Flashback [Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

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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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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Asen on April 23rd, 2015, 10:16 pm



Asen whistled low, looking at the Akalak in surprise. "So you 'aven't been 'ome in a long time, have you?" she said, "An' it was probably the worse "welcome 'ome" you could get. You get back, an' everythin' suddenly gets destroyed in a giant... storm."

Her face fell slightly at the word 'storm', but lifted again when Aren kept talking. She tried to keep herself from smiling. "Oh, yeah. I know how you feel. Sometimes Ma just didn't understand me an' my fightin', an' I just wanted to throw somethin'. A table, or maybe an axe," she told him with a giggle.

The half-Dhani had known him for less than a bell, and yet she found his company enjoyable. She thought him easy to talk to, and her opinion on Akalaks had changed. They weren't so bad -- at least, this one wasn't. Some were just so incredibly thick-skulled, it was impossible to be in their presence.

She blushed, however, when he said he wanted to talk about her. Of course he probably just wanted to change the subject, and considering the lengthy departure from Riverfall and the whole 'sum total of your life staying away from mine' meant it was most likely his family that he was staying away from, not the city itself.

"Oh, well that's 'cause I en't totally human. My da is a Dhani, my ma's the human one. 'Course, she's so old now people always think that Da is her grandson an' I'm Da's sister or daughter or somethin'. It's absolutely ridiculous, I tell ya."

Asen gave the Akalak a sympathetic look. "Must be kinda 'ard, not likin' your family. I mean, I know you don't wanna talk about it. I'm just sayin', it sounds like it sucks and I understand, even if I don't know what 'appened," she said, swinging her arm up to give him a gentle pat on his bicep.

She let her hand drop back to her side with a sigh. "But yeah, I en't fully human. I'm just half."

Honestly, she kind of hoped he'd talking about his past However, she knew it was rude to pry. That was something her father had told her once: Don't ask unless they're okay with it.

She wasn't exactly asking though, was she? It was more of a suggestion, and he could bring it up if he wanted to. She wasn't going to force an answer out of him.

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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Aren on May 2nd, 2015, 4:02 am

"Actually..." Aren offered a slight smile, his lips pursing suggestively, "It wasn't half as bad as I expected." His mirth seemed to fade instantly, however, as his eyes looked down and away in an expression of loss. "That's all over now, though." The Akalak sighed, seemingly accepting of, yet obviously not very content with, this particular state of affairs.

The azure giant allowed a slight chuckle to penetrate his sullen mood, Asen's story reminding him of better times with his own family. Sometimes his mother had made him want to throw things too, but she had never disapproved of his fighting. His relationship with her had always been easier than with his father, though, and when she had died, things had gotten all that much harder with him.

Fortunately, Asen seemed inclined to respect the Akalak's desire to stay off the topic of family, and she freely volunteered the answer to the question of her age. She wasn't human. Well, not entirely human, at least. She was a half... Dhani? The name sounded familiar, as if he had heard it during his travels, but no particulars jumped to Aren's mind.

He appreciated her obvious desire to sympathize, but the warrior knew that the relationship between him and Tyren, his father, was a lot more complicated than simple dislike. Not wanting to think on the matter much further, however, the Akalak nodded his appreciation for her concern and decided that it was best if the girl were distracted. She seemed the overly curious type, and whilst Aren would have been more than happy to answer her questions on nearly any subject, this particular topic was an unpleasant one for him. "What should two clever youths get up to in the wake of this storm, I wonder?" He did his best to smile and shake off the demons of his own mind, purposely joking about the number of years the pair had under their belts, yet didn't look it. Of course, in Riverfall, they probably really were young compared to the average resident of the city.

"The river looks more like a muddy puddle, but I'm sure a couple of enterprising souls such as us could find some way to entertain ourselves," Aren's face was one of childish exuberance, and it was obvious that though he was over a hundred years old, he was no stranger to mischief.
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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Asen on May 6th, 2015, 11:18 pm

Asen almost squinted at the Akalak. Was he unfamiliar with the name of her father's race? There was a nest in Riverfall, they couldn't be that reclusive... could they? Then again, Aren had mentioned leaving for the entirety of her lifetime. Fifty years -- give or take a few -- is a long time, one can forget plenty during that period.

