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And Senghor returns with it... [Broken Shackles]

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Winter is Back...

Postby Senghor Vilhjalmr on December 3rd, 2014, 7:39 pm


3rd of Winter 514AV

Sunset Quarters

He staggered out the shadows and into the light of the waning moon and felt the chill of Winter on his warm cheek. He was tired, dressed in blood -- his and theirs -- which artistically that dripped onto the ground. A bit of fat was gone from his cheeks and body now - he heard a click and looked down at his sword, that idiot stupid to be waving around him anyway especially when he knew that it was meant to be their last night in Sunberth.

'Nov... Eleazar...' he groaned hungrily, leaning against the wall as his taut stomach ached and groaned, wanting food. How he missed Noven's food, if only that raven-haired bastard knew, he looked up from the alley and saw that candlelight radiate from the open shutters of the Orphanage. Maybe Noven was home, if not than Jillene, how he prayed to the Lhex that it was to be as he clambered out the alley - dragging his longsword along the empty lane leading up to the Orphanage.

He flinched as he neared; his vision a blurred muddled mess but importantly from the ping of hunger and gaping gash along his side, the winter stung him and his bruised face, a purple swollen cheek and bottom lip and black eye though that didn't surmise the damage he had underneath his dirty blooded shirt and pants.

'Nov...' he whispered the man's name incoherently as he drooped into unconsciousness momentarily before standing upright - as he best he could - and clambering forward in immerse pain. He knew pain before but over the seasons he was 'gone' from the city, he gained a understanding for it.

How he wished he could unsee the things that plagued his mind, that now so vividly haunted his dreams and spun them in a whole new meaning of nightmarish existence. Inconceivable vile madness and grotesquite acts of things that made even his empty stomach churn. The hanging limbs and bodies - men, women and children alike, some faces he even recognized, that was what haunted him, haunted his waking understanding of things.

Sunberth was a harsh mistress but to have see the things Senghor had seen. The inner workings of her bowels was far beyond existential unfathomablity and he had seen it, seen it all in its grotesque, vivid and gluttonous body. He needed to tell them, so they could stop it... Kill them all.

Seng was so deep in his muddled nightmarish thoughts that he didn't even realise he was limping up the entrance of the Orphanage, but he couldn't stop recollecting everything that had happened. He didn't even know what kept him going for the past seasons, maybe it was thought of never giving up, or his friends or revenge for what they done too him, to what they did and were doing to all those children.

'Nov...' he whispered as he tried to raise his hand to knock on the door but it was too heavy. He felt his longsword slip from his hand and thought he heard it clatter onto the cold hard ground. Wondering if his friend lingered past that door, hoping... Praying...

He slumped forward onto his knees, mere centimeters from the door, and his eyes rolled back into his head. He was over taken by hunger, unconsciousness was there, his eyes rolled back into head and his eyelids fluttered for a moment before he fell forward into the thick door, causing a loud abrupt bang from the impact to boom throughout the entire Orphanage. He had no thoughts but delved into the ocean of blackness as unconsciousness took him - fatigue, hunger, pain all culminated as one epic body and shouldered him into an early wanton sleep.

If one listened through the bustling thicket of Sunberth, they could hear his empty stomach let out a mischievous groan of hunger from seasons past...
Last edited by Senghor Vilhjalmr on December 4th, 2014, 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
From the soil we came, From the soil we conquered,
My past is dead, my path dark, my rage is the herald of my blade.
Kudos goes to Alea for help with my CS.

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Winter is Back...

Postby Noven on December 4th, 2014, 6:30 am

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"You do it."

"No, you do it."

"No, you do it," Thomas mimicked in an insufferably high pitched, nasally voice.

He had all of two ticks worth of a warning before Amira growled like a miniature Akinva Deerstalker and tackled him head on. Thomas screamed as he went down.

What came next was, to Noven's surprise, by far one of the most civilized beatings Mira had dished out to her notorious cohort. Instead of gnawing his limbs or attempting to pull out entire tufts of his hair, the smaller but infinitely more vicious of the two orphans simply chose to beat him senseless with an old, wooden spatula covered in soap spuds. Bubbles flew and popped into the air as she whacked away.

The cook made an impatient sound and growled, "Enough." He stepped forward to intervene, snatching both of them by the collar and yanking them apart. Mira was still baring her teeth. Though, mercifully, she'd stopped waving about the cooking utensil. "Show's over. Get back to work. NOW!"

He'd barked the last word with so much force it sent them scampering back to their stations, differences instantly forgotten. It had been a long, long time since either orphan heard him speak so angrily, so harshly. And it was no mystery why. Mira and Thomas knew what had transformed the cook's mood from transcendent to murder most foul. In fact, so did most of Sunset's other varied inhabitants. Just like they always damnably, inevitably did.

