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[Solo] A flashback depicting Vequil's first taste of Sunberth

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Postby Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 12:09 pm

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22nd Bell. 3rd, Autumn, 508 A.V.
Left. Left. Right.

Vequil navigated himself under the dim moonlight through the thin, narrow alleyways, heavy with the putrid stench of rot. Rats fled from his path, scurrying into their holes and tunnels. How he wished he was as small as they were, to be able to hide out of sight as quick as they did. Then it would be simple, then I wouldn't have to be so afraid, the thought only passed Vequil's mind for a mere moment before he realized he had to keep running, and fast. His white and crimson robes painted with stains of mud and a vile decaying water fluttered about to the movements of his legs. Fastened to the sash around his waist was a pouch of mizas, the coins clinking in disarray.

Left. Right, straight down.

Vequil didn't know where he was running towards, but he kept running. It didn't matter where he was going, as long as it meant that they wouldn't catch him. He was lucky to have been gifted with eyes that could see in the dark of night, else he would be completely oblivious to his surroundings. Shadows followed behind, their figures distorted on the walls by the dancing flames of a torch past the corners. Shouts echoed a couple of turns behind, greed and poison dripping down their hungry voices. Legs aching, the fear grew in the boy's mind. In the best case, he'd be robbed clean and left to die. In a more likely scenario, they'd simply gut him on the spot.

The very thought sent chills down Vequil's spine. Byorn's words surfaced in his mind. "They're dead by now, and you'll be joining them soon." He didn't want to think about it. "I can't stop now." Vequil uttered to himself, his voice barely a hoarse whisper in between the gasps for air. Keep running, they'd all have sacrificed for nothing if I stopped now.

Vequil had never run so hard the entire twelve years of his life. His lungs screamed for air, and the pain in his legs slowly wore out his will to continue. "Run, keep running." The shrill scream of a hawk came from overhead, and that was all the reason he needed to keep going. If not for himself, he had to keep running for Chir. He was the only Alieare left, and dying here in some forgotten back alleyway was not an option.

I have to run, Vequil urged himself on. I have to run I have to run I have to run have torunhavetorunrunrunrun... He completely occupied his mind with naught but the thought of running, focusing only on his escape. His legs kept going beyond the point of pain until he could no longer feel them, a seemingly primal instinct dominating his body to keep him moving. Heart beating, lungs gasping and all conscious gradually fading away, step after step his legs carried him deeper into the maze of passageways in between the slums of Sunberth.

Left. Left. Right.

Vequil followed his instinct, there was no time for him to think. His legs would not hold the pace for much longer, and he needed to lose the people chasing him before his body gave in.

Right. Left. Righ-

The thought ended abruptly as he lost sense of the ground below his feet. Unable to control his legs from the fatigue, Vequil caught his left foot on some abandoned plank of wood during his turn, sending the boy crashing into the walls of the corner and into a puddle of mud. His mind went blank for a brief moment as all strength escaped his limbs. He tried scrambling back up only to fall again as his legs refused to support him. laying down and panting for breath, the only sensation he could feel was the sharp pain to his left torso where his body smashed against cold stone. A faint taste of blood occupied his mouth.

The flames and shouts grew closer, accompanied now by the distinct sound of footsteps. They were closing in. Pained tears formed at the edge of the boy's bright azure eyes as he managed to finally push himself back up and limp deeper into the turn, breathing heavily. His eyes blurred from the mud and tears as he kept limping forward. Raising his head up, Vequil saw through the obscured vision of his eyes the one thing he dreaded the most.

A dead end.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on April 15th, 2015, 9:56 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 12:10 pm

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He wished his eyes were playing a trick on him. A dead end. It was too high for him to climb and the sides were walls, completely sealed off. There was nothing for him to hide behind, no exit for him to flee. The shouts and footsteps neared with each beat of his pounding heart. Realizing his situation, fear surged from within his mind, slowly extending its tendrils down his very being, suffocating him. He could hear the beat of his own heart now. ba-dump, ba-dump... It grew louder and louder, until it was the only thing he could hear.

"Ey...finally, I've got...the moneyboy...'ere".

