Closed Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Lays is having a bad day, and when he sees Zhol, he finds the perfect outlet for his frustration.

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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Verilian on February 15th, 2015, 12:21 am

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Timestamp: 65th of Winter, 514 AV

Lays was not having a good day. From the moment he woke that morning he knew things were going to be bad. He'd barely gotten a wink of sleep. Apparently someone down the hall had found a cheit or dek they fancied and the racket. Gods, you wouldn't believe the racket. It was like twenty eagles going at it in the same aerie. Lays couldn't believe it. After several bells it finally died down and the Avora was able to get some sleep, but he was up with the dawn, as always, so it wasn't much sleep.

The rest of the day hadn't been much good either. Breakfast was just a bowl of mold, literally. That happened in Winter when the food stores were running low, and they were always running low in the winter. Lays was so tired of petching blue mold. Why did it have to be blue anyway? What kind of plant was blue? But that was only the beginning, and the day just continued to get worse. Some dek petcher stole the shipment of leather he'd gotten two days prior from the tanners, and that.. that just pissed him off. If he had feathers he would have pulled them all out. On and on the day went, and more stupid petching things happened, and the angrier he got. He needed to find something to vent his frustrations on. Perhaps some Dek or Chiet. Anyone would do really, but then he saw Zhol.

He recognized the Drykas from the stables. As a leather working he often made things for the horses, and he'd seen Zhol around. Zhol. Petching horse loving bastard, not even an Inarta. And he was petching some hot bit of feather from the chiet caste, if Lays heard it right. It just wasn't fair! True, he could pick any chiet he wanted, but this chiet wanted the bastard back. He needed to pay. Who did he think he was, anyway? Yes, he needed to pay. And so Lays started to follow Zhol. The man was quite boring. Why couldn't he just hurry up and go somewhere private. If he'd been a chiet or dek Lays wouldn't have bothered being careful about it, but this man was an Avora, and so Lays could get in trouble if the wrong people saw it. When Zhol left the city Lays couldn't believe his luck. Where the petch was the horse lover going? He was armed, but so was Lays. Good. A fight would be just what he needed.

The Avora tried to keep out of sight as he followed the Drykas. He was no master of stealth, far from it, but the snow made being silent easy, and he kept his distance. Zhol seemed to be heading toward some of the weird lava geysers that popped up after the djed storm. Lays tended to stay away from such places, they were hot and dangerous, but perhaps it was some weird Drykas tradition. Foreigners. Petch them and their weird traditions. Lays had never been to the Hideaway. He'd never even heard of it. It wasn't the sort of place he would go, and he found it strange, but Lays was determined to follow the bastard and give him what he deserved.


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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Zhol on February 15th, 2015, 2:17 am

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Zhol could have ridden if he wanted to; it would have been faster that way, that was for sure. Yet, this wasn't a journey of expediency. He wasn't racing to a destination; he was fleeing from where he'd been before, evading the emptiness that awaited him had he returned from the stables to his room. It was strange how quickly her absence had become a permanent void that needed to be filled; how quickly his bed had come to feel empty without her next to him. He supposed those emptinesses had always been there, but since the dawn of winter he had learned to notice them. Days spent without her at work, he could live with; but the nights alone, they were hard. The meals eaten alone were hard. The silences, waiting and wishing for some question, some insight, some nervous whisper; those were the hardest.

And so Zhol walked, taking the slow path to liberate him from that lonely quiet for as long as was possible, trudging down the snow-covered road that would lead him to his sanctuary. It was foolish he supposed; since Khara's birthday, even the Hideaway would echo with memories of her. Still, it was the place he went to hide, to focus, to meditate away the chaotic noise in his mind. If missing her was a state of mind that would follow him wherever he went, maybe the solitude he usually sought at the Hideaway would be the one place where he could hide himself from it, for a little while.

If it didn't? A few hours there was still better than a few hours spent staring at an empty pillow.

The snow creaked beneath the pressure of his boots, an orchestral accompaniment to each step as he progressed his way down the incline of the Sanikas Road. The Inarta were so at home in such conditions that they could walk without making a sound; it was a talent that Zhol had not yet managed to emulate, despite his efforts. A creak turned into a crunch as Zhol's weight found uneven ground beneath the snow; he staggered a step, the heap of frozen rain up to his shins helping to brace against him stumbling forward too far. He came to a halt, steadying himself and his nerves, a few huffed breaths of smoke escaping from his lungs. How close was he? How far had he travelled? Surely, the Sanikas Gate must have shrunk to a tiny pinprick in the distance behind him by now.