For a moment, save for the industrious clinks and scrapes of dishes being washed, the kitchen was as silent as a crypt.

A thunderous bang suddenly exploded against the kitchen's back door, causing all three workers to twitch violently in alarm. Mira and Thomas shared a look. Then they threw down their half-washed dishes and reached for the nearest sharp objects. One held a kitchen knife, the other a metal poker.

Meanwhile, Noven did nothing. Only stared transfixed at the now noiseless panels of wood. Maybe it's her...He thought for one wild, breathless moment. Something akin to hope flickered to life inside of his otherwise barren gaze.

Nov reached out to grip the latch. He moved with agonizing slowness, releasing the lock before pulling the door open. Maybe she's come--

A hand fell through the crack. It was large, dark skinned, and covered in blood. Narrowing his eyes, the cook widened the opening further. His jaw slowly fell lower and lower as more and more of the mystery body was revealed. Until, finally, a head slid into view and rolled limply down toward the floor. A shockingly familiar head with features just a little sharper and bloodied than he remembered, but nevertheless unmistakable in its identity.

"What..."

His expression melted from disbelief down to outright, uncensored trauma.

"...the fuckin'...piss shyke...motherfucker cock sucking hell Krysus gods damned...petch...fuck."

Nov peered closer, heart literally stuck in his throat. Rust colored eyes darted over all the blood that marred his friends features. There was no way. It couldn't be. Could it? How long...where...how had he...

"...Seng?"

A deadly calm invaded the cook's senses. Seng needed help; he didn't manage to somehow drag himself out from the depths of hell to die at the orphanage's very doorsteps. Nov snapped his head around at the two orphans, who were still armed and ready to fight.

"You two, fetch Jillene. Now! And tell her to find a doctor. Any doctor."

Neither runt hesitated. They dropped their makeshift weapons and bolted for the stairs. With a mask of grim calm, Noven hooked his hands under his friend's still soddingly heavy body and dragged Seng into the wamrth and safety of the kitchens. It took every ounce of his strength and patience to get the much taller man in without creating any new injuries. But within a chime he was able to pull Seng completely inside and shut the door.

Empty night. The season had started with one hell of a bang.


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Winter is Back...

Postby Kaie on December 4th, 2014, 8:51 pm

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"Ya look like shyke, Myrian."
Amber eyes drifted senselessly from their pointless stare into the half empty mug of ale toward the familiar bartender. He was a plump man with a face bushy with a tangled mess of a yellow beard just as wild as the long, curly disaster on his head. His face had twisted into a look that could only convey something likened to disappointment. At least that was what the intoxicated woman could comprehend with so much as a lazy, wayward glance. Her lips pressed together but she found no objection to his observation. Instead she took another drink, and the bitter taste of the hole-in-the-wall's alcohol couldn't touch the foulness she internalized. Her expression was practically devoid of life. There was natural bruising beneath her eyes as if she had never fully managed sleep for some time. More striking, the rather confident, headstrong spirit she had harbored had abandoned her. Her gaze returned to the contents of her mug again.

"Never known ya fer keepin' yer mouth shut either. Never known ya to let no one say nuffin' 'bout ya without yer sayin' somethin' 'bout it," He coaxed further in that growl-like voice of his. Kaie answered him only with the tipping of the mug to her lips, and a hearty drinking that ran the container dry when she placed it back on the counter. She gave him no further attention than the gesture toward the empty mug. "Gods, woman..." The bartender shoved his mop of blonde hair from his eyes and gave her a huff of irritation. He took the mug and her two coppers before vanishing toward the keg. It hadn't mattered he had left her. It hadn't mattered the conversation had died. Even with a patron sitting on either side of her, she was alone. The Myrian was isolated in her own thoughts, subject to the perpetual mental torture she exposed herself to. Yet she could not will it to end. She could not deny it was what she deserved and what held to be true.

Traitor. Deyhan. What have you done?

The thoughts, if not the images she experienced, were enough to make the once fierce warrior flinch. By the time the blonde man had returned with her drink she was already out of her seat. Shaky hands opened the empty water skin at her side and contents of the tall mug filled it. "Finally going home?" She took a long drink and shook her head firmly at that. No. I cannot ever go home...not now...not after.. The slamming of the tavern door almost made her go for her gladius. With a growl she screwed the cap back on her water skin and turned toward the exit. In a tick she was in the street, stumbling, wandering aimlessly in Akajia's embrace. And part of her wished it would swallow her whole.
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Winter is Back...

