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Kavala and Caelum and a handful of dust.

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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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Postby Caelum on June 2nd, 2015, 10:27 pm

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Timestamp: 01 Summer 515 AV


With sharp deliberation, he chose a thing he was terrible at.


The bastard sword was heavy with the weight of killing, the triumph and turmoil of lives slain. It had once belonged to a slaver from Ravok and it knew near nothing of mercy. It was therefore well suited to the day’s task and provided what punishment Caelum sought for his transgressions. He stood in the open air of the sea cliff far above the din of a bustling sea and balanced his weight forward onto his right foot. What brief lessons he had been given in sword fighting stressed balance and grounding, beginning with this position which was called the Horseman’s Stance. He took a liking to the name for the obvious reasons and found it to be an easy position to master considering the level of training he had already put his body through in learning unarmed combat. The sword he gripped with both hands. It was called a hand and a half, or so the story went, capable of being wielded singly or doubly depending upon the strength and desires of the swordsman. The blade was straight and double edged and the handle was longer than that of a long sword’s, suited perfectly to nothing. It befit him, and his mood.


A wind off the water scuffed against the cliff’s edge and flattened the grasses in a path towards the ethaefal as he stepped forward, transferring his weight in a fluid motion while extending his elbow up and out. The sun was lowering into the Suvan and flash off the blade as he brought it down with the swift precision he had been shown. Sliding his leading foot back, he returned to his original position with the blade at a ready angle. This simple thrust and retreat maneuver he repeated twenty times, each one steadily increasing the speed in which he performed it. Muscles warming, Caelum took a breath and began all over again, only this time he add the side sweep of the defensive parry at the end, lengthening his solitary dance.


Muscles stretched and limbs ached as he moved, focusing on the position of his hands and his feet and the balancing of the blade as an extension of himself. Around the fifteenth repetition he dropped to a knee and removed a knife from the height of his riding boot. His grip on the sword was made one handed and the knife was gripped in his off hand, blade pointing downward and fingers curving loose and familiar about the handle. A third step was added to this martial dance wherein he turned sideways following the parry with the sword in a striking position learned from practicing kicks. From there the knife was brought up in a butterfly sweep, this a movement far more familiar to his bones than anything yet to do with the sword.


The additional focus adding a dual handed third maneuver to his repetitions required of him forced all of the ugly, snaking shadows threatening to overcome his sun to be dismissed. He had not time to linger on the darkness when he was too busy fighting it. His feet beat a pattern in the dust and he paid no heed to the darkness growing out from the feet of the trees nor the frail white moon still strengthening as it ascended. The weight of the weapons began to task his muscles as he pressed on, repeating the same sword strike, sword deflect, and knife parry over and over.


In time that too became blurred, somewhere around the second dozen cycle, and Caelum closed his eyes. Behind them he saw an assassin, the phantom of the man who had come upon he and Aoren Skycrown and managed with fierce cunning to fling his lover's spirit free. Subtle shifts in Caelum's stance and the angle of his attacks were made, rolling back a shoulder, turning on the back of a heel to cast a powerful sideline kick at this invisible foe while his blades stabbed down to counterweight his balance.


He stumbled, staggering right out of what was usually an easy kick for him to perform when unarmed, thrown off by the accompaniment of knife and sword. Ultimately he ended up in a crouch, the blade of his sword biting into the earth and breath heaving hard through his chest. He shook the sweat out of his eyes and watched the horizon bloody, realizing that he was going to require an actual teacher to instruct him on the fine points of combining fighting techniques.


Summer was come, flourishing brilliant ivory through the downward curve of his horns. Unlike all previous summers, however, his hair had begun to bloody into a gold streaked auburn rather than the laurel leaf gold it typically took on during this season. He noticed it now, a too long lock -- in need of cutting -- spilling sweat slicked into his eye even as it grew saturated with the color of heartbreak.


He should return to the Sanctuary, perhaps visit Aoren's bonded strider Katya in the stables, have dinner with his daughter, a drink with his friends. He had been lurking like a haunt himself at Alements these past days, unwilling or unable to leave Aoren's side, replaying in his mind the series of events until he could see every flaw in exquisite detail. Only the favor of Rak'keli had saved Aoren and only her favor was sustaining him now. Caelum had traveled through the Chavena, wondering through the vaulted forests of shining history, searching and searching until Elise had shaken him awake, afraid that he too would not rise again. That was when he had promised her to go home, to leave Alements for a little while, to do anything but hunt and heal and steep in his own fury.


And he would make the short walk to the Sanctuary from this cliff side field, and he would pay a visit on Aoren's strider, and he would go on. He would. He always went on. There was unlikely to be a century in sight wherein he would not, ageless and now able to heal the majority of injuries at will. For now, he waited for the sun to set, and for his busted heart to slow down.
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Caelum
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Postby Kavala on June 7th, 2015, 2:25 am

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The first sign that the new boarder's horse had issues was that the mare came down with a fever. It wasn't a strider nor a particularly valuable animal, but it was beloved by the traveler that owned it. Even if no one cared, the Konti would have fought. But in this case she had an owner hovering, helping, and taking her share of the shifts when nothing could be done but watch.