She crossed her arms and settled all her weight on one leg. Her eyes adopted a glazed look, signaling her venture into the depths of her mind. Fifty years... What had she accomplished in fifty years? Plenty of scrapes and bruises, that was for sure. Not to mention pretty much disappointing both her mother and her father with each fight she got into.

The half-Dhani was a fighter, but she wasn't a good fit for a bodyguard. She was far too belligerent, too selfish to try and protect someone. The threat of being sent away on a caravan as a guard was issued many times, each time decreasing the amount of fights she got into before the number skyrocketed once more.

More recently her mother had contacted Asen's aunt in Syliras, setting the girl's nerves on edge. That was a season ago, though. Things could've changed by then, she might not be shipped off to the fortress city. She could hope, anyways.

Aren's voice brought her out of her thoughts. He'd mentioned something about the river, and entertainment? She scrolled back through half-gathered words and pulled the context from what she remembered. "Eh? You wanna play in the river?" she asked, giving the Akalak a skeptical look. She figured he was too old for things, or he thought himself as such. It turns out she was wrong (again).

"Well, I s'pose we could try wrestlin' in the water. That's fun, I think," she said. Yes, the river was rather muddy... but that never stopped anyone. She didn't really know how to swim, either. The blonde was actually kind of afraid of water, in an ironic sort of way. She always figured she would drown, unlike her father -- an Iyvess Dhani -- who thrived in such a place.

Asen pursed her lips, glancing at the river. Her eyes flicked to Aren, then back to the water, then back to the blue giant, then back to the water. A sly grin crossed her face and she lifted her shirt over her head in a quick, smooth motion. She threw it at Aren, hoping to hit him in the face or maybe even the chest, and managed to stumble out of her trousers and into the river.

Once she was a safe distance from the Akalak and up to her chest in the water she stopped. The water was cold, but bearable. "C'mon you great big lump! The w-water's f-fine!" she called, shivers running up and down her spine. The chill would pass over in a few moments and she would warm up.

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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Aren on May 9th, 2015, 3:53 pm

"That's actually not what I me-" Before Aren could get his entire response to Asen's suggestion out, he was struck right in the face by the girl's shirt.

His idea had actually been something more along the lines of throwing the river's somewhat disgusting water on unsuspecting passersby, or even bucketing it to drop from atop buildings on the unfortunate masses below. It had certainly been a childish thought, but Aren was in that kind of mood. Asen's idea, however, was much better, he had to admit.

Pulling away the offending cloth which was obstructing his vision, the Akalak's gaze lingered on the half-Dhani's exposed flesh for a just a moment too long, and his lips curved upwards almost imperceptibly before Aren began to remove his own accouterments. After his scythe and his Lakan had been set aside, he pulled his leather vest up and over his head, then headed towards the water to join Asen.

"No, yeah. I can tell. It must be blazing in there," The azure warrior teased.

As Aren began to wade into the dirty liquid, he didn't show any outward signs of feeling the obvious chilliness of the water. It was plainly not nearly as warm as the petite girl had tried to make it sound, but it also wasn't cold enough to force a reaction out of the disciplined Akalak. "You want to wrestle me? You must be very confident in your skills," The giant crowed, standing as straight as his frame would allow and extending his arms outwards so as to make himself look bigger. His eyes seemed to bore into Asen's defiantly, until his whole body suddenly deflated with a mild laugh.

"Come at me, then!" Aren shouted, in a jovial voice, his eyes lighting up excitedly.

Wrestling was not really something he was very good at, but that wasn't really the point of this exercise. The point was to have fun, to enjoy themselves, and to keep his mind from wandering down darker paths. Asen seemed like she was willing to be that distraction, he had to admit, and the fact that she was easy on the eyes certainly didn't hurt, either.
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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Asen on May 10th, 2015, 2:28 am

Asen gave a whistle as the Akalak before her removed his weaponry and vest. She had her arms wrapped around herself, the shivering reduced to a minimum. "Oh yeah, definitely. It's way too hot, but only 'cause I'm in it."

