Closed Heart and Hardship

(Caelum)

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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]

Moderator: Gossamer

Heart and Hardship

Postby Aoren on April 2nd, 2015, 10:30 am

Image
19th of Spring, 515 AV
.


Aoren groaned softly as the muscles in his calves protested vehemently with each step he took. He sighed reaching up to rub at the back of his neck. He gazed upward into the sky. Syna hung low, having begun her descent that would soon bring about nightfall. The day had been a long one. The muscles in Aoren’s shoulders felt weak. His legs hurt. His feet hurt. His arms hurt. Everything ached. He was fairly certain that there would be a large bruise along his left flank. He was beginning to wonder if it were possible for the tips of the hairs on his head to hurt. If it were, they hurt too.

The morning had been filled with nothing but training. It had been an early rise from the comfort of his bed and the familiar feel of a warm body against his own. He had run from the Sanctuary into Riverfall and spent time training in Gideon’s Glory as was his habit as of late. This was immediately followed by a quick breakfast and into his training at the Tuvya Sasaran. The round of sparring had been grueling in its intensity. His teacher did not hold back. Aoren was thankful for that as it forced him to push himself further along the path that he wanted to go. He had a long journey indeed as he was hopelessly outmatched in skill compared to the skill of his teacher. Coupled with the chores of the day at the Sanctuary to earn his keep, Aoren was dead tired. At that moment the only thing he wanted was a hot bath and the soothing embrace of his friend and lover, Caelum.

He was trudging his way along the streets of Riverfall making toward Alements. Caelum it seemed had been swallowed up by his work. It was not unusual and while that might have meant there was no warm bath in his future, a night with Caelum, just the two of them, would more than make up for it. Along the way to the tavern he’d picked up a bottle of wine made from ripe blackberries and infused with a small amount of honey. He carried it under his arm.

Aoren sighed heavily as he reached the door to the tavern’s kitchen. He smiled looking at the building with quiet fondness hesitating just a moment at the door. His mind was filled with the thoughts of all that had transpired over the course of the past few seasons. He and the Ethaefal had gotten close. They had gotten closer than Aoren had ever expected to get to someone. There were still things he didn’t know about Caelum and indeed there was yet more he needed to tell the Ethaefal himself. Nevertheless he felt hopeful that there might yet be a future for the two of them. It would be a slow road. They both carried the weight of many burdens but it was a road he was willing to walk.

Stepping inside the tavern he closed the door quietly behind him. It was likely that Caelum was with one of his patients. It was also likely that the man was deep in studying something to help him in a future project. Glancing around the kitchen, the Drykas searched for signs that maybe the Ethaefal was drifting about. Aoren opened his mouth to call out to his lover when a noise put his senses on high alert.

Aoren heard a thud along with the muffled grunting of what sounded like a struggle.

He bolted forcing his sluggish muscles into motion as he raced forward darting out of the kitchen. Once he reached the main room Aoren paused. He listened closely catching a noise emanating from the infirmary itself. His heart racing, Aoren sprinted across the floor, dodging furniture as gracefully as he could manage, his mind racing through several different scenarios. Retaliation for events from the fall? A thief? Someone after Caelum simply for the fact that he was an Ethaefal? All of these thoughts splashed across the canvas of his mind as he burst into the infirmary, ready for a fight, ready to protect the man he held dear…

…only to stop dead in his tracks the minute he was through the doorway.

Cobalt blue eyes fell upon the scene in front of him. For a moment his mind couldn’t or rather wouldn’t, process what he saw. He was taken completely aback. Aoren’s hold on the bottle of wine loosened until it crashed to the floor splashing the wine over the tops of his boots.

Caelum?