The thumping stopped. Reality rushed back. Vequil turned around too see a small, awkward looking boy leaning himself against the wall, torch in his hand, catching his breath. A boy few years older than him dressed in filthy rags followed with a torch in his hand, leading the way for a third boy of his age, taller and bigger than the other two.

He recognized the second boy, the beggar that he had given mizas to upon entering Sunberth. Vequil realized now how stupid he was, how utterly completely stupid it was for him to show kindness and most of all, wealth in his possession. He wasn't thinking straight, no doubt as soon as he'd walked out of sight the beggar boy went to inform his friends, and they tailed him until the right opportunity to chase him down.

A hunter chasing its prey, Vequil thought.

"Told ya, the boy's mizas on legs." The boy in rags said to his friends, walking towards Vequil. He and the smaller one laughed. The third boy simply stood, expressionless, staring at Vequil. "What's the matter, Norn? Excited for the easy gold?" Noren shook his head, his eyes still a fixated glare at Vequil. Using the wall to support himself up, Vequil's mind was in a complete disarray. "Stay where you are. You want the gold? Here it is. Take it and leave me." He braved his words. With shaking hands Vequil held the pouch of mizas up, dangling it in front of the others. There's no way out of this, he thought to himself. To his slight relief, none of the them looked like they were carrying any steel. He probably won't be dead by the end of their little run-in, but pain seemed inevitable. Noren however, had a cruel desire in his eyes. The others seemed easier to deal with, but not him.

Then Noren began to walk towards him, a pace so slow Vequil could feel his own fear growing, its tendrils seeping into his skin, thin as nails. Noren closed their distance with every step, nothing but the gaze on his face. Vequil grew desperate. "Please! just take the gold and leave! There's no reason for you to kill me!" he shouted towards him.

"No." Noren laughed, rolling up the sleeves of his rags while stepping closer and closer towards Vequil. "We're not gonn' kill ya'. Too much trouble." crunk crunk, he cranked his neck left then right. "It's jus' that I've always wanted to beat some rich boy into the dirt."

Vequil's side throbbed and his legs shook, tears again on the edge of his eyes. He was going to get beaten hopelessly, pummelled into the ground and hit until he could no longer breathe, but he took Noren's word for it - at least he wasn't going to die. Vequil whistled a few notes towards the sky.

Overhead, Chir gave a shrill scream, echoing through the silent twists and turns of the slums. The torchfire cackled, and Noren lunged forward.

Noren moved quick for his size, swinging his right arm past the moon in an arc. However, Vequil saw it coming and ducked down, slipping past the blow, then jerked towards the left as Nyka's left followed in a strong straight. The punches contained little technique, but Vequil could feel the wind from their force. Being hit would most certainly spell him being hurled into the ground. That was when he would be vulnerable.

He managed to see a few more coming his way and slipped his body past three, before a fourth caught him on the left collarbone, knocking him off balance. Vequil stumbled two steps behind and before he could recover, Noren followed the assault with another arc from his right. Vequil ducked hurriedly, thinking he had avoided the blow right when a knee thrusted up and sent a blunt, crippling pain deep into his gut, collapsing him onto his knees. Hurt, choking and trying to breathe, Vequil clutched his abdomen and plunged into the ground. Before he even realized his position, Nyka's leg swung upwards and met him right in his face. The impact threw him onto his back, sprawled over the floor. He was unable to think, all attempts being cut off by an intense nausea that wrapped over his mind.

"I hate ya' rich people. E'rey. Last. One." Noren spoke. His voice trembled as he bent down to pick Vequil up by the collar, staring straight into his azure blue eyes. Vequil saw Noren's eyes, filled with anger and loathing, and a sorrow he didn't know how to describe. "You people live in your fuckin' mansions, eat your pig and drink your wine. Then you throw what you don't need at us. Do ya' know how many nights I've starved myself to sleep 'ere? Do you even fucking understand what it is to be hungry at night? To know your mum's workin' as a whore, bein' hit and fucked everyday by brutes?" He spat into Vequil's eye.