With a long, slow breath that stuttered slightly from the cold, Zhol shuffled his feet to confirm his stability, and turned to look back up the road towards Wind Reach.
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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Verilian on February 18th, 2015, 2:21 am

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Lays followed Zhol at a distance, cruel intentions filling his mind so much that he almost did not notice when the Drykas stumbled in the snow. Lays froze for a chime, and then dove to the side of the path and tried to hide in the snow. He wanted a confrontation, yes, but he wanted to see where Zhol was going first. The man might have some secret hideaway, or might be meeting with the chiet woman. Or maybe he was doing something more nefarious. That would be perfect. But he had to remain hidden.

Zhol turned and looked back toward the mountain. Lays hunkered down as best he could, hoping that his red hair wouldn't give him away. That was one of the few drawbacks to being an Inarta, he supposed. Red on white really stood out. Had Zhol heard him, or was he looking back for some other reason?

The sounds of nature filled the air around them. Birds were chirping and leaves were rustling, and a light snow began to fall around them. Lays remained hidden until Zhol turned away, letting out a sigh of relief as the Drykas continued down the path towards wherever it was he was headed.

Climbing to his feet Lays set off in pursuit of the Drykas, confident in his ability to shadow the man without being noticed.. That was, until his foot crunched down on an obnoxiously loud patch of ice and snow. The sound practically reverberated off the mountains, or at least that was what it felt like to him, and there was no chance Zhol had not heard him, so Lays stuck a confident pose and let a sly grin cross his face.

"Well hello there, horse shyke," he said in Nari. "And where might you be off to in the snow like this? Are you lost? Wind Reach is back that way."


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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Zhol on February 21st, 2015, 1:17 am

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Zhol's hand was on the hilt of his sword as soon as he heard the sound behind him, but his muscles relaxed a little. Just an Inarta. Not a particularly pleasant Inarta, based on the kind of things tumbling out of his mouth - Zhol was a long way from fluent in Nari, but he recognised enough words to know which ones were intended as insults - but then that didn't particularly make him an exception amongst his people. There were far worse things that could be lurking out in the snow than some arrogant jerk from Wind Reach; all things considered though, Zhol would probably have preferred to be dealing with a wolf, or a bear, or a snowshoe leopard - you know, something with at least a small modicum of intelligence and civility.

Zhol didn't bother trying to decipher the other man's words - an Avora if he had to guess; too arrogant for a Chiet, but without the bearing or fancy trappings of an Endal. Wondered what he had done to earn the attention of this one in particular; surely it wasn't a coincidence that he had been following so closely behind Zhol. Had he been there the entire time? Had he appeared on the road from some tracker's trail in the snow that Zhol simply hadn't noticed as he passed? Why the confident display of bravado in his tone and pose - was he simply trying to compensate for the clumsiness that had brought his presence to Zhol's attention, or was something more untoward going on?

He glanced around him, studying his surroundings. The other man was uphill; if he had any nefarious intentions, that would ordinarily be an advantageous position to be in, but a few factors twisted things ever so slightly in Zhol's favour. For starters, it was far easier to stumble up an icy hill than down one; an over-exaggerated motion might plant Zhol's face in the snow, but the same could easily send the other man tumbling if he lost his balance. More than that, Inarta were not the tallest of people; even the men were still a good hand or two shorter than him, and the women more so. The other man had the high ground, but Zhol had the reach, and the advantage of a marginally less precarious footing. His muscles clenched, tightening his grip on his broadsword's basket hilt, almost willing the other man to try something, and give him an excuse to vent a little of his frustration.

"Is there something I can help you with, friend?" Zhol responded in Common; it was bound to irritate the other Avora, but then, he seemed like the sort of person who was already pretty disposed towards being irritated, and somehow Zhol doubted that his broken attempts at Nari would have had a dissimilar effect. "I have places to be, and this hardly seems like an opportune moment to stop for a chat."
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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Verilian on March 3rd, 2015, 11:43 pm

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Lays wrinkled his nose in disgust at the common speech, though he understood it well enough. As a craftsman it was important to be able to speak the common tongue, that way he might barter with the few travelers who on occasion visited the mountain city. In truth he did not even mind speaking the language, but coming from Zhol it was just a reminder of how out of place the Drykas really was. The Inarta eyed the weapon Zhol carried with a bit of wariness. Lays was no stranger to violence, and carried his own talon sword. He was no master by far, but he had won a few bouts in the arena, and lost just as many. He wasn't sure if he wanted to push it to blades, but he couldn't help his response.

"Places to be?" Lays responded in common this time, "Not off to see your chick, I hope. I was thinking I would pay her a visit while you were busy out here.