The fever was not alarming in and of itself, but what came after would have caused most stable owners near panic. Kavala wasn't paranoid, but she was cautious, so at the first sign of illness she'd isolated the mare. There was a newer shed just off the clinic that suited well. The Konti had moved the mare, but despite her best efforts of treating the fever, it did not deal with what caused it.

Sometimes as a healer, one only could play the waiting game.

The Mare grew worse. The fever turned out to be due to an infection that set itself up in the throat of the poor mare and removed her ability to eat. She stood with her head extended, swallowing repeatedly, and refused food and water. Kavala thought she might have choked, but she didn't salivate like a choked horse would. Instead, she started discharging from her nostrils and her throat began to swell on the outside. Abscesses developed and Kavala lanced them so they would drain. The pus that issued forth was carefully contained and the area sterilized. Kavala infused the mare with herbs and used her gnosis heavily, leaning on Rak'keli's gift to do what her herbs could not.

Strangles was a terrible thing.

Kavala could never guarantee a life or a death. What she could guarantee was that she'd fight for the horses' life from beginning to end and either win or loose the battle not by disinterest but more by fate's will. And that's what she'd been doing, day in and day out for a better part of five days. She'd been detached from what was going on around her, and saw only the most urgent clients, careful not to spread the strangles further.

When the mare looked like she'd recover, Kavala left her owner to watch over her and set about sterilizing the barn the mare had been in when she grew ill. Strangles was highly contagious. At the first sign of something being wrong, Kavala had turned the boarder horses out into the paddock and had moved the strider herd further out on the grass. She hadn't left anyone behind, personal mounts or not. The barn sat empty from the first sign of strangles... and trusting no one but herself to do the job... Kavala set about dousing down every bit of wood she could in the barn with an acrid horribly smelly solution of part acid part bleach that she felt would kill any bugs or anything unseen on the wood that might transmit the disease. So little was known about strangles. Did the wind bring it? Was it in the blood? Could they sneeze and transmit it? Kavala didn't know... but she didn't take any chances.

So armed with a bucket, a scrub brush, and wearing horribly old clothing, Kavala began the tedious task of cleaning the boarder barn from top to bottom - even the raftors - for birds might have brought the disease right? It was thankless brutal work, work she'd easily trade for the nastiest any other job she could find. But she'd leave no one else to do it... not the stable hands and certainly not the twins.

That's what Caelum would find when he went looking for Aoren's strider. The barn would be empty, reeking of chemicals, and a tired Konti with dark circles under her eyes cleaning.

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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
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Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
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Kavala
I am more than the sum of my parts.
 
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Postby Caelum on June 7th, 2015, 10:15 pm

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The sun was lowering by the time Caelum came into the Sanctuary's courtyard. He had seen all the horses afield, both the strider herd and the boarders, and rather than be diverted by them he had quickened his pace to the stables. He had been out of touch with the Sanctuary for a run of days now, not having actually left Alements since the night of the 84th. After the first few days, Elise had taken Lillian home to the Sanctuary and proceeded to bring her back and forth so as to free up Caelum's already short free time in order to work on Aoren. Today Elise had left Lillian at the Sanctuary under the watch of the twins with Tasival and the babies. She promised Caelum that Cadra had not minded, but he nonetheless wanted to show his gratitude.


To that end Caelum collected fistfuls of bright, wide faced sunflowers from the fringes of the forest on his way in. They reminded him of a young woman in Endrykas, one of the slaves who had become a wife who had become a mother and thus family. This armload of blossoms he deposited in the kelvic cat's arms when she met him in the courtyard to tell him about about the horse with the strangles and point him in the direction of the boarder barn when he asked after Kavala.


Just outside the stables, Caelum began to disarm. He set his sheathed sword in a lean against the stable wall and then began to tug at the ties of his tunic. It was lifted off over his head, leaving him him bare chested and golden in the late afternoon light. The blood wine chains of Nikali's kiss were visible snaking over the sharp jut of his left him and disappearing into the slow sling waistband of leather trousers. His pants were an old and weathered pair that would not be unduly harmed by dirty work and scrubbing. Grabbing a bucket and scrub brush of his own, he followed the faint rattle of ranuri right into the boarder barn.


Looking around, the physician made silent note of Kavala's progress and then of the konti healer herself. He saw the dark circles and the weight of weariness on her small frame. Without a word, he stepped into the stall next to the one she was currently scrubbing and began the tedious process of cleaning and disinfecting.


"Did you lose the horse?" He asked after a minute, words quiet and low. They formed a darkly musical counterpoint to the splash of water and the rough swish and scrape of their brushes on wood and stone. His question was sympathetic.
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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)
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