.
User avatar
Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
Posts: 1267
Words: 1241263
Joined roleplay: August 27th, 2012, 4:26 am
Location: Endrykas
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) Guest Storyteller (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Caelum on April 11th, 2015, 3:03 am

The future pulsed in his mouth. It tasted gritty as blood and sweet as Godspirit wine, complicated and expensive. A sweat had slicked over his body and there was a burn in his bones that only flared toward conflagration every time Korva laughed. It was full throated and contagious, the kind of laugh that made a man immediately want to like the Akontak, even love her. But the owner of the White Crane was not the sort of woman who wanted love. She did not want it, at least, from Caelum. She had already known love, met it time and again and spun through the arms of it until she came out with fists full of sorrow and an eye for regret. Korva, the dark sister, held a great deal more regret than Aena. The majority of their requited desires had belonged to the lighter sister, as was the natural course of things. Most of the twin-spirited souls housed in Riverfall and Mura tended toward the lighter soul, minded it better because society taught them that dark meant immoral and decidedly not good. It was, Caelum maintained, an incredibly unjust labeling of the world and the people who populated it.


That was part of why the dark skinned Korva had sought out the proprietor of Alements. His was a mixed reputation, cultivated and grown over the seasons since he had opened the healing tavern at the farthest edge of Riverfall's third tier, right on the water and end of the start of the horizon. All of the rumors that flew about him criss-crossed, speaking of kindness and welcome and then of an insidious influence that dipped fingers into numerous pots. He was man of both daylight and secrets and it was for that reason a seer with the ear of Akajia sought him out. There were few on Mizahar who had quite the same grasp of Time.


They had spoken of many things but in few words while he mixed a tonic and she watched, eyes sharp and large. It was not that they were strangers, but never before had they found themselves alone in a room together, listening to all the words the shadows spoke. Caelum did not need to be fluent in Maketh to understand her. She recognized that immediately, and was grateful. There was a glance, a touch, and the slow, thick slide. It wasn't anything different or new. They were all, in their way, different; but it held the same thread of necessity that so many of Caelum's affairs did.


He did not seek them and he tried not to encourage. Largely, he succeeded; but her skin was firm and dark. The curves of her softened when he gave her what she wanted. Secrets brushed against the curve of his ear when she grasped his shoulder, when she drew a knowing hand down the flat of his stomach to cup between his legs.


There were plenty of straying lovers who would claim they couldn't help themselves. That it was one time. It would never happen again. They did not love them. They did not want them. They had only been passing time.


If that was the case, Caelum was a master at murdering minutes.


By the time Aoren walked in, Korva was stretched half across the grey stone countertop of the infirmary, gripping the curve of a spring colored horn as Caelum moved deep inside of her. It was a study in light and shadow even as dusk settled over the city, glimpsed through the bubbled glass of the infirmary window. He was wasting daylight, and she was an oleander night. When the door swung open and wine exploded across the floor, they startled naturally. Golden eyes flew to Aoren's face and stayed there even as a laughed rolled out of Korva and twisted into a moan, her desire not splitting in the least. It reached a pinnacle that had his breath shuddering and a vial full of headache powder shattering to the floor to spray in white puffs over the puddle of wine. Caelum caught himself against the edge of the counter, fingers digging in as Korva melted and eased, her toes reaching for the floor again until he slid out of her and she was leaning back against his chest.


"Hullo," the Akontak drawled to Aoren, shaking moonbright hair out of a lush and smiling face. "I'll be just a tick, dear."


Heart galloping and the chains of ranuri slithering free of him in a great but silent clamor, Caelum said nothing at all. He did, however, point at the door behind Aoren because it as far as he could with managing to express how much he wanted Aoren to leave, or how much Korva wanted to go, or maybe just exactly, exquisitely how much Aoren himself wanted all of this to be behind him. Either way, the infirmary's physician was going to be a minute.
User avatar
Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
Featured Thread (1) Lore Author (1)
Peer Reviewer (1) Trailblazer (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Aoren on April 11th, 2015, 4:21 am

Image
19th of Spring, 515 AV
.

Aoren stood frozen as he watched Caelum fully ensconced in the heat of passion, tucked snugly away in the embrace of a dark skinned woman. His face a mix of many things. The first emotion that washed across his face was confusion. It was as if he were having a difficult time processing exactly what it was that was taking place in front of him. Several things slid into place right then. The first thing that pulled Aoren back into the present moment was the peaceful sigh that echoed through him. It emanated from his right hand. Immediately he recognized the dark woman as a sister in being marked by Avalis. There also came the wintery cool of Rak’keli nudging him softly, alerting him to the presence of Caelum as a brother in Healing. What came next was…silence.

