of gills when she turned her head. She was one to call him Uncle Fish while she appeared much like one herself, but the little girl was endearing and he decided if he was going to do anything, he was going to humor her.

"Yes, I'm Uncle Fish." Pisces' own laugh bubbled up from his throat. The entire situation was in some way hilarious, despite the naked and the cold still curling through every crevice of his skin and the unfortunate situation of losing his celestial self. The inside was exponentially warmer, yes, but his shiver was slight despite the warmth. He moved towards the hearth, sinking into a cushioned chair despite the wet and naked. His body itself had, for the most part, dried itself by now. The fish's hair was still damp enough for fat drops of water to fall on his shoulders as he walked, though as he sat his hair didn't touch the chair. His horns made sure of that.

He turned to face the rest of the group, eyes noticing the arrival of a woman whose entrance had been quiet enough and her voice soft enough that she had escaped him previously. The cloth set on the counter was almost certainly bloody, but he decided to put no further thought into it. The woman herself seemed a ghostly fantasm of a real person; pale skin, black hair, and an overal aura of unease that emanated from her in much the same way the allure dripped from the man whose daughter found him.

He leaned out, picking up bits of the Common spilling from the lips of the small group. The little girl spoke in a much more familiar language, and she seemed utterly convinced that he was truly a fish. The idea of blankets and clothing was both foreign and welcome. While the chill had been chased from his bones, he did not desire to sit around naked. The reiteration of the fish's earlier joke by the man forced a smirk onto his lips, though his mental narration of the events pushed the realization that the man had no idea who the people who now, if ever briefly, catered to his needs. Pisces tried his hand at common this time, the language almost as awkward in his mouth as he spoke.

"Must I be the only one with a name?"
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