Closed make right the time.

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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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make right the time.

Postby Caelum on February 15th, 2015, 10:30 pm

"It sounds like a familiar story to me," Caelum admitted quietly, having matched his strides to Aoren's as he listened. "And one for which I am unendingly grateful."


Aoren's story was one that Caelum had partially seen in his nightmares, and he recalled now the balicani with a cold shiver easing down his spine. A hand rose to scrape back pale brown hair and he moved unconsciously closer to Aoren as they walked, so that their arms brushed and he remembered what else the story had conjured to his recollection. A part of his mind occupied itself with sifting through the needs that had been drifting off of Aoren since he had approached Caelum in the stables, and with utmost care he sussed a few of the threads out of the tangle.


"The second time was here, or nearby," he explained, voice low and he wove his way slowly toward the center of what he ultimately intended to convey. "I set out to attempt to heal Kavala from a very old wound, one that was more psychological than physical but it manifested itself physically and cast a pall on her life." He did not go into greater detail as to the nature of the wound, because that had been a secret entrusted to him and though it was no more, though they had succeeded in healing her, Caelum did not feel right telling it to another without her express permission. "I was foolish. I thought too highly of my abilities not only as a healer but as a... a trapeze artist, almost. I almost failed miserably, but Rak'keli came at Kavala's cry and saved us both. She was angry at first. I got no kiss --"


Here, he laughed. It was a ruffle of fire, that sound. "She slapped me," he explained. "And she had her rakinvas with her. She told me that what I attempted was impossible, but then she did it for me. For both Kavala and I. And she reminded me that she would not always be here to catch me as I dance upon the knife's edge." He paused and his voice lowered in reflection, thoughtful. "But that still I must dance."


Unexpectedly , the ethaefal stopped walking. It was in the sun dappled shadow of the path, beneath the tracework of branches against the sky. He caught Aoren's hand and tugged him back to bid him wait and he searched out the seer's regard.


"But the first time I saw Rak'keli in this life, Aoren, she gave me a gift beyond measure. One that I can carry with me through all my years, and into every dawn and nightfall of my life here. And the truly remarkable bit about it, though, is that you're the one who gave it to me first. Rak'keli merely expanded on your present, on all you gave me before you even really knew me."


A single, aching string of need was mentally tugged free of the tangle, and let it float away on Zulrav's wind as Caelum offered a wry smile.


"Aoren, she gave me more of my names. Out there in the grasses --" He gestured toward the forest land and the Sea of Grass they both knew sprawled beyond it. "She found me when even Syna would have nothing to do with me. And she tested me and she named me Kas'bel, and Josef, and more. And I knew I could believe in the word of a god again because I had heard Kasb'el first from you."
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make right the time.

Postby Aoren on February 15th, 2015, 11:37 pm

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Often when we seek the impossible, we push the boundaries of what is.” Aoren didn’t know where the words came from but he spoke them with conviction. They felt old as if spoken from a far off distant shore. He shivered slightly as the wind swept across the landscape. He listened to the story that unfolded a small smirk gracing his lips. It sounded very much like something that Caelum would do. There was a passion that burned inside of the Ethaefal that Aoren couldn’t put words to. Part of him suspected Caelum couldn’t put words to it either. It was that passion, that drive, his brilliance and his complete and utter humanity that drew Aoren to him.

Despite his exterior, an Ethaefal, Caelum was still so human.

Aoren came into Caelum’s grasp willingly. His eyes searched the planes of his lover’s face. He brought up a hand to brush through Caelum’s hair as a warm smile touched his features. He was warmed by the softness in Caelum’s voice and the sincerity of his words. They touched Aoren. He leaned forward bringing the Ethaefal closer to his body and kissed him. It was a gentle thing filled with the smoldering comfort a hearth fire.

I would have you believe in many things, Caelum. Kasb’el…” He trailed off capturing the Ethaefal’s face in one of his hands. He ran a thumb along the ridge of Caelum’s cheekbone with naught but fondness in his eyes and a tenderness in his heart. The Ethaefal was a little moody. He was prone to clinging to his brooding silence. He was observant to the point that Aoren almost wondered if he could read minds. He was captivating and alluring. He was a successful businessman and so many other things it made Aoren’s head spin. In spite of it all or perhaps because of it he was only drawn closer to the man.

The gods can give us all the tools in the world but if we do not believe in our strength to wield them, what good are they? You could have a thousand names, Caelum but what would that mean? Is it who you are today? Is it who you will be tomorrow? Learn from this life. Appreciate the ones before it but they do not define who you are now.” He leaned in nudging Caelum under the chin gently with the tip of his nose. Sliding a hand down, Aoren laced their fingers together resuming their journey to Zulrav’s tower. A feeling of contentment settled in Aoren’s chest. The weather was cold but he was made warm in the company of the man beside him.

"Above all things, I would have you believe in yourself. Fate might nudge us East or West but the journey is still ours for the taking and yours has been incredible. You are an amazing man, Caelum. Rak'keli gave you a gift, that gift wasn't who you were. The gift was helping you to see who you already are." He fell silent then reflecting on his words. Honestly he didn't know what had come over him. He supposed it was just how Caelum made him feel. After a few steps in silence he glanced at the man beside him.

I do believe you were supposed to be telling me about Zulrav.” He gave Caelum a sly smile before lifting the Ethaefal’s hand to brush the back of it across his lips.
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make right the time.

Postby Caelum on March 4th, 2015, 9:45 pm

It was unsettling to sense belief. Though it was dressed in a desire for Caelum to have greater faith in himself, it was the same thing. There was a great capacity for faith in him, but some parts of Aoren’s words moved him and not entirely in comforting directions. Some he disagreed with, but being unable as of yet to really explain why beyond a mere feeling, he did not say so. Instead he enjoyed the seer’s affection, a smile quickening across his mouth in the wake of the kiss.


“One day,” he told Aoren, “I will have a way to show my name to you. When did you get so wise?”


An eyebrow swung up teasingly and at the tug he fell easily back into step with Aoren. Split soled riding boots were worn comfortably down at the heel and made steady, easy work of the terrain and it was a short trail of steps later he spoke again.


“You gave me a gift,” he said, because he wanted to stress that. He needed to. “Regardless of what Rak’keli did or did not give me, what you did on our first meeting meant a great deal to me. What I take from it or think of it is regardless. You should know that. You work change in people, and in the world. I don’t know if you realize it, but it comes natural to you. You’re a guide, Aoren. You just haven’t yet learned all the maps.”


A glance was cast the sky, a familiar gesture on him. His smile sharpened into a smirk. “I like Zulrav. He’s feels very… familiar. If that makes sense? He cares a great deal, and often more than he should. It brews into storms and all of his winds whisper back to him. I used to think he chased me out of Cyphrus only to discover he was whistling me near rather than trying to warn me off. I haven’t met him, but I’d very much like to.”
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make right the time.

Postby Aoren on March 7th, 2015, 6:32 pm

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Then I had better start doing more exploring. I did quite a bit of it as a boy. We didn’t often get the chance to roam about outside the castle walls, us orphans. When we were given the chance it was usually in the company of all the caretakers not far from the walls of Syliras. Still, I enjoyed those outings.” He inclined his head humbly at the praise given to him by Caelum. He never knew how to respond to compliments. They made him fidget. He knew that genuine compliments didn’t come with the expectation that they would be reciprocated but still he felt inclined to return them. Rather than voice that awkward uncomfortableness he merely leaned closer to Caelum nudging his shoulder gently.

I don’t know what to make of storms, truthfully. They always seem to come at the worst times in my life. The caretakers said the night I was left at the orphanage was heralded by a terrible storm. I buried the man I considered my father during a thunderstorm. The storms that nearly ripped the world apart a few years ago brought with them the news of my long time friend’s death.” Aoren shrugged his shoulders. He really hadn’t put much thought into it but now that he was thinking about it several major events in his life were either preceded by or followed by particularly violent storms.

Huh…I really just thought about it but many of the major points in my life were accompanied by storms. Do you think he’s trying to tell me something?” The seer gave Caelum a half-smirk but it was certainly a thought.

Maybe one day we’ll both get the privilege of meeting him, eh? Then I can ask him.” He jest about the notion but part of him was curious. Was Zulrav, like with Caelum, reaching out to him? Aoren had always associated storms with ill omens. His darkest nightmares had often been when storms hung low overhead. Peels of thunder would awaken him where he would sit shivering in a cold sweat in the dark of his room. Was there more to it than that? It boggled Aoren’s mind to think he’d garnered the attention of a deity on any level and yet two of them in the pantheon had marked him. He fell silent for several steps mulling over his thoughts. He didn’t feel it was an awkward silence. Quite the contrary, he felt comfortable in the Ethaefal’s presence whether they were talking or merely around each other.

Can you tell me about Riverfall? You’ve been here longer than I have. What do you think of the city?” As the edge of the city in question came upon them, Aoren decided it was best to switch subjects for a time.

You’ve called yourself a wanderer on a few occasions. What has made you stay here in Riverfall?” He knew part of the answer but Aoren wanted to hear it in Caelum’s words. Much had transpired with the Ethaefal and indeed Aoren himself between the present day and the day they first met. He wanted to know about some of it and with time he knew Caelum would share with him what he was comfortable with.
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make right the time.

Postby Caelum on March 28th, 2015, 4:06 pm

"Riverfall is as dual natured as the race it houses," Caelum replied.


His mouth curved thoughtfully and it became apparent that he was struggling with his words. There was a part of him that wanted to keep shut regarding the darker half of their city, but a combination of respect for Aoren as well as the season that loosened his tongue ultimately prevailed. The Akalak were a complicated race and so was the society they had built regardless of appearances. He watched the city and the cliffs come into view.