Aoren stood up straight. He clasped his hands behind his back as he regarded his fellow seer with what could only be described as a calculating expression. A cold and bitter hardness entered the Drykas man’s gaze. Indeed the blue of his irises seemed a flat winter compared to their normal tropical warmth. Outwardly, it seemed that he had suppressed the shock, confusion and growing hurt the stabbed at his chest. He was every bit the image of the broad shouldered, well-muscled, warrior he’d trained his whole life to be in that moment. The Seer’s normally passive observance was completely focused on the dark skinned woman. Aoren took hold of his djed. He drew upon the other sight narrowing in on the woman’s aura latching on to it tightly. In the mist of the outer most layer of her soul he caught sight of embarrassment. The tickle of amusement dug itself into the pit of Aoren’s stomach like a knife. He also found hints of urgency. Given the predicament, Aoren imagined she wanted to leave and leave quickly.

Good. He would help her leave.

The Seer pushed his djed outward in a different manner. It was still sluggish and new to him but fueled by the seething heat of anger he was feeling right then, helped it move. Aoren expanded his sphere of influence pouring it outward to push into direct contact with the woman’s. Into that influence Aoren poured his anger. He poured his hurt. He poured his feeling of betrayal. The only purpose he could give the emotions surging through him was the desire to see this woman gone. Given the urgency already present in the emotions swirling in her aura, he was doing little more than making that single desire a little more prominent than the others.

Leave. Get out. Get away from here. Leave. Get out now.

You should leave.” Aoren’s voice was flat. There was carried in it none of the usual friendliness or warmth that was so natural to the man. He passed his gaze over the woman then. The smooth transition of his attention from her to Caelum was as if he were brushing aside a cobweb, a speck not worth any more ounce of his attention. Still holding on to his djed, Caelum’s aura came into focus. Aoren had never turned his Auristics upon his lover. He gauged the weight of the Ethaefal’s mood. On the surface was exactly what Aoren expected to find. The oozing trickle of shame sloshed around the outer edges. The aura was peppered by surprise and dusted by…tenderness? Resignation?

Aoren’s throat tightened. He stared at Caelum and there was a deep hurt in his eyes. He opened his mouth to speak. Words didn’t come. His hands dropped to his sides as several conflicting emotions roiled within him. Frustration. Confusion. The need and want for an explanation. Shock and betrayal. This was all slowly overshadowed by the agonizing hate, the rage at something that had repeated in his life, over and over and over again. Taking hold of that anger, he drew strength from it. As with the woman, Aoren nearly unleashed what miniscule powers of Hypnotism he possessed upon the Ethaefal but somehow…it didn’t seem worth it. Aoren released his djed letting Caelum’s aura fade and his grasp on his hypnotism fade with it. When he spoke, there was a hitch in his voice.

I have lost many things in my life, Caelum.” The Drykas drew in a deep breath and released it with a shake of his head. His shoulders were shaking. The muscles in his arms flexed but it was not from sadness. It was from scarcely contained anger that although cold to start, was becoming hotter by the minute.

So many things.” Barely a whisper as he dropped his gaze to the spilled wine and powder. When he returned his gaze to Caelum there was a slight mist to his eyes. “You could say I’m used to loss.

He folded his arms over his chest and shrugged his shoulders in as dismissive a manner as possible.

I just didn’t imagine I’d lose what I found here in Riverfall so quickly.” Shaking his head, Aoren did an about face neither caring to wait for a response nor really wanting one in that moment. He moved with his head held high and back as straight as possible through the hall, out the main room and out of the tavern, he ignored any calls for him. If Caelum wanted to speak, if he wanted to seek him, the Ethaefal could have his time to collect himself. Aoren needed it too.

He didn’t imagine this was over. They had a lot to talk about. He just couldn’t talk about it right then.

.
User avatar
Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
Posts: 1267
Words: 1241263
Joined roleplay: August 27th, 2012, 4:26 am
Location: Endrykas
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) Guest Storyteller (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Caelum on April 11th, 2015, 4:08 pm

"Aoren --" Caelum began, but he was already gone.