The response wasn't altogether true, of course. All Lays was trying to do was incite a reaction out of the Drykas. He didn't know where it would lead. His resolve to inflict pain on the Avora was not as strong as he thought, though he doubted he would why away from it either. He also doubted that he could find the exact chiet Zhol spent his time with, so that threat was pure talk, but he would enjoy Zhol's reaction, and if it did come to violence, all the better. No one would care if he put a foreigner in his place, even if they were of the same caste.

"It doesn't really seem fair that a stable boy should get all the action, does it? Maybe you could point me in her direction?"


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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Zhol on March 4th, 2015, 6:17 am

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Zhol's emotions were fire. That was how he worked. They flared, and raged, and burned, heated infernos of overwhelming emotion that could scarcely be tamed, save by the cooling influence of his twin. She wasn't here, but today she didn't need to be. The anger that manifested in Zhol wasn't fire, but ice. It drained the colour from his face, the warmth from his voice, and turned his gaze into piercing frost. He could feel the res prickling beneath his skin, his soul already willing him to unleash ruthless waves of excruciating pain upon this man. How dare he? How dare he come out here and try to threaten Khara? How dare he make that threat?

His cold fury drew strength from the chill of the basket of woven metal that surrounded the hilt of his sword, the icy edge conducted through his flesh, up his body, and into his voice.

"I will give you opportunity to leave here in peace, friend."

His words hung like clouds in the air, threat and warning hanging from them like icicles. Beneath his layers of winter clothes, his muscles subtly moved, stretching, loosening, shifting his stance from one at rest to one prepared. The other man was armed, he could see that; a talon sword. Zhol thought back to his sparring match with Turrin back at the start of Autumn; tried to remember the lessons he'd learned from the bout, from the differences between the sword he held and the style that the Inarta used. His sword was intended for use from horseback, from higher ground; Zhol's height gave him an advantage, but his lower footing robbed much of that. Talon swords meanwhile were designed for sweeping strikes from any angle; but while Zhol's blade was parallel to the ground when he held it, the talon sword was vertical; an advantage perhaps, or a weakness, whichever of them had the opportunity to exploit it first. He was left-handed too; not everyone was accustomed to fighting against those who fought with a reflected style.

Not a weakness. Make it a strength.

The voice of his father loomed in his mind, it's usual disparaging tone set aside, replaced by steely determination.

He threatened Khara. Don't let him get away with this.

Dinah's voice joined the fray; the prickling res beneath his skin began to crawl it's way down his right arm, the now familiar trail of windmarks that should have been but were never earned wrapping around his wrist, flowing into his palm.

Don't let him hurt me, Zhol.

Those words, that imagined echo of Khara's voice, was the snap that fractured all his efforts towards calm and restraint. His sword sang as he drew it slowly from the scabbard, the carefully cared-for steel glimmering with reflections of the pristine white snow. In his other hand, the res spiralled from his skin and congealed into an orb, floating a few inches above his palm on a cushion of focus and thought. One spark of intent more, and the orb burst into flame, the flickering warmth licking it's way up into the cold air.

His expression contorted, his eyes glaring out from beneath a scowl; his voice twisted and low, creeping out as little more than a low growl.

"But if you even think about touching her, you will be leaving in pieces."
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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Verilian on March 11th, 2015, 3:28 am

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Silence filled the air as the two Inarta faced each other, tension hanging in the air, broken only by the gentle breeze that stirred up light flurries of snow around their feet. The first thing Zhol said drew a grin across his face, and the man eyed the hand Zhol placed on his broadsword. There was a chill in the air, but Lays felt the fire burning within him, just hoping for a fight. He didn't know Khara, didn't even really care about her, and doubted he would find the right chiet if he even went looking for her.

The smile on his face only widened when Zhol drew his sword, and then promptly vanished when the orb of fire appeared in the air above his hand. His face went from taunting grin to wide eyed fear and confusion. To his credit, Lays quickly recomposed himself, though he couldn't help the subconscious step back he took. His own hand went to his sword, and he forced the grin back across his face, trying to appear unconcerned by the turn of events. His mind was anything but confident however.

Petch, petch, petch. What is that? Magic? What do I do? Run? Apologize? Petch.

The wise thing to do likely would have been to back off, to apologize and walk away. The wise thing to do was steer clear of the Drykas for the rest of his life.. but.. he just couldn't bring himself to back away. Call it arrogance, or call it stupidity, but Lays was an experienced fighter in the Fighting Pits, and he did not back down from a fight, even if he was out matched. How much would a little burn hurt anyway? The ball of fire wasn't that big, and they were surrounded by snow, if he caught on fire he could easily put himself out. Yes, that made sense. Lays drew his sword.

"Touchy, touchy. Well, I guess you'll have to fight me for her."


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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Zhol on March 11th, 2015, 9:08 am

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Zhol's anger spiked, and the orb of fire flickered. Khara wasn't property, or livestock; she wasn't some owned possession that could be traded or bartered or fought over. She was her own person; her own wonderful, unique, free-thinking, utterly perfect person who deserved respect and treatment on a par with a goddess, not to be coveted by some sleazy, lecherous shyke who wouldn't know proper respect if it came up and slapped him clear across the face. Here in Wind Reach though, none of that mattered; who she was meant nothing, because the Inarta cared only about what she was.

You'll have to fight me for her, Zhol's mind echoed, but it shifted the emphasis, twisted the meaning: not fighting as if Khara were the prize, but fighting for her, on her behalf; because in reality it was Khara who deserved to run this pathetic excuse for a human being through.

A tired sigh was pushed from Zhol's shoulders, effort made to slump his shoulders and reinforce the act. "If you insist," he replied, his voice tumbling out laced with reluctance and resignation; and then in an instant, everything changed. Zhol flung his arm as if gently hurling a stone, tossing the orb of fire towards Lays as if he expected the other Avora to catch it, willing the res within the orb to ignite as he did, the flickering sphere erupting into a tangle of flame as it arced towards the Inarta's body.

A split second later, Zhol sidestepped, two quick broad strides exploiting the momentary distraction to advance a few paces up the slope, robbing Lays of at least some of the advantage his uphill position gave him. Next he surged forward, raised his left-held sword all the way to his right shoulder, and swung down with all the force he could muster, aiming to strike at the blunted spine of Lays' talon sword as close to the hilt as he could muster, hoping the impact would wrench the weapon from the Inarta's grip and shake the petching idiot to his senses.
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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Verilian on March 20th, 2015, 1:40 am

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Lays cursed and dove to side as the ball of fire flew toward him, but it was not a completely uncontrolled dive. A less experience fighter might not notice the difference, as it was rather small, but Lays did not dive directly to the side, or away from Zhol. His dive took him forward, only a few inches, but forward, and to the side, and not away. Lays was not retreating, but was advancing.

That bastard. I'll kill him!

The well executed dive worked well to avoid the fire and did indeed position him closer to Zhol, but his skill was not so superior that he was able to execute any more impressive moves. Zhol's advance did not catch him off guard, per se, but he was not as prepared for it as he would have liked. He barely got his weapon up in time to block the incoming strike, not realizing that it was his weapon that Zhol was striking for, and it was nearly jarred from his grasp at the impact, but Lays did not go, and reacted quickly, backpedaling and letting his arm swing out with the force of the blow.

Just as quickly he lifted his sword his sword back up and assumed a ready position. Advantage over, they were on even ground once more, and Lays was close enough now that he was confident he could stop Zhol from throwing another ball of fire his way. He didn't wait for it. Lays kicked at a pile of snow, launching the white powder at Zhol, and swung his sword coming in at Zhol from the right, slashing for his mid section in a wide arc.


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Giving Zhol what he Deserves

Postby Zhol on March 20th, 2015, 8:47 pm

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Kicking snow? That was hardly sporting; hardly harmful either, but damn it if Zhol didn't recoil away from it out of reflex just the same. His fighting style was unnervingly impressive too - Zhol had no idea how good it was in the grand scheme of things, but dives and such were far too acrobatic for Zhol's level of ability.

His instinctive retreat led him backwards a step; his foot planted in the snow firmly, compressing the snow into a solid sole-shaped platform under his boots, enough to provide him with a fraction more grip than a gentler footfall would have granted. The Avora was aggressive - Zhol wasn't sure if that was a good thing, or bad - and bold, launching his offensive immediately. Fortunately for the horse boy, the slashing strike from the Inarta's right approached Zhol from his left; he kept his arm high, and parried with his blade pointed downwards, using the part of his sword closest to the hilt to strike the Inarta's blade as close to it's point as he could. He was no expert in swords, and certainly no expert in physics, but he'd spent enough years play fighting with his twin sister to know that pokes and tickles from outstretched arms were far easier to deflect than when they got up close and personal.

The clank of steel on steel jarred his bones, but Zhol wasn't prepared to pass up an opportunity. When he'd duelled Turrin, the Endal had exploited moments like this for kicks and punches; Zhol didn't have the ability to perform those, but what he did have was considerably more reach than the Inarta, and a lot of experience with wanting his siblings to back off. Palm racing out towards the Inarta's chest, he pushed hard with his back foot, and shoved the insolent craftsman with all his might.
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