In his mind, Vequil begged to differ. He had none of those now, and soon even his last pouch of mizas would be taken away. Mind still in a stupor from the previous blow, his lips moved but words failed to come out. Vequil averted his gaze past Noren's eyes, into the night sky - for some reason he couldn't keep looking at them. The moon glowed dim, and the night sky was filled with lamenting stars.

Vequil was held there, in the silence of the night. Noren's two companions had been watching without so much as moving. The flame of the torch danced and cackled. He could feel Noren shaking with something that rooted much deeper in him than anger.

Vequil said something to Noren, a whisper only he would be able to hear.

"Fuck you." Noren spat, the impact of his punch hurling Vequil into the ground again. he lay there, too tired to move, too tired to care. Noren walked around and forced his leg towards his head.

And Vequil felt himself being somewhere very far away.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 1:32 pm

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10th Bell. 4th, Autumn, 508 A.V
Raindrops fell against Vequil's cheeks, sliding down his skin slowly, gently. They fell on his locks of hair, blonde and mud-ridden; they dotted his arm, wetting the carmine skin; they found their way into Vequil's enervated mind, spreading a ripple as a drop landed into the clear waters of his consciousness.

The slight drizzle grew in size, and soon it was pouring. Vequil woke, eyes staring into the grey clouds above. Savoring the feeling of water splattering onto his skin, he watched them move, slowly drifting in a place far away. He opened his mouth, tasting the sweet, tender rain. How he managed to sleep through the thirst was beyond him.

Of course, by now Noren and the others were gone. As expected, they took his pouch of mizas but left him whole - he had at least expected an arm to be broken. Vequil wanted to call for Chir, but it would be impossible in this rain. Now he had nothing, the few kind gentlemen leaving him with only his clothing, and even those were stained and torn. Rising up to his feet, Vequil took off his robe and let the rain wash off the filth clinging to his body. His legs still ached, but the soreness was bearable. His collarbone and ribs were bruised a blueish-purple, throbbing in pain whenever he moved. From what he could feel his nose was probably broken from the kick, and a tooth was also loose.

The people in the caravan told him about Sunberth, yet he didn't listen. He was too proud, and blind. He should've known how far away from everything he was. Life as he used to know it seemed a distant concept. Family dead, friends gone, mentor killed, and there was only Chir by his side. He even betrayed himself, acting without thinking.

What he did was foolish. Upon arriving in Sunberth he thought that the most perilous part of his journey had passed. Joy of finally arriving in a city overwhelmed him, and he slipped a few gold mizas to a beggar sitting by the entering . "Go buy yourself a warm meal." He told him, smiling. The beggar boy just nodded. Now thinking about it, the beggar was probably gritting his teeth already, waiting for his chance to corner him. Slowly, the anger boiled inside Vequil. He wanted to help the boy out of kindness. Yet the boy...he and his friends robbed him clean, left him without a single miza.

Luckily Chir was still with him, and to him that was all that mattered. They only had each other now. As soon as the rain stopped, Vequil whistled thrice, a high note and a low note followed by a higher pitch. Upon arriving in the city, Vequil set his adored little red-tailed hawk out to roam, and that was the return whistle. He warned his bird not to come last night in fear of the boys doing something terrible to him. A few moments later a shrill scream came from above and the bird swooped down, landing on the ground next to Vequil. He lightly stroked its feathers, tears rolling down his cheeks, finding solace in the presence of his friend. He noticed the a shredded piece of grey skin still hanging onto its beak, bits of red flesh attached. It was probably what remained of a mouse that Chir had for breakfast. At least he won't be hungry, he thought, happy. Then he cried. Chir was all he had left.

Vequil watched Chir's small body rise and fall with each breath, its head and eyes always darting around with a bird's curiosity, and it soothed him. His sides still hurt, and his head was still fuzzy from the events yesterday, but that was of little importance - time will heal the injuries. What time wouldn't be able to solve however, is an empty stomach. Vequil was hungry and without any money, and it's been longer than sunset until noon since he's had anything to eat. He'd have to pawn his clothes to feed himself.

His robes dried while he was thinking. The rain managed to wash off most of the mud, but the blood stains stuck. Vequil thought they'd probably be able to fetch a few nice silvers on the street. Chir eyed his limping owner with a bird's curiosity.