He had been left alone so quickly that the room still echoed with their presence. It was not yet faded from the air, lingering in a roil of energy and emotion. Passions withered slowly, all of the mingled desires of Korva coming into direct contention with Aoren Skycrown's hopes. Caelum stood in the middle of it and attempted to recover from the violent rattling of Nikali's chains, still bruising and battering him with their unending demands.


Eventually a breath was expelled that was free of them, encompassing mostly slivers of Caelum himself. His self, and his wants, and all of the awkward and polarizing needs that strung him together. It was like this that his agency was returned to him, relinquished link by link from the goddess' grasp.


His hands swept up and dug backwards through his hair, and just as they brushed the base of his horns the sun was swallowed by the horizon and his body ignited in a great burst of starlight. Shadows swung wildly across the infirmary walls as light gloried over the ethaefal, melting down his limbs and puddling into his eyes until it gasped out and left the seeming of a long dead Drykas ankal behind. He slunk to a crouch, dark hair spilling into an altogether too human face as he studied the broken wine bottle left on the floor.


Korva's desire to leave had gone from a quiet expectation to a screaming need in the course of heartbeats. Caelum examined this in his mind's eye, seeing again the cold anger that had crept across Aoren like frost on a cliff face. It had not blotted out the seer's pain insomuch as it had exemplified it. For a little while, Caelum had wondered if he ought to brace himself for an attack. Aoren was not a violent man, but he had seen him do violent things; and who better than Caelum to understand that desire and action sat together on the precipice of intention, at the whim of the wind on whether or not to launch.


The words Aoren had spoken were very final. To him, this was an ending of their relationship, a severing of the trust and therefore of Aoren's willingness to remain engaged romantically with Caelum. It was, simply, exactly what Caelum had feared since Aoren had first kissed him in the baths and he tasted a promise in his mouth. Of course, they had never talked about being monogamous or made a decision together to be so; but Caelum had come to realize over the course of winter that Aoren was growing an expectation to that effect. He had not addressed it for purely selfish reasons.


He hadn't been ready to lose Aoren.


Talking about monogamy or about their relationship in any terms that were something other than temporary was complicated by Caelum's gnosis of ranuri and the fact that he had, quite on purpose, not told Aoren about it. Additionally, Caelum had known from the beginning that Aoren was ultimately going to find his Drykas family, and that the culture they both sprung from had no use for same sex pairings. They could not help repopulate the horselords, thinned to devastating numbers by the ravages of the Djed Storm that also destroyed Caelum's almost-home. If Aoren decided to join the ranks of his ancestral people, he would ultimately be forced to make decisions regarding polygamy and marriages that were right for his people. Caelum himself did not disagree.


Finally, at the end of all of these tangled strings was the one thing for which there was no answer, the burden Caelum was incapable of sharing and was destined to shoulder alone through the sighing winds of ages --- his immortality, and how in time he would lose all to it, over and over again. Twelve years returned to Mizahar, and his losses had already piled high.


Coming to a place of decision and knowing what he had to do, Caelum unraveled to his feet to clean up the broken glass and spilled wine, to heal himself of the shallow cuts and pale bruises and clean the scent of her from his skin. By the time he was dressed Elise was waiting in the hall for him, her hands wringing together and eyes large on his face. She stretched up to touch a kiss to his cheek, a ghost of encouragement, a deep well of worry. Alements was not so busy he couldn't leave it in her capable hands tonight. He slipped out the kitchen door and into the night.


It was roughly a bell since Aoren had walked out of Alements that Caelum found him the Sanctuary's training room. The physician sank in the doorway, slumping elegantly against the jam with his hands in the pockets of his riding pants. Dusty boots, a favorite, worn tunic that was too big for him because it had been bought for his taller, nobler day form. Gold flecked through his eyes as he watched Aoren and after a few ticks cleared his throat.


"I'm sorry," he said, weary but true. "Will you talk to me, Aoren?"
User avatar
Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
Featured Thread (1) Lore Author (1)
Peer Reviewer (1) Trailblazer (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Aoren on April 11th, 2015, 5:30 pm

Image
19th of Spring, 515 AV
.

