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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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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Gwin on January 4th, 2015, 9:19 pm

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Gwin merely blinked at the answer. She couldn’t remember what the penalty for theft was, but in a city as unforgiving as Riverfall, even small crimes would be punished severely. Of course, she had no way of knowing whether the boy was a poor creature jumping at an opportunity or a weathered criminal. Judging from the way he’d tried to get away with her violin, however, she guessed the former.

Her violin. As he tossed it, she started forward with a cry on her lips, arms extended as if catching a small child falling from great height. Luckily, the wood landed in her arms and she clutched it to her chest, patting the polished light body of her instrument. Finally, she could breathe freely.

And her fear disappeared like another cloud of steam. “May I ask what the penalty for theft is?” Receiving the answer, Gwin couldn’t help but notice his harsh tone and the way he addressed herself. Despite the noble intents, the Akalak was beginning to lose quite a bit of her respect. “I’m was thinking of him, not myself. Perhaps he is from Sunberth and perhaps he is a notorious thief. But you’ve no way of knowing that and you can’t prove it. Can you?” Still stroking her violin, Gwin returned his jewel-like gaze calmly.

Until he finally turned around. By then the small crowd had dispersed too, less than interested in a discussion of penalties and details. Ignoring the boy’s words, Gwin bent down, laid her instrument into its case and closed it with a sharp snap. Through all of it, she kept an eye on the boy. “One more thing before we go. Don’t run away. Talk to me. Are you really what the Akalak took you for or did he misjudge you? I’d like to know if I lied for you.”

Not that it bothered her, lying. She’d only wanted to get her beloved possession back. Once she had it, the song was over. Still, a sense of curiosity remained. Where had the boy come from? Did he carry a story, a ballad in that dirty starved chest of his? If he did, she had to drag it out.
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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Timothy Mered on February 10th, 2015, 10:51 pm

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The Akalak simply shrugged before turning away. The Akvatari was right, he couldn’t prove his suspicions. It didn’t matter. The boy was her problem now.

Against better judgment, Timothy remained. As she packed up her violin with the affection of a mother for her infant, his scowl faded into a condescending frown. What a strange creature she was. How could an oversized, polished plank and a few plucked strings be of such value to her? It didn’t make any sense. The cogs in his head started to grind. What is she really? She’s not human, or Benshira, or anything else I’ve ever seen…

He half expected her to grab a hold of him and drag him to the city guard still, but instead she besieged him with words, spoken firmly, but not threatingly. Her question was a reasonable one and it was clear she meant no harm. His shoulder dropped a little. The bath he’d taken had breathed new air into him, but already it was stained by shame. Two days past he’d arrived in this unknown city, and during those days he’d done nothing but lying and stealing and sneaking around. In Kenash he hadn’t dared, nor wanted to. But in Riverfall he had no choice. There was some pride in the small successes that had kept him alive so far. A stray apple taken without notice, a discarded copper picked up and stuffed in his pocket. Within just two bitter nights he’d become what all his friends in Sunberth had been, a petty thief.

Timothy pursed his lips. “It depends,” he said gruffly. “I haven’t been doing this always. It’s a long story.” Crossing his arms again, he simply waited for the strange woman to leave. Deep down, the urge to apologize arose, but the words refused to leave his throat. To say sorry would be to admit that he’d been in the wrong. A few ticks of silence passed before he managed to squeeze another word out. “Thanks though,” he mumbled, “for…you know,” his voice was nearly inaudible, “for not turning me in.”
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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Gwin on February 13th, 2015, 12:19 pm

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Gwin slung the violin case over one shoulder and rose to face the boy. Despite the rough tone, he seemed considerably less rebellious and more contrite. It was the expression she’d been waiting for, the sign that he had honest bones in that beaten body of his. She breathed a sigh of relief before fluttering around him and making for the exit. Since the baths held only hostile witnesses for him, she trusted he’d follow instead of running off.

As she went through the long tunnels and up a few staircases that’d lead them towards the light of day, Gwin spoke over her shoulder. “I like long stories… and I’m glad to hear you do have some manners. If you keep it up, you won’t have any more problems here.” Gwin didn’t actually know that. She had only enough regard for Rivarian customs and laws to not end up before the council herself as the argument with the Akalak had shown. But out of all the places she’d seen and the people she’d observed, the Akvatari had noticed some similarities. Laws tended to be the same with only minimal modifications according to local culture and history.

Finally she rounded the last corner. Fresh air tousled her blond locks, nearly dried, as she inhaled the salty scent of the nearby ocean. Turning around, she expected the boy to come up behind, perhaps more exhausted from the staircases, but still following and decently embarrassed.

If he did, she’d smile at him. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to hear that story of yours. Telling it could make you feel better. And if you do that, I’ll show you what exactly it was that you were trying to take from me. I promise you’ll like it.” She had a plan. Even the thought of it was exhilarating and widened her smile. To the human boy, the Akvatari would suddenly look like a little girl offering her dearest treasure to him. A smooth river stone. Perhaps a colorful shell. Nothing could be farther from the truth though.
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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Timothy Mered on April 19th, 2015, 12:48 am

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oocfar too long in the making and very, very short, but I really didn't think Timothy would share his backstory with her at this point. I've still left a window for you to execute the plan you were hinting at, but if you want to close this thread off, that's fine too. Super sorry for the long wait!!
Timothy trotted after her like a lost puppy. She slipped up the stairs and out into the open with ease, he struggled much more. Tongue hanging from the corner of his mouth, he sucked in the fresh, salty air. When she turned to face him, he didn’t stand as close by as an acquaintance might. Instead he kept a solid distance between them, his stance betraying the burning desire to turn tail and flee. Yet again he remained, pinned to the ground by guilt. She was somewhat nice and perhaps he shouldn’t have tried to steal off her.

Boring his eyes into the ground, he listened as she asked him to tell more about himself. What is she up to? he wondered. No one had ever bothered to ask him how he had come to be here or why and he had no desire to answer. “You don’t need to know,” he crossed his arms. “I am no one. What’s it to you anyway?” He shook his head. “Don’t pretend you care now, I’m pretty sure you don’t. No one cares.”

At that, his eyes shot up again, challenging her to either speak and make him listen or remain silent and let him go freely.
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Timothy Mered
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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Gwin on April 25th, 2015, 10:31 pm

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It was hard to miss the mistrust in the boy’s eyes. He practically glared at her, daring her to… what? Do the same thing he had attempted perhaps. Shed her mask and reveal a selfish nature. She couldn’t provide that, though, and he didn’t seem like a naturally selfish guy.

Gwin frowned at his remark, slightly amused at the irony. “You’re most certainly someone. Otherwise I’d be standing here talking to myself. Maybe I am, but somehow I doubt that.” Let him be annoyed or confused by her cryptic words. Sometimes her thoughts worked in strange ways, meandering through back alleys and bending around too many corners. She couldn’t help it. Sometimes it provided inspiration which she appreciated.

“Aye, if you think so, it’s probably true. You could change that, but I guess it’d be easier if someone else did that for you. I’m not sure if I can though. Either way, it looks like nothing good will come of this, so I won’t hold you back. Just one thing.” Without any flourish, she rummaged around in her satchel and produced a handful of gold coins. All in all, it came to twenty mizas – twenty mizas he was free to take or leave.

No matter what he decided to do, she gave the boy a little smile. “Good luck. And don’t steal instruments again. Their owners will haunt you forever.”


OOCGuess we're all done here. Thank you for the exciting thread! I hope Gwin will be able to execute her plan in another thread with Tim.
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Caught Between Fire and Ice

Postby Ashar on May 6th, 2015, 6:30 am

Gwin
Experience
Skill XP Earned
Rhetoric 4
Observation 2
Investigation 1
Socialization 2

Lores
Riverfall: Can’t Stand the Cold
Water Park: Layout
Akalaks: Upholden to Honor
Riverfall: Dislikes Thieves
Children: Unpleasant
Sunberth: Den of Thieves


Timothy Mered
Experience
Skill XP Earned
Larceny 1
Observation 2
Acting 1
Intimidation 1
Socialization 1
Rhetoric 1

Lores
Water Park: Brilliant
Water Park: Mixed Baths
Gwin: Winged Fish-Tail Lady
Akalaks: Upholden to Honor
Riverfall: Dislikes Thieves



Additional Comments
This was an enjoyable read. The short posts meant that more could happen between the two characters that advanced the action, yet they were long enough to entail what each character was feeling at any particular time. I'm glad I was able to read it, and I hope you two find time to do a conclusion sometime.

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