"To understand Riverfall, Aoren, you must first understand the Akalak. They are the sons of the divine, Wysar and Akajia, who are in themselves a complicated coupling. The god of integrity and discipline does not automatically seem to easily align with the goddess of secrets and shadows. It requires a broader world view to see how they connect, and how well. It's easy to assign light to good and dark to evil, but it's also wrong. And to imagine Akajia as something evil for her domain of shadows and her enigmatic nature. But she is no more wrong than Leth or even Dira. Her intentions are not cruel or chaotic. This is a world view that is inherent to the Akalaks. It's inside their very selves, as there are two souls inhabiting every one Akalak body"


A sidelong glance was given Aoren because Caelum was not aware of how much of this information on their host race Aoren already knew. There was much of it that Caelum himself did not understand until he had come to live among them and had spent seasons and seasons working alongside the blue men. A nudge was given Aoren's arm to steer him around a rut in their path. It was familiar to him as he walked this trail often twice a day, traveling between the Sanctuary and the great walls of Riverfall. The trail sloped up and joined with the wider sprawl of the Kabrin Road where some travelers and a caravan could be seen in the distance. The ethaefal eyed these for a minute before their feet turned toward the ford, the rush of the mighty Bluevein, and the familiar height of the city gates. They were given little notice. Caelum was impossible to mistake, the brilliance of his horns gleaming in the light and his form terribly familiar to the Kuvay'nas. The gatekeepers knew very well who he was, where he had come from, and where he was going.


"This city the Alakak has built is very similar. It is a stronghold, full of mysteries and beauties. They protect themselves and their people fiercely. They are warriors and scholars and believe in things like honor and family and the preservation of both. Their society reflects that. It is one of the safest cities in all of Mizahar."


Silence settled over him as they approached the gates. A hand tugged loose from his pocket to shoot a familiar wave at the guards, a quick smile lancing his mouth. The Akalak returned his grin and turned bright eyes on Aoren. After a thoughtful moment, he nodded and told Caelum, "I'm sending my sister by your place with her son tomorrow. I want a second opinion regarding his bad foot."


"Tell Laryna I'll be waiting." The doctor nodded and they proceeded to pass through the gates and into the city.


It was not until they were beyond the hearing of the guards at the gate that Caelum, his voice lowered and more sober, murmured, "But there are shadows here, Aoren, and they are not kind to outsiders or the women of any race. You must apply for citizenship and become kuvan as soon as you are able. It will afford you a level of protection that otherwise you wouldn't be considered for. Until you are a participating member of their society proved willing and able to defend Riverfall from its enemies, your presence is merely suffered."


He thought for a moment about why he had settled here. There were many answers he had given over the years, and some of them were true.
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make right the time.

Postby Aoren on April 18th, 2015, 10:15 pm

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The philosophy of what was good and what was evil was something that Aoren knew well. He was not a man beholden to the iron clad ideals of Syliras, though there had been a time when that wasn’t true. He was a Seer. Not only that but he’d been a sharer of visions his entire life. To put it simply, Aoren could not look at the world as black and white, light or dark, right or wrong. It simply wasn’t possible for him though he had tried to confine the world to such stern parameters before. The result had been terrible and he had long since stopped trying to define people by such abstract concepts. He took people and indeed cultures as they were. He learned what it was they had to offer and appreciated what he found beautiful while being mindful of what he did not.

I am not someone who believes the world so easily defined. People make choices. They then suffer or rejoice in the consequences of those choices. There are good people. There most certainly are evil people. The world as a whole however is a place too varied and beautiful to try and fit into such simplistic points of view.” There was of course also the matter of what it meant to be good or evil. That alone made trying to fit everyone and everything into so rigid a structure pointless. Aoren had grown up in Syliras. Caelum had fallen from the sky and traveled to other places. That alone made their view of the world different from one another. It was something to both appreciate and be aware of that they might find common ground.

Aoren remained silent during the exchange between Caelum and the guards. He was not so familiar a face in Riverfall. To the Akalak in the city he was a nameless stranger with no reputation and no rights to citizenship. Aoren didn’t mind that for the time being. He was well aware that a respected reputation was of benefit when settling into a city, at the same time though there were downsides he was not yet prepared to deal with that came along with such a reputation. When they were a fair distance away from the guard post he listened to the words Caelum had to say in regards to Riverfall’s dark undertone.

Thank you, Caelum. I will keep these lessons close. No place is without its troubles. Riverfall is just something that I will have to get used to. I do not believe it long before I try for citizenship though. I don’t know everything that it entails but I know that it requires a test of strength.” It was slightly strange but in the greater picture he could understand the principle behind it. If every citizen in the city were trained on how to fight then every citizen could defend themselves. He slipped his hand into Caelum’s rubbing his thumb along the back of the Ethaefal’s hand.

You still haven’t told me why you chose to settle here. What is it that drew you here, Caelum Sunwalker?” Aoren gave the man a wink. It was an appropriate name considering that the Ethaefal was a favored of Syna who drew strength from the light of day. Still, Caelum was a complicated man. It was easy to forget just how complicated the man was sometimes.
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