Aoren didn’t know how to deal with the frustration that was welling up inside of him. He didn’t know how to think past the ache that had settled in the pit of his stomach. Had he done something so wrong to warrant being dismissed so easily? Had he not satisfied Caelum in some way? He racked his brain looking for the flaw that had stood out as so hideously ugly that he warranted this betrayal. He could think of a hundred flaws. He was reserved. He was too affectionate. He was ambling about in a strange land with barely a leg to stand on. What had he done for himself while in Riverfall? Practically nothing.

The walls of the Sanctuary blurred by him as he headed straight to the only place where he felt he could adequately vent his anger. The training room. Immediately upon walking in, the Drykas reached down grasping the hem of his shirt. He pulled it up over his head tossing it to the side. He walked up to a training dummy adopting a stance rather different from his usual passive style of unarmed fighting. He was rusty, his footing was slightly off and he stood at an angle that made for striking the dummy awkward but he didn’t care. He had the basics of how to take up a proper boxing stance down. Bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet shifting the weight from one leg to the other, Aoren closed his hands into fists bringing them up to shield his torso from a perceived assault. In front of his eyes he saw a dark skinned woman.

Aoren lashed out with a fist striking at one of the arms of the training dummy. His hand smacked into the wood with a thud. The physical pain gave him something to focus on other than the pain he didn’t truly understand. What was it that hurt? Was it really the fact that Caelum had been buried inside a woman? That he had been intimate with someone other than him? He saw the look of blissful ecstasy on her face. It was a look he knew and had indeed shared.
His other fist struck out as Aoren rotated his hips shifting his stance to alter his angle of attack.

No. That wasn’t it. There was more to what he was feeling than the simple fact that Caelum had walked into the warmth of another. It was that Aoren had been expecting it. Deep down, beneath the care that he felt for Caelum, beyond the gift giving, beyond the appreciation and praise that he showed his lover, there was much more to the meaning behind those acts. It was the simple fact that in truth, Aoren didn’t feel good enough.

A fist flew again accompanied by a pained grunt. Whether it was physical or emotional, Aoren felt those lines were being blurred. He stepped back bracing himself on the flat of one foot swinging his opposite leg upward. His shin collided with the wood and it stung. Gods it stung but the Seer clung to that gritting his teeth. He dropped his leg limping away slightly. The gnosis scrawled across the right side of his face nudged him insistently. His body was tired. His mind was weary. His spirits were dampened. If only Rak’keli’s gift could mend more than just his physical wounds.

Why didn’t he feel good enough? It was something that had crept its way into his thoughts from the very beginning of entering a relationship with the Ethaefal. Caelum was eternal. He would never fade. He would never dull with age. He would never fall prone to the base diseases that plagued mortals. Aoren, was limited in the time he had with the man. Every moment was a moment he would never be able to share with him again. Every gift was made more poignant because it was given knowing that with time, there would be a time he that he wouldn’t be around to give them. But it was not just that. Aoren had come to Riverfall with nothing. He had walked into the Alements tavern and found Caelum. Through that finding everything that he had, had been made possible. He owed the man so much and while he knew that Caelum would not hold that over him, the thoughts were still there.

It was a debt that stretched back even into the time of his youth. A boy, barely a man, being mended by a Healer and as a result taking the first steps to becoming one himself.

Another fist struck out coming flat against the trunk of the training dummy. Aoren held that fist there. He glared at the dummy as if he could somehow impart everything that he was feeling into the grain of the wood.

There was also what hadn’t been spoken between the two. The terms of their relationship had never been defined. Neither he nor Caelum had actually taken the time to sit down and discuss what a future between them meant. There was also the reality of the fact that no matter how much he cared for Caelum, if he ever wanted to fulfill his duty to his people, remain a true and able Drykas then at some point in time he would have to sire a child. He would have to sire several children. He knew this. It was expected of all Drykas men from what he understood. The Seer’s shoulders sagged. It seemed things were doomed to be complicated from the very start. He closed his eyes taking a deep breath even as Rak’keli’s gift told him that he was no longer alone. Caelum’s words reached his ears. The uncomfortable flutter of a dozen emotions dug their way into his chest. He stood up straight again and though weariness tugged at his muscles and ate its way into his bones, he resumed his sparring. The question remained, was he fighting someone else or was he fighting himself?

So talk.” He cast Caelum a glance over his shoulder before striking out against the dummy once again.