Postby Arlana on December 9th, 2014, 3:07 pm

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It was still early in the winter season, but Arlana was already in the biting cold as she stepped out of the Pig’s Foot Tavern. The young woman wrapped her cloak tighter around, leaving the soft warmth and the racket of the tavern. It had been a few days since her little meeting with the Night Eyes, but the event still felt significant. Things felt different now. It sounded foolish, but she did. Being a part of something big, finally a small step closer to gathering the information she needed. They might end up knowing nothing, but at least she was doing something.

Not eager to spend too much time under the light snowfall, Arlana finally headed out. She never liked the cold very much.

The thief should have known better and stayed focus as she walked down the streets. Those who let their guard down were prime targets for criminals in Sunberth. So, it didn’t exactly surprise her when she felt someone bumping into her and caught the movement where the stranger took her pouch of coins. Still, it didn’t mean it did not annoy her.

“Hey!” Arlana snapped out of her stupor as she broke into a run. There was a flash of light hair, rounding a turn and Arlana sprinted in that direction. What an ironic little thing, her purse getting stolen by a little thief. The young woman was not particularly worried, however. It wasn’t the first time some kid tried to rob her and so far, they never succeeded.

Arlana could see the slight figure running in front of her. With dirty long hair, the young woman decided that it was a girl. Then, she noticed the kid making a sharp left. The map of Sunberth was already burned into her memories and Arlana knew that the road she took would end in, well, a dead end. Too easy.

“Just give the money back, kid,” the young woman said, almost threateningly as she turned into the alley. As she had predicted, the girl was now backed against a building, looking at her with fear. Arlana could clearly see that she was shaking from head-to-toe, probably from both the cold and panic. It was clear that she wasn’t going to fight back. With a sigh, the older thief took away her pouch from the girl’s weak grip and left.

She couldn’t have been older than twelve, Arlana thought. What conscience she had left told her to look back. “You’re all alone? Where are your parents?”

That question alone was enough to make the girl burst into tears again. By that reaction alone, she guessed the parents were gone for good – either they’re dead or they abandoned. She didn’t know which one was worse really, but both were certainly better than not knowing whether they’re alive or dead, whether they still care for you or not.

The girl’s hands that covered her face were bluish from the cold and Arlana felt herself pitying the girl. She wouldn’t survive long in the cold with her measly clothing. Why was she alone in the middle of the night? The thief would have guessed that she had been living in the streets for a few days at least. She got the street look on her.

“Tell me your name,” the thief coaxed softly, hoping her voice would ease the girl’s panic. She imagined her djed unfurling out of her words, touching the girl with some sort of serenity. It didn’t necessarily work all the time, but at least she tried. “I’m Arlana. You can trust me.” Truthfully, the young woman felt a little awkward as she knelt down in front of the child. Arlana was an expert on working her way with men and adults in general, but children, well, she had no clue about. I would be an awful mother, she thought to herself.

It took a while until the girl spoke, so long that Arlana had to start rubbing her fingers together and heating them with her breath. “Isri,” the girl said in a weak whisper.

Alright, she got her name. Now what? What should she do with a little girl? Normally she wouldn’t have cared that much about most Sunberthians, but this was just a kid. Leaving a child to die, no matter how you look at it, was an awfully cruel thing to do. Besides, it wasn’t as if Arlana was in any danger soon. She guessed she could afford she could deal with Isri for a short while at least.

“Come on,” she said, holding out a hand to the girl. There was only one place that she could possibly can take the girl to – because there was no way Arlana was going to care for her. “Let me take you to the Orphanage.”

Honestly, Arlana half-expected the girl to refuse and run away, but instead, she grabbed the young woman’s hand tightly, like she was clinging for dear life. Isri was probably a more reasonable child than Arlana would be, because she would have refused and gotten herself killed. But she was glad when the girl trusted her. Even if she couldn’t save her brother, at least the thief could take this girl to a safer place – as safe as Sunberth can be, at least.

---------------------------

Maybe it was Lhex’s work to have them together that night, maybe it was just pure coincidence. The young woman had no idea that the night would take a surprising turn, simply because she decided escort this little girl to the place she had called home all those years ago.

Arlana wasn’t exactly sure what to say or who to look for if she wanted to bring in the little girl, so she decided to look for Noven instead. He worked at the Orphanage, so he should know a lot more than she did. The young woman rounded the building, heading towards the back door that would give her access to the kitchens – it was where Nov would most likely be.

She didn’t know why she spotted the blood immediately, but she did. The dark spots stood out starkly on the thin layer of snow, accompanied by the imprints of someone’s feet and leading toward the kitchen door. To add to her paranoia, Arlana noticed the drag marks leading into the building. What had happened? It seemed like her return to Sunberth was now riddled with violence and action. The dark-haired woman just knew that she had to check what was happening. There was no way she was letting anything happen to those orphans again, after all the trouble she had gotten into to bring them back.