"Come, let's go." Vequil held out his right arm, holding his silk garments with the left. The bird gave its wings a few beats and perched gracefully on the arm. Chir's talons hurt just a little, but it was a pain Vequil was happy to endure. With Chir on his arm, he limped back towards the maze of alleyways, trying to backtrack his way to the main street.

It took a while before Vequil was able to find his way back to the main roads. His red arm and falcon attracted more than a few curious glances his way, but he ignored them. His clothes were quick to sell.

"Ten gold ones and it's all yours, good sir." Vequil offered. "Six. No more." The man said, examining the quality of the silk. "Eight." Vequil bartered. The man snorted, getting ready to leave. "Fine, Seven." Vequil bit his lip. He remembered the robe costing multiples more when he went to buy them with his father in Ravok. The man kept walking. "Six Gold mizas, five silver." The man turned around, a smile on his face "Deal." Chir wanted to peck at the man's hand. Vequil was sure he cut himself a horrible deal, but he couldn't care less about that at this point. He just needed enough to keep himself warm and fed.

Vequil kept his six gold mizas and five silver mizas clutched tightly in his grip - it was all he had to survive on. He asked for directions to a market and purchased a set of clothes for himself at the seaside market. Walking through the stalls, a sudden thought came to mind. What happened yesterday may very well happen again. "Steel." he said to himself. Turning back into the stalls, Vequil exited again with a steel dagger. He'll likely need it. Thinking about the companion perched on his arm, he also bought a small cut of chicken.

Then finally, he visited the drunken fish and bought himself a night's lodging and warm meal. For him it had been a long two days, far from everything he used to know. Laid down on an actual bed for the first time in a few long, weary seasons, Vequil felt a tad bit of happiness.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 2:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 1:34 pm



Receipt


Event Type Unit Value Units Balance Total
Sell: Children's, good, silk, robe + sash Income 6.5.0 1 +6.5.0 6.5.0
Purchase: Children's, Cotton shirt Expenditure 0.0.6 1 -0.0.6 6.4.4
Purchase: Children's, Cotten pants Expenditure 0.5.0 1 -0.5.0 5.9.4
Purchase: Children's, Cotton sash Expenditure 0.0.6 1 -0.0.6 5.8.8
Purchase: Children's, Shoes Expenditure 0.1.9 1 -0.1.9 5.6.9
Purchase: Dagger Expenditure 2.0.0 1 -2.0.0 3.6.9
Purchase: Chicken, chunk of Expenditure 0.3.0 1 -0.3.0 3.3.9
Inn, poor Expenditure 0.2.0 1 -0.2.0 3.1.9


Notes for Grader :
Most of these items will be discarded in the few flashbacks following immediately after the events in this one.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on April 13th, 2015, 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sayana on June 25th, 2015, 5:13 pm

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Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request. If there's anything I may have missed, please PM me and I'll be happy to look into it.


 
Vequil
Skills
  • Land Navigation: 1
  • Running: 1
  • Endurance: 3
  • Observation: 3
  • Negotiation: 2
  • Rhetoric: 1
  • Acrobatics: 1
  • Boxing: 1
  • Unarmed Combat: 1
  • Philosophy: 1
  • Falconry: 1
Lores
  • Fleeing from street urchins
  • Negotiation: Offering money to avoid bodily harm
  • Taking a beating
  • Don't show that you have money in Sunberth
  • Location: Drunken Fish

Comments: Note, for flashbacks you cannot obtain new items for your current inventory, therefore you don't need to spend any money for the purchases you made since they will be assumed to be lost by the time you reach present day. Thus, in this case your receipt is not necessary. One exception to this rule is if your PC undergoes any sort of paid training, and therefore the training would need to be paid for.

Be sure not to adjust your ledger in this case, nor the items in your inventory.

Overall, it was a wonderful thread. I loved the amount of detail you included and how well you portrayed the harsh realities of Sunberth.

Your Grader,

Sayana
Boxcode design: Firenze
---

**Available via PM (generally) but looking to tie up loose ends. (Feb 15)

0/2 Solos ----- 1/2 Modded Quests ----- 3/5 PC Threads ----- 1/1 GST Thread (to grade)
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