.
User avatar
Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
Posts: 1267
Words: 1241263
Joined roleplay: August 27th, 2012, 4:26 am
Location: Endrykas
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) Guest Storyteller (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Caelum on April 11th, 2015, 6:19 pm

Caelum watched the seer demolish a practice dummy from his position in the doorway. He, wisely, opted not to move deeper into the room. The last thing he was interested in doing was engaging in physical battle with Aoren in addition to this war of hearts and desires. Aoren's needs were a blood splatter, ranging wildly with multiple desires that were in conflict. It caused Caelum to wince, one hand untangling from his pocket in order to pinch the bridge of his nose. A deep breath was pulled into his lungs and held there even as the training room faded and left the seer at the center of it in stark relief.


With incredible effort, Caelum pushed back the sea of ranuri, struggling against the tide that had begun to erode him during the course of his winter with Aoren. Exhaling softly, his head finally cleared enough for him to gather around the seed of himself. He centered there, balancing, full knowing that it was still little more than a campfire for the damned. Now and again there were pockets of time, moments and days, sometimes even seasons, backlit with Syna's joy. It was always there, but it the nature of this very existence for it to be occasionally amplified by suffering. Society's, and his own.


At Aoren's terse reply and cold glance, Caelum's eyebrows lifted a little. Perhaps he ought to have expected that reception, no matter what he began with, apology or condemnation.


"I'm sorry that I hurt you," he began again. His voice was low, but it was not in the least bit detached. "And that it happened like that. What you said back at Alements, Aoren --" He hesitated, and his mouth curved down. He remained slumped against the threshold, uncomfortable on so many levels and that the fact that they were underground in the Sanctuary's Within did not help. Caelum disliked being underground on a primal level. It went against the very bones of him, sky spat as he was; but over time he had grown used to the Sanctuary, largely because it hummed with magic of his best friend and so in that way there was love and welcome to be found in it.


He felt none of that tonight. It was clear that Aoren felt betrayed, but Caelum had not betrayed him.


"Aoren, is it really over? Are you dumping me because of this? We never decided to only be with each other. If that's what you want, what you need from your relationship with me, I am sorry. But I can't give that. It is impossible."
User avatar
Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
Featured Thread (1) Lore Author (1)
Peer Reviewer (1) Trailblazer (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Aoren on April 11th, 2015, 8:21 pm

Image
19th of Spring, 515 AV
.

Aoren felt a jarring in his wrist as he drove his fist into the wood one more time. He winced but held the fist there. The rapid rise and fall of his chest was accentuated by the heavy breaths that passed in through his nose and out of his mouth. His eyes focused on the training dummy. He couldn’t bring himself to look at Caelum right then. Hearing his voice, all he could see was the scene that played out in front of him back at Alements. The bruised Seer and wounded Healer dropped his hand from the dummy. He sighed heavily running both hands through his hair. Was he hurt? Very. Did he have a right to be hurt? He felt he did. Was Caelum’s point valid? It was. He rubbed his face squeezing his eyes shut before reaching up grasping a hold of the arms of the dummy using them as support.

No.” It was spoken with conviction and filled with more emotion than Aoren was used to giving in a single word. He stood up straight turning to face the Ethaefal. “No. It’s not over. I don’t want it to be over.

He took a step closer to Caelum, away from the solid outlet of his frustrations up to that point. He couldn’t just throw what he was feeling aside. Not this time. Not ever again. So he folded his arms over his chest and regarded his wayward lover from a distance.

I will say that whether we decided to be with only each other or not, I do deserve an explanation. And I didn’t deserve that.” The fire of his anger had dulled to a simmer. The aggression he’d felt had been mostly unleashed. Now he was simply tired. All he wanted, all he needed was to move past the hurt that he was feeling.

But there are a lot of things that we haven’t discussed. Are you completely to blame?” Aoren shook his head shrugging his shoulders. He honestly didn’t know the answer to that question. There were many emotions exchanged between the two of them. Much of what they had formed was based solely on assumption. Aoren had assumed that in being together the fact that they were faithful only to each other was evident. That also raised the point that neither he nor Aoren had actually explored the reality of what was between them.