Not one to consider social norms, Arlana opened the back door without so much as a knock.

It was the wrong decision.

Isri screamed first before Arlana even had the chance to truly comprehend the sight in front of her. Noven was practically dragging a familiar-looking man deeper into the room. Her eyes widened at the sight of blood covering him. Gods, someone who lost that much blood was most likely to be dead. It was enough to send her heart running and she barely realized that she tightened her grip around Isri’s hand.

The girl’s whimper snapped her back to focus. The Orphanage probably did not a very good first impression on the girl. “Don’t worry about it, he will be alright.” It was an outright lie, but she let her words weaved with trust and calm. Without wasting another moment, Arlana escorted the red-haired girl to the main hall and returned to the kitchens.

“What the petch happened?” Arlana finally asked to Nov. She approached the pair, hesitating and wondering if she should have the cook carry the man. A person was bleeding his life out and she had no idea what to do.

“Common.” “Benshiran.” “Hypnotism.”
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Winter is Back...

Postby Noven on April 24th, 2015, 8:26 pm

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He scrambled furiously around the cramped confines of the kitchens, trying to find rags, old aprons, towels--anything that could staunch the bleeding. Finding some scraps of cloth that seemed relatively clean, the cook ordered the two orphans to fetch him some hot water. They obeyed without question once they returned from informing Jillene, not entirely unused to these kinds of harried, life or death situations. It was Sunberth, after all.

Not long after he'd managed to pull Seng in, the last person he'd thought to see arrived. It was Arlana, with another runt in tow. She immediately asked what happened, but all the cook could do was shake his head. He wasn't any less ignorant than she was.

"I have no idea," he replied, trying to assess Seng's wounds through all of the torn clothing and blood. "But whatever it was, it's got him bad this time. Really bad."

Then Noven remembered. She had given him a salve, that first night the black eyed doctor had stitched him up. He had no idea if it would even work on Seng's wounds, but a shot in the dark was better than no shot at all.

"I'll be right back," he rasped to Arlana, then to his bloodied friend, unsure if Seng could even hear him. "You're not going to die on me. Not now."

And then he was bolting out the door, into the cold, Winter night. Nov raced like a madman from the orphanage to his apartment in Sunset, the trip short but not short enough, and nearly rammed down his door when he arrived. He burst through, chest heaving, eyes wild with urgency, as he made a beeline for his pack stuffed in some corner or other and fished out the salve. Much of it still remained, as he hadn't been as diligent as he'd promised to be to...to her...

With a fierce shake of his head to rid himself of the completely irrelevant thoughts, Nov grabbed the leftover salve and bandages and headed back toward the kitchens. Only to run straight into the stumbling, familiar frame of a drunk, female Myrian.

"Kaie?" he blurted, still panting and thoughts scrambled by the sight of his friend beaten within an inch of his life. "What the hell are you doing out here at this bell, all on your own?"

He sniffed the air around her. "...and reeking of ale, too."

Nov felt torn. He had a life to attempt to save. Seng was literally bleeding out on the kitchen floor and there was no telling if Jillene would be able to find a doctor in time. But Kaie was alone and well on her way to oblivion, out here in the cold streets, with what appeared to some kind of half realized death wish. He knew that look on her face. He'd worn it many nights himself, felt that desire for the darkness to blanket and shield him from the rest of the world, after Nona had died. And after every person who followed her to their graves because of him.

No sooner had he thought this than the scrape of boots against snow and stone could be heard behind them. Nov turned just in time to see a long plank of wood aimed straight for his head. He caught it, surprising himself, but not his attacker. It was some skinny, ragged beggar, clearly desperate to have tried assaulting two armed, hale individuals with nothing but a rotting piece of wood.

The beggar's sunken eyes clouded with despair at his failure. "Just kill me," he wheezed, choking back a sob. "I don't stand a chance."

Noven didn't even have time to feel properly sorry for the poor rat. He just threw the plank to the wayside, pulled back his elbow, and punched the beggar with a closed fist square in the jaw. It sent the stick of a man reeling back to land in a heap against the chilled, uncaring street. Nov checked to make sure the man was out cold before turning back to face the Myrian. The entire thing had taken all of a handful of ticks, but it only made him more determined. Because there was no telling who the next enterprising, desperate soul might be, and how better prepared they'd come than their pitiful predecessor.

"Right. You're coming with me."