Aren was clearly less affected by the chill of the water, even if it was only external. It seemed like those years of training weren't just for building muscle. Though the muscle was an extra bonus... The half-Dhani allowed her eyes to roam the giant's form, one brow arching in approval. She gave a short laugh, grinning mischievously.

"Nah, I en't much of a wrestler. But hey, it can't be that bad, can it? 'Specially when you're the one I'm wrestlin' with," she told him. He'd straightened his back, made himself appear taller and far more broad-shouldered. The blonde pursed her lips appreciatively, which slipped into a smirk.

She waded over to Aren, prodding him in the stomach with two outstretched fingers. "Gimme a tick first," she said. The girl placed both palms flat against the expanse of blue skin, the heels of her hands just above the Akalak's navel. "Nice, nice," she murmured, moving around behind him.

"Hold still right quick," she said before lifting her foot. She planted it firmly on his hip, the fingers of one hand curling around his arm. "I'm gonna climb up 'ere to see what I'm up against. Know your enemy or somethin' like that, yeah?"

If he allowed her to climb up, she'd grip his sides with her thighs and knees, holding onto his shoulder. The other hand would press into the powerful muscles of his back. She claimed it was to get to know what she was going to be fighting, but she just wanted to feel him.

Asen would then pull herself forwards so her chest was against the Akalak's back, he would find that her arm had slid around to nestle his throat in the crook of her elbow. After that, she would have no idea what to do. Catching someone around the throat usually subdued them.

If he didn't allow her to climb up... Well, he'd do his own thing.

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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Aren on May 12th, 2015, 6:49 pm

The Akalak smiled at Asen's obvious lack of humility; she knew she was attractive, and that her current state couldn't be described as anything less than provocative. When she approached him, asking for a moment, Aren wondered what it was that she intended, until she placed her hands on his stomach. Although he briefly glanced down at the where her slender fingers met the soft palms she was pressing against his abdomen, the warrior's gaze promptly arose to meet the Dhani's. "I'm not much of a wrestler either, but I don't think this is how it goes."

Despite what might sound like objections, Aren definitively took no action which seemed to indicate he had any intention -or desire, for that matter- of stopping Asen's "exploration". He was quite enjoying it, in fact, and since her comments suggested that she was as well, the giant saw no reason why the girl shouldn't be allowed to have a taste of him, or even a bite, should she be so inclined.

When Asen began to climb on top of his body, however, the Akalak was admittedly at a loss. This was not where he had imagined this to be going. Even as he struggled to keep his balance, Aren wondered if this was some kind of Dhani thing, much in the same way that Akalaks had customs that might be considered rather strange by those not familiar with them.

"What are you-" The warrior asked in a playful tone, until an arm began to slither its way across his neck. His instincts as a fighter were shouting for him to prevent the girl from getting too dominant a position on him, but Aren consciously ignored them. He had enough confidence in his skills and enough experience on the battlefield to believe that he was capable of extracting himself from such a situation, should it become necessary, for whatever reason. Almost certain that wouldn't be the case, though, the giant did his best to steady himself in the water despite the imbalance that Asen's body moving across his own was causing.

"How's the view?" The azure pedestal queried, cheekily. His hands had moved down to grip the bottom of the half-Dhani's thighs in an effort to steady the unstable structure that she had created, and whilst he hoped she wouldn't view the necessary gesture as him being too presumptuous, the Akalak suspected the two may have quickly moved past the stage where either one needed to worry about that kind of thing.
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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Asen on May 16th, 2015, 3:27 am

Asen gave a slight chuckle at Aren's reply to her pressing her hands to his stomach. No, she thought, this en't 'ow wrestlin' goes. Of course, while her excuse was to get to know her enemy better, she really just wanted to admire the musculature of the Akalak.

As she climbed him she noticed the tensing of his body, the effort it took to not throw her off and into the water. The half-Dhani took the chance to apply gentle pressure to his shoulders and arms, pursing her lips and raising her eyebrows appreciatively.

His hands under her thighs were surprising, but she didn't mind them at all. In fact, she rather enjoyed the heat his blue skin gave off. One would think that with the deep shades their flesh held they would be cooler than normal, but it was quite the opposite. Well, it seemed that way from the wind blowing across her wet skin.

"It en't that bad, I s'pose," she said, "though it could be improved." Her response was to more or less poke fun at him, prod him into aggression. Now granted it was dangerous, what with him being an Akalak, but he seemed to have excellent self-control and she decided she could trust him.

Honestly, she just wanted to wrestle with him. "Hold still," she said, more to herself than to him. Of course he'd hold still. She wanted to try something first. The blonde made sure her arms were secure around his neck and extracted one leg from his grasp, hooking it over his shoulder. The other followed shortly after, and she lifted her hips so her ankles locked together under his throat. She felt a little bad putting her feet so close to his face, but her embarassment was erased as she allowed her arms to slip from his neck.

Asen fell backwards and her back thumped against Aren's, upside-down and dangling from his shoulders. She let out a high-pitched squeal, excited that her idea worked. "'Ey, I was right! Now 'old still again, just lemme- Gah!"

Her words turned into a surprised shout. The half-Dhani had tried to lever her torso upwards so she could right herself once more, except her ankles were slippery and wet and she lost her grip. With a splash she landed in the water, flailing unceremoniously to raise her head above the surface. "I'm okay!" was the first thing she said. It was more to reassure herself than Aren.

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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Aren on May 16th, 2015, 2:30 pm

"There's always room for that, I grant you," The Akalak was not one to mind honest critique, nor good natured teasing, and he had done his fair share of both in his day. Asen's poke might certainly have been both, but he suspected her only goal had been to get a rise out of him, and loathe to disappoint, he was about to give her exactly what she wanted, "Of course, it's not like-" Before he could finish his comeback, however, the girl began to experiment with the delicate balance they had forged between their bodies.

"I'm trying, but you're not exactly li- I mean, you're not making it easy," The Akalak swiftly corrected, his own sense of decorum preventing him from being too exacting in his terminology. He suspected the Dhani wouldn't much care, if his impression of her was at all correct, yet he still couldn't bring himself to ignore the common courtesies most women expected.

As Asen adjusted her position on his body, Aren wondered just what in Wysar's name she was up to. Her feet had hooked down on his shoulders, and her ankles were now clasped around his neck and he still had no idea what she might be trying to accomplish. He grabbed hold of her shins in order to provide some small measure of security to whatever she was about to attempt, but the giant didn't know if this preventive measure would be enough to safeguard her from whatever mischief she was up to.

When Asen fell and thumped against the warrior's slippery back, Aren could feel his grip on her legs loosening. He also thought he could see that the hold she had with her feet was tenuous, at best, and whatever she was doing might be doomed to failure. She did seem to, momentarily, make an affirmation of success, before her words turned to ash in her mouth. Or rather, dirty, muddy water, as the case may have been.

Asen's head had quickly poked out of the water to confirm that she was alright, but unfortunately Aren had lost his own balance when she fell, "I'm not!" And now, his large blue form careened directly towards her as he fell back, his arms extended in an ultimately futile effort to reacquire some measure of stability. "Look out...!" The Akalak tried to twist his neck back to see where he was falling, but all he could make out were the ripples caused by the girl's earloer crash into the river.
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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Asen on May 20th, 2015, 4:57 am

Oh, shyke.

Asen slapped uselessly at the water as the massive blue man fell towards her. She managed to get out of the way for the most part, but one of his arms managed to catch the base of her neck. Her face was plunged underwater.

The half-Dhani could feel Aren's movements in the water around them. He'd elbowed her in the spine, too, near the base. She yelped, inhaling the muddy liquid and choking. She flapped her arms and brought her head above the surface, pulling herself towards the bank. There she coughed and hacked the water from her lungs, wiping her mouth afterwards.