So, where do we go from here? I…like you Caelum. I can’t just throw that away but you’re hiding something from me.” There is was. Aoren had felt it. He’d felt it for some time. Caelum clung to his silence. While the Seer could respect the need to maintain a level of privacy there was a wall between the two of them that had yet to be addressed.

You say that’s something you can’t give to me. Does that mean you won’t? Is something preventing you?” He studied Caelum closely gauging his reactions observing the man as closely as he could.


.
User avatar
Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
Posts: 1267
Words: 1241263
Joined roleplay: August 27th, 2012, 4:26 am
Location: Endrykas
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) Guest Storyteller (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Caelum on April 11th, 2015, 9:18 pm

Caelum's head tilted against the doorjamb, partially with relief, when Aoren finally turned to face him. The heavy coil dark hair and braids sagged at the nape of his neck. He had not cut it this evening. He kept his hands in his pockets, probably to stop himself from reaching for him.


"I am not completely to blame," he said in the wake of the Seer's shrug, and his accent thickened with the night. It was old, far older than any still spoken in Cyphrus. "And I won't pretend to be either in some attempt to rectify what happened tonight, Aoren. You have been as reluctant as I to have a discussion regarding the nature and future of our relationship. The reasons for your reluctance are no more or less worthy than mine. You've made assumptions, and I've made assumptions, and now those have crossed paths and purpose. It was going to happen."


The frown he wore darkened and his eyes left Aoren, trailing to the practice dummy and the light flickering along stone walls. "It was always going to happen," he confessed, the weariness in him more apparent now. "You're right that I've been keeping something from you. It was right and only smart of me to for awhile, but the time to tell you passed some time ago."


And still he bided. Sighing, he shoved out of he slouch to tilt his head in invitation. "Will you come up with me? I don't want to talk about this down here." His bones ached with a need to shoulder the sky. Dark eyes moved over the Seer's face and he felt the velvet roll inside of him as chains shivered. She'd been waiting.


"Have you ever heard of the goddess Nikali? Goddess of desire, servants, lust, and addiction. She walks naked and vulnerable through our world, uncovering the darkness. But there aren't many who know her, though they see her all the time."
User avatar
Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
Featured Thread (1) Lore Author (1)
Peer Reviewer (1) Trailblazer (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Aoren on April 20th, 2015, 12:35 am

Image
19th of Spring, 515 AV
.

Aoren had no words to refute anything that Caelum said. He spoke the truth. There could be no doubting that. Both of them had made assumptions without truly giving form to the relationship that existed between the two of them. The Seer reached up rubbing the bridge of his nose squeezing his eyes shut with a heavy sigh. There was weight to the words that Caelum shared with him. In the face of that weight Aoren hesitated about whether or not he truly wanted to know what it was that the Ethaefal had been holding on to. With the request, Aoren’s expression softened. Caelum was not a man meant to be buried under the ground. He deserved to walk in the light of Syna or under the glow of Leth. He took a step forward hands almost instinctively reaching to run strong fingers along Caelum’s shoulders. He wanted to draw the other man close and simply embrace. He wanted the comfort that was to be found pressed against the warmth of Caelum’s body.

But he couldn’t bring himself to give in to that want. So he threaded his fingers through his sweat slicked hair breathing a heavy sigh. The roll of taut muscles bunched with both the stress of aggravation and from exerting himself highlighted for once, Aoren’s intimidating stature. He nodded motioning for Caelum to lead the way. The walk through the Within was a quiet one that was not breached until Caelum brought up the subject of a goddess. The name rung no bells.

She sounds…like the dark reflection of something brighter.” Lust was something that Aoren knew. He could feel it practically every time he was in close proximity to his lover. Beyond that however, there was something deeper to what he felt when he regarded Caelum. He had shared himself with the other man on a level that no one else alive could claim.

Is this Nikali what you’ve been hiding from me?” Aoren was not ignorant of the role of the gods in the mortal world. They were great and powerful beings that demanded many things from those who entered their service.

Lust and addiction? Does that have anything to do with…us?” It hurt Aoren on a level that surprised him to think that perhaps he had been nothing more than an object of physical desire for Caelum. He didn’t want to believe that. Part of him didn’t. The other half wasn’t quite so readily convinced. The scene that had played out before him in the Alements tavern had said quite clearly that his lover had most definitely been enjoying himself.