The cook hadn't the faintest idea what was driving Kaie to attempt washing her troubles down with ale. But didn't have the time to find out, and he couldn't leave her there by herself. So he did the only thing he could in that moment. He leaned down, hoisted her by the waist onto his shoulder, and began running down the street, praying to every god and goddess he'd never know that the Myrian would not come to her senses in time to tear a sizable chunk out of his neck.

By the time he made it back to the kitchen, he was so winded he couldn't speak for a good chime or two. But he managed to set the Myrian down in hopes she wouldn't try to kill him the moment he did. Then he rushed to Seng's side, where he was surprised to find his landlady, staunching as many wounds as she could with clean rags.

"Are those bandages and salve?" she asked curtly as she looked up to see the cook's arrival. Nov nodded dumbly.

"Good, we've cleaned up most of his wounds but he's still bleeding from a few of the worst ones. He's going to need stitches. I've called for a doctor, but we need to keep him awake for the time being."

There was a pause as the Isur slid her gaze over to the Myrian. "I would ask, but it can wait."

"Couldn't leave her out there," was all Nov said before he grabbed a rag and held it to one of Seng's many, many wounds. It spoke volumes of his panicked state that he didn't even realize Arlana was missing until he'd begun to press a piece of cloth against a particularly deep gash. Where ever that lass had gone, he hoped it was to find help.


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Winter is Back...

Postby Kaie on May 10th, 2015, 4:42 am

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For a tick she thought she'd gotten just what she wanted. There was that dull, lulling buzz of alcohol flooding her veins. Her limbs were heavy. Darkness surrounded her so thick she swore it was only a matter of time before the blackness snuffed out the lanterns lining the streets. Akajia's shadows embraced her as tightly as only a mother could, and then...

"Bastard!" the Myrian growled savagely before her hand jerked down toward her gladius. Heavy heels reeled a step back to eye the fool that had bumped into her. Amber eyes blinked several times before the world before her focused. It was the voice that brought understanding before sight. The damned cook? She put a tawny palm to her head. "Gods...dammit, Noven! What are you doing...petchin'...whatever it is you're doing?" her question was a drunken slur, and spoken as if she couldn't put a sentence together without plenty more thought than usually necessary. Her weight tipped backward. Feet moved backward to catch herself, and then her frame was rocking forward. It looked for a tick that she might've been fixing to eat dirt before she found her center again. That's when she finally addressed his question. "I got...petchin...I got thirsty."

And I've got a long walk ahead of me. I think.

It was quite some time before she'd realized Noven was feebly attacked. By the time the fight was finished, the best she could do was kick him while he was already down. Then she turned to the cook with a furrowed, angry brow.
"I'm...No! I'm going to find a..." What was it she was going to find again. "A...better drink! So petch---hey!" Before she could finish her lengthy way of saying no, Noven had hoisted her up and over his shoulder. Then the two were off with the orphan running like a mad man. It proved quite the right, the dashing cook and the furiously cursing Myrian all but going so far as to strike him. In Taloba, he might've been killed for his disrespect of a female. Lucky for him, it was not Taloba and even the drunken Myrian knew he was ignorant to the norms she believed he'd violated.

Thankfully, it wasn't too terrible an amount of time before the savage was put down. The building was familiar. Warm, too. The positives weren't focused in her drunken stupor, though, and the cursing went on for some time. Eventually she found her way to the source of all the commotion. That's when she found herself sobering up a bit quicker than she'd hoped. Senghor? Kaie offered the Isurian woman a half-hearted wave before approaching where her wounded comrade laid.


"For petch's sake...what. What can I do? I'm drunk. Not useless."
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Winter is Back...

Postby Noven on May 21st, 2015, 9:33 am

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He was relieved to see the Myrian had come shuffling over to help, rather than gut him for manhandling her like a sack of vegetables. Though, a sack of vegetables might have been nice considering how hard they all knew Winter would undoubtedly become. How it always became.

"Yes," came Jillene's curt reply. Her milky eyes stared without focus past Kaie, but her hands were as sure as ever while she pressed a rag to one of Senghor's wounds. "There's a pot of water boiling on one of the stoves. Bring it over so we can clean some of this blood and see where he's hurt most. There are rags nearby so you don't burn yourself on the handles."

Meanwhile, Noven kept pressure as best he could, fighting the rising tide of panic in his throat. One of the precious few people he called friend was lying on the floor, bleeding out faster than any of them could remedy. Things had gone from normal shyke night to absolute nightmare and they all knew it. Worst part of it was, there wasn't much the three non-medics present could do. The towering brawler's only real chance at surviving the night was if that doctor Jillene had summoned came within the next handful of chimes.

Should Kaie return with the steaming pot, Jillene would then issue more brief orders, instructing them to dip an unused pile of rags into the water to clean them first before wringing them out and begin removing as much of the blood around Seng's wounds as they could manage. Nov did as he was told with nary a flippant word of complaint to be heard. He focused his efforts entirely on the task before him, handling the sodden rag in his hands gingerly as he let it cool a bit before wringing it out over the pot. It was hot, but bearable, and soon the cook was dabbing at his friend's limbs, trying to discern through frustrated, squinted eyes what had caused so much damage on the formidable Sunberthian.

Once they'd cleaned as much blood as they could and the water in the pot turned from clear to red, Jillene ordered some of the orphans lingering about to clean up the pot and rags. They obliged without question.

"Here, we can try to apply some salve to the shallow wounds," the Isur suggested in a weary tone, "but the deeper ones will most likely require stitches."

Nov knew this to mean they were leaving the worst of the injuries to the hands of an expert. He held no qualms with this logic and dipped a finger into the jar of salve, dabbing carefully over the cuts and scrapes that had more or less ceased bleeding. Together, the three of them salved and bandaged what they knew to be non-fatal wounds, but it wasn't long before they reached a point where nothing more could be done by their hands.

The cook snarled in agitation once they were finished. "What the petch is taking this sodding bastard so l--"

"Where is he?" a voice suddenly interrupted from somewhere near the front doors of the orphanage. Thomas and Mira answered right away, ushering the doctor into the kitchen. Nov was relieved to see it was a middle aged woman of stern and clean features. Then again, anything other than a horse doctor was a veritable gift from the gods right about now.

The doctor shooed them away immediately, allowing only Jillene to stay and explain what had happened. Nov, Kaie, and the remaining orphans were all made to wait outside so as to give the physician peace and quiet. She would call on them if help was required, or so the woman had claimed.

Nov was peeved, to say the least, that he wasn't allowed to at least watch over his injured friend. But one glare from his landlady proved it would be more detrimental than helpful if he resisted. There were still stains of blood on his hands and clothes, though he was in no state to give a shyke. Instead, he stumbled over to one of the benches in the mess hall and sank tiredly onto the worn wood, musing for a moment how coincidental it was that they ended up here again, he and the Myrian. He could still remember the first day Kaie had found her way into the building, hungry enough to trade her services for a warm meal.

"So," he sighed, gesturing toward one of the adjacent benches in case Kaie felt just as drained as he did. "Seeing as how we've got a bit of time to kill, anything you'd like to talk about? Say, for instance, why you were out by yourself in the middle of the night, drowning in enough booze to lay a man twice your size flat?"

A noise in the corner reminded him some of the runts were still present, eavesdropping like the little rats they always were. He barked at them to go fetch some food, two cups, and a pitcher of water. The cook had been running back and forth between his apartment and the kitchens, after all, and Kaie was no doubt hellbent on sporting the biggest hangover possible. Some water and substenance would do them both good. Not to mention provide a meager amount of distraction, should the Myrian choose not to humor him. Normally, he avoided conversations like this. He was the last person who wanted others to confide in, to carry around their burdens on top of his own. But Kaie had proved a worthy ally, and she had stayed to help Seng. She didn't need to do it, held no obligation, but she pitched in all the same.

Nov sent the orphans off once they returned and poured Kaie a cup. He pushed a plate of cheese and bread in her direction as well, battered metal scraping lightly against the wooden table. "I'm not one to judge, I can promise you that."


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Winter is Back...

Postby Kaie on May 22nd, 2015, 4:34 am

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It was a good thing Jillene had chosen to accept the foreigner's help. Sober Kaie could be persistent when
one refused her. A drunk Myrian, however? Well, she could really turn out to be one royal bitch. Amber eyes were locked upon the desert-skinned man bloodied upon the kitchen floor. As soon as the Isurian woman replied, the Myrian was in motion. She turned on her heels, head rotating this way and that until she found the object they required. Another tick and the intoxicated woman had managed to grab a handful of rags, and carefully bring the boiling water pot over to their makeshift work station. Bronze hands dipped a rag into the hot water before gently applying it the wounded man. She gave it a squeeze. Water rushed out from the fabric and cascaded over his body. Watered down areas of blood were wiped away, only for fresh streams to dribble up to the skin's surface. The rag was wrung out and the process was repeated.

It wasn't before long that something set off within the woman. Mid-wipe of the rag across Senghor's body, her hands unclenched from the cloth. Half curled claws turned up to show bloodied palms. The red was everywhere. Within the tiny crevices that naturally lined her hands, wrapped around her cuticles, beginning to drip from her fingertips. Her hands gave a quiver. Eyes couldn't tear themselves away from the carnage on her own flesh, and yet they didn't truly see. The Myrian was clearly far away. So very far away. And for a tick, the only expression that laid on her face was one of both terror and grief. It wasn't until one of Jillene's new orders was voiced that she snapped back to the task before her. The finished rag was cast off and a new one procured.

Slowly but surely progress had become visible. The flood of blood across his torso had begun to ebb, replacing itself in far less volume than when they'd initially found him. Much was lost and still more came, but it was progress nonetheless. Kaie couldn't help but find herself remembering the horrors they endured below ground. The Yukmen that harassed through through the caverns, the mercenaries that waited to slaughter them outside. Both Myrian and desert-skinned warrior had survived with their fair share of scars. By the time they'd escaped on horseback, it was Kaie that had herded the man onto her own steed to outrun the earthy abominations. If that was Hai, this is nothing, Seng. Orphans rushed in at the Isurian woman's orders, flitting here and there to clean and retrieve as they were bid. Kaie wasted no time dipping her own fingers into the salve and spreading it across wounds as she saw them. Now and then she glanced at Jillene as she completed her work. Clearly she knew far more the blood-bathed Myrian did about medicine, and the foreigner had every intention of following her lead to the fullest extent.

Only relief flooded the woman when two familiar orphans ushered in a pair of doctors. Whether that was from the weariness and stress of the task, or the idea Senghor's life was not longer solely in their unskilled hands was up for debate. Soon enough both cook and savage were forced out of the room despite protests. Kaie cleaned her hands off on a moist, unused rag before she conceded to vanish from their presence along with Noven. In a tick she'd all but collapsed onto the bench beside him. A slender, tawny index finger began to absently trace at the lines of aged, worn wood. Then it shot over to her side to unscrew the top of her waterskin. The container was tipped back to her lips while Noven spoke, alcohol trickling down her throat in a way that was therapeutic. When she'd finished, she offered it toward the cook. Gods knew they both needed it. Though perhaps she needed it more seeing as she had some sort of explaining to do.

Petch.

She leaned forward and ran her hands down her face wearily. Brown curls shook with her head. Then she sat up rather quickly and eyed the man. Her brow lowered over her eyes. You don't have to say a word, let alone tell him what you did. It's none of his business. And yet he was the man who fed her. Her comrade. As much as she'd love to convince herself she had been handling herself just fine, there's no telling what perils might've befell her had he not come along and whisked her away. Maybe you do owe him something. The woman adverted her gaze.
"I killed a man. A few nights ago." It was a shyke explanation, she knew. Still it was something. A start. And she was already doing better than the night she had shown up upon the Quay's doorstep, bloodied and far from in her right mind.


"I suppose I'm still working up to letting it go," she continued as the orphans returned with what they'd been commanded to procure. The Myrian gave a gracious mumble toward Noven before taking a bite of the cheese placed before her. A half-hearted smile painted across her lips. "Would you look at that. We're in the same place started aren't we?" For better or for worse.
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Winter is Back...

Postby Noven on June 1st, 2015, 3:59 am

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He watched the Myrian tip back the waterskin that was clearly not filled with water and frowned, but made no move to stop her. A sip never killed anyone. Even if the subject in question had had several, large, continuous sips before he'd found her in the street. All the same, at least there were walls and a roof over her head. Not to mention she seemed to have come to terms with the nature of how she ended up here in the first place, and Nov didn't wish to push his luck.

Declining her offer of sharing the waterskin, he eased back into his chair and tore off a hunk of bread. Kaie appeared to deliberate for a span of ticks after he asked his question before answering. So, she had killed a man. But, considering her heritage, Nov was willing to guess the man hadn't been some poor, unknown sod unlucky enough to stumble into her path.

The subject was changed quickly enough and he got the hint. He hadn't the intention, nor desire, of prying and whatever could keep their minds temporarily off of the morbid and bloodied was as good a distraction as any. Nov looked around them, mirroring the Myrian's faint little smile as he wedged some cheese into a handful of bread and took a hearty bite. It was simple fare, but good, and for a moment it brought a small measure of comfort in a time of apprehension and dark memories.

"That we are," he concurred, washing down the food with a gulp of water. "And to think, that was two seasons ago..."

Noven stared at the crumbs in his hand. Two whole seasons since he'd last seen Seng. And at least a half since he and Kaie had rescued those orphans. So much had happened in less than a year, people gained and lost and found and lost again.

Krysus, now it was his turn to itch for a drink.

"I think I'll have a taste of whatever you've got in that waterskin after all."

They sat like that for some time, picking away at the food and doing their best to evade the clutches of unbidden memories, until the door to the kitchen finally swung open. The doctor and Jillene both emerged at the same time, a wear but satisfied look on each of their faces.

Nov almost fell out of his chair at the sight of them. "Is he alright?" the cook asked as he got back to his feet to face the two women, "will he make it?"

Jillene looked to the doctor, who said nothing but gave a short nod. Relief washed over the cook and he nearly sank back into his chair, had his landlady not chosen to direct more orders at him right then and there, ever merciless in her distribution of labor. "He will be fine. Nothing some peace and rest won't cure. As for you two, both of you ought to get cleaned up."

The Isur's milky gaze glided over to Noven's general vicinity. "First thing's first, however. You need to make sure all of the children are in their quarters. Kaie may get started while you see to this task. The rest I leave up to you."

And with that, the two women left, presumably to discuss fees and how best to monitor the towering brawler. Staring tiredly after them, Nov sighed and turned to Kaie. "Well, you heard the lady. If you want, you can clean up here, instead of waiting till you get all the way back to..."

He pondered for a moment, realizing he had no petching idea where the Myrian even lived. "...uh, where ever it is you're staying. There's also a spare room here if you'd rather rest here for the night."

It wasn't long after that he was barking orders at the runts who were still awake, getting all of the food and plates cleaned up before herding the children back into their rooms. There was a burning urgency to check on Seng and see how he was faring, but there was no point in interrupting much needed rest, and no reason not to trust both the doctor and Jillene's verdict. Much as it chafed him not to be at his friend's side, Nov knew there wasn't much he could do at this point other than allowing Seng to recover.



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Winter is Back...

Postby Kaie on June 18th, 2015, 3:57 am

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Two bloody seasons...

Noven's revelation was almost unfathomable. A winter come and passed, and come again. Long had it been since Vanari and Kaie had escaped the curious clutches of the fanatics in Nyka and their gargantuan, vile creature. So many seasons ago she'd arrived on Sunberth's shore, been bloodied, robbed, and beaten every which way until the city broke the Myrian into its anarchic ways. Her initiation felt like eternity ago. Almost as far away as Falyndar felt. She shook her head and took another bite of the food she'd been offered. To the cook's wise act of reconsideration, Kaie's small grin widened. The water skin was promptly swung back his way for the taking. When it was returned, she took a last drink of the contents herself. For a tick her face twisted at the taste. She might've gone for another sip had Isurian woman not barged in with the doctor.

Instantly she rose with far less than grace. Her frame shifted unbalanced before she managed to find her footing. It was a wonder her hands, searching for the table for aid at one point, hadn't managed to sweep food or drink onto the floor by mistake. The cook was quicker on the draw with the vital question hanging on her mind. It was probably for the better anyways. Even the proud Myrian had to admit she was noticeably slurring her words. A relieved exhale whooshed from her lungs. Seng, you lucky son of a bitch, you. Her gleeful expression was wiped away when attention was brought to both of their appearances. Looking down, it wasn't hard to see the issue. Red splotched here and there, stained clothes, and tinted their skin. There was something deeply unsettling about wearing a friend's blood. The sight of it threatened to bring the Myrian back to the very place she'd been desperately trying to escape from by dulling her mind. Eyes lingered with a strange tightness upon her bloodied hands a few moments too long. It was only the calling of her name that brought her back to attention.


"Thank you, Nov," she addressed the cook steadier than before but not by much. An awkward pause arose. Her brow furrowed. Lips moved without sound for a fraction of a chime. It was as if in her drunken stupor she was struggling to translate her mother tongue into Common, that or align her thoughts so she could make a better judgement on her future plans. "Might as well stay. Keep from running into, uh, running into. Well. You know." Did he? The struggling woman sure hoped so. "Best I clean up and sit tight for a bit. Maybe do something to help around here in the morning. Keep your Boss Lady from regretting letting me stay." She shoved the last of the cheese into her mouth and went about gathering the ware on the table. Cups, dishes, and utensils were promptly (and unceremoniously) hauled back toward the kitchen. Perhaps it was more of an excuse to return to see the surviving Broken Shackle member for herself rather than politeness. In any case, she found herself lingering inside even after she'd placed her cargo within the sink.


Water poured from the sink spout. Bloodied hands sprung beneath, rubbing together with soap beneath the liquid. Red funneled down the drain beneath them. When the stain was removed from her tawny skin, the Myrian turned back toward her wounded, resting friend nearby. Slowly she approached his side, face stony. A hand was laid on the top of his head, careful to choose a place that wasn't lacerated or brutalized by some sort of struggle. Amber gaze studied the face of the mountainous man.
"Rest easy now. When you wake up, I'll help you cross off the names of the people who did this to you. " And just like that she was gone. Off in an unsteady search for the spare room Noven promised existed. Off to sleep before the arrival of Syna the next day brought with her the punishment of an excruciating hangover.
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