"Sweet Siku, Aren. You gotta try 'arder to not fall on me next time," she said in between each expelling of liquid, "or at least teach me 'ow to get you offa me. I en't ready to drown just yet, maybe next time."

The waterlogged blonde mustered up a chuckle and a grin, rubbing her back gingerly. "I should probably make it a point to not try an' fight you outside o' friendly sparrin'. Seems like you'd be terrifyin', if not deadly as petch."

Asen glanced down at her sand-covered fingers and paused, then the mischievous smile of someone who got a very, very good idea crossed her face. She grabbed two handfuls of the wet sand and stood, squinting at her azure target. If he would stay where he was for just a moment...

"Hey, Aren!" she shouted as she sent the sandballs flying through the air. Her aim was a little off, especially with her left hand, but her intent was clear. She bent down to scoop up another two handfuls of sand and hurl them towards the Akalak.

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[Valkalah's Tears] Two Souls and a Half-Dhani (Aren)

Postby Aren on May 21st, 2015, 7:23 pm

The Akalak had felt the moment his arm had struck something which was quite a great deal more solid than water. Poor Asen hadn't managed to get out of the way in time, it seemed, and what's more Aren had felt him accidentally strike her again as he thrashed beneath the rancid surface of the river.

As the warrior brought his head out of the water, he looked around to make sure the girl had not been too damaged by his clumsiness. Seeing her coughing up half the Bluevein, though (now significantly less blue) his lungs prompted him to do the same. The Akalak didn't seem to have swallowed nearly as much of the filthy liquid as Asen had, but as he walked towards her he was still spitting out the taste of the disgusting river with every other breath.

"And I should probably make it a point to learn to say no to beautiful girls," Having simply spoken his mind, and thus completely oblivious to the compliment he had just given the half-Dhani, Aren turned to face the expanse of dirty river that he she had just crawled out of. Still ankle deep in its foul waters, the Akalak couldn't help but wonder if the once clear liquid would ever return to its former glory. Riverfall was a beautiful city, and as the name suggested, the river was a big part of what made it what it was. The idea that it would look like tar soup for years to come, or even longer, made his heart ache. He loved this city, even if he could hardly stand some of the people that lived in it, sometimes.

"What? You finally got the taste of Djed storm out of your mouth?" The Akalak turned to face Asen, a crooked grin on his face, and upon doing so spied a clump of something brownish passing conspicuously close to his head. Before he could really process what that might have been, a globule of packed, wet sand struck him directly on the forehead. His grin having disappeared instantly, Aren spat out some pieces of the projectile that had found their into his mouth. Furthermore, the giant was also forced to close one eye, as the improvised missile began to drip its way down towards the eyelid.

Nodding his head up and down and pursing his lips, the Akalak recognized that Asen might have had justification for her attack, "Okay. I admit I may have deserved that. I let you fall, and then-" As another pair of sandballs struck him, however, Aren began to reconsider his stance. One had simply struck on his exposed chest, but the other had hit him square on the cheek, and the giant had been treated to another sumptuous taste of filthy river water.

Out of his one good eye Aren could see the mischievous smirk on the Dhani, and he realized that there was likely only one response that would satisfy her: all out war. "Fine. You wanna play, we'll play!" The Akalak shouted, managing an ill-advised smile which promptly allowed more sand into his mouth.

Spitting as much of the disgusting substance out as he could, the warrior bent his knees and scooped up a couple of handfuls of the weapon he was going to be employing in this particular battle. He made sure not to pack the two projectiles he was readying too tightly, lest they actually hurt Asen, but he wanted to make sure they didn't disintegrate before they actually struck their target.

After a few squeezes, Aren flung both of them -in sequence- directly at the girl's midsection. Having no desire to accidentally hit her face, for various reasons, the Akalak hoped his aim was true and that Asen shielded her head, just in case. Since he only had the use of one eye, though, it would have been a surprise if he hit anything at all.
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