.
User avatar
Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
Posts: 1267
Words: 1241263
Joined roleplay: August 27th, 2012, 4:26 am
Location: Endrykas
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) Guest Storyteller (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Heart and Hardship

Postby Caelum on April 20th, 2015, 2:53 am

Gold flecked eyes watched as Aoren almost reached for him and failed to. The wave of longing rolled through him, for he was indeed a part of desire's great ocean and not a rock to part progress of the tides. It was good, because he did not want Aoren to touch him right then. It could be disastrous. He flinched, mouth twisting, and rolled around on his his heel to walk through the familiar corridors of the Within and to the main one which elevated up to the surface. He walked beside Aoren, but unlike usual he did not walk close. Their shoulders would not brush nor steps cross shadows. He did not want them to, and was taking no chances.


"She is the sister of Cheva," he told his lover as they stepped out under the sky. He kept walking, bootheels ringing against the flagstones of the broad courtyard. He was angled not for the healing clinic or the his apartment above it, nor for the stables. His path was rambling towards his herb garden, and the Sanctuary's pond where he had first met the lady champion of Dream. "A sibling to Love." And, as such, perhaps the darker reflection of some brighter thing.


A sideways glance was given the Seer, knowing all of the ins and outs of the questions being asked him. After all these were the very questions he had spent over a season dodging, dancing around entire swaths of potential inquiry from the very same man whom Nikali's chains had been trying to bind him to. It was exhausting.


A hand drew up only to circle before his face in gesture, and though the words he spoke were Common, he used some of his own Pavi signs. It was no doubt a habit with which Aoren was already familiar, a language that attempted to bridge two people, and at least three different worlds. The sign he made was for need and then for desire.


"Nikali wears a mirror mask which reflects back at any who gaze on her their greatest desire and their deepest need. Sometimes it will be one over the other and for others they are the same thing."


He shook his head, dark brown hair black in the pallid light of the moon. He walked through rows of his herb garden, flowering fresh with the season and scenting the air with a variety of smells. Sweet and pepper, spice and mint and must. In his mind's eye he saw her in an oddly perfect clarity of memory, walking pale limbed and naked through the door of Cian Noc's healing clinic in doomed Denval. The building had once been the barracks for an arm of the Suvan army, and the new door had creaked on old iron hinges behind her like the rattle of chains.


Coming to a stop beside the reflecting pond, he turned angled back to face Aoren. His throat was dry with just that memory of the goddess of servants and slaves. His pulse was heavy in his ears.


"When Nikali marks you -- " He cleared his throat, coughing up stardust. "It's the gnosis of ranuri. Your deepest desire is revealed to you and you are bound to the wheel of need and addiction. She saves those she marks, every last one of them, from unspeakable horrors. From agonies. From..." He trailed off, his hard won eloquence escaping him. It was as if he was reverting back to the man he had been before Nikali had stole over him on a far flung shore. "You sense the desires of others, can tell the needs of people by touching them. For those who aren't owned, for the unbound, by a glance. Close proximity is enough. And you are compelled to meet them, to solve them, to fulfill. Their wants becomes yours. And when you do, as you do, it's a pleasure and contentment unlike any other. For a little while, you are them."


The Ranuri met Aoren's eyes and his eyebrows rose ever so slightly, the feint of his smile complicated at best. Bitter, rueful. "Her gnosis appears as red and wine colored chains, Aoren." Exactly as those that looped across the jut of Caelum's left hipbone and coiled down his thigh and in the front faded into his groin. Aoren had seen them numerous times. "Back there, you wanted to touch me, but you couldn't because there's a part of you that wants to hold on to the sharp pieces of your hurt."


Again, he trailed off, letting his words fade into the wind that guttered over the Sanctuary's high wall and ruffled the calm surface of the pond. His chin was down, but his eyes lingered on Aoren's face.
User avatar
Caelum
The best way out is through.
 
Posts: 1977
Words: 1095776
Joined roleplay: March 18th, 2010, 10:27 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 12
Featured Character (1) Featured Contributor (1)
Featured Thread (1) Lore Author (1)
Peer Reviewer (1) Trailblazer (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests