Solo Night of the Star Tear

After a shift at the front gate Vypec decides to join in the festivities following the siting of on of Zintila's Tears.

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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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Night of the Star Tear

Postby Vypec on February 19th, 2016, 7:46 am

29th of Winter, 515 A.V.
Streets of Riverfall

It was a bright night, with a full moon and an array of beautifully twinkling stars. People crowded the streets and random parts, dancing and singing merrily. Vypec had gotten off shift from duty at the main gate to return to the Kuvay'Nas Lodge and find everyone talking heatedly about the sighting of one of Zintila's Tears. It made this night a holy time and was the reason man, woman, and child were out in the frigid night happily ignoring the cold. Dozens of tellings of the Star Lady's sacrifice were being theatrically retold in random locations across the city.

Vypec had taken to the streets, as was the custom. He wandered now, looking for an especially good theatrical troupe. The sighting of Zintila's Tears was rare enough that he was feeling the excitement mount inside him. The Priests at Wysar's Temple had apparently seen the tail streaking across the night sky first, and spread the word. Now people gathered and socialized. Doors lay open and spilling light out into the street. Fathers carried their children on their shoulders so as to be able to see the various performers.

Vypec stopped in front of a few Akalak dressed in costume. There were two adults and a youth all dancing with scarves of black. Each scarf had white stitching that Vypec assumed represented the starry gifts of Zintila. Then a fourth performer was tumbling through the middle of the ring the three made. This one was a human woman dressed in fiery white with silver scarf. As Vypec watched she wound around the other three, her movements lithe and flowing. The four dancers had drawn quite a crowd, perhaps two dozen. There was no Mizas being exchanged though. Any performance this night was for the reverence of the deity, not for profit. If a performer were to ask for payment they would be ridiculed and possibly harassed. Such disrespect for Zintila would not be tolerated by the people.

Vypec watched the dancers for a few minutes. He, like everyone else in the crowd, was entranced with their movements. This was clearly a group that had done this before. Possibly they assembled on the streets of Riverfall every time Zintila blessed them with a tear. Eventually the group finished their routine and moved on to perform in a different area for a different crowd and the group that had gathered shifted further down the street. But they were going in the way that Vypec had come from, so he moved on in the opposite direction. It was only a few minutes later when he heard it.

A crash coming from the second floor of a house on the far side of the street. Most of these houses were empty because everyone was out celebrating Zintila's Tear. Vypec paused in his aimless stroll, listening. There was another clinking and a grunt. Vypec quickly closed the distance to the house, fingering the hilt of his gladius. He was off duty, but the Kuvay'Nas were nowhere to be seen and there might be trouble. A Kuvay'Nas was expected to uphold the law in all instances and at all times, regardless of if they were on duty or not.

Glancing back down the street Vypec saw that it was almost deserted at this point, everyone having had moved on to other parts of the city. He drew his blade carefully with a subtle hiss. The steel had a familiar weight in his hand and his fingers fit smoothly into the grooves of the leather hilt that had come from years of practice. The Akalak slipped inside the door and glanced around the room. The common room of the house was nice, clean and spacious with a small fire in the hearth. It was deserted and the family had left the remains of a stew dinner sitting on the table. Vypec moved quickly through the room, making sure not to place his back to any doorways.

He didn't make a sound or call out for anyone. He was sure by this time that it was a burglar. Everyone was outside celebrating around the city and anyone who would not be would probably be up to something nefarious, by Vypec's reckoning. He found the tight, spiraling staircase up to the second floor. Fighting the urge to leap up the stairs and rush in, Vypec stepped lightly onto the first wooden step. He made sure to keep his feet on the outer edges of the stairs as he climbed them. It was an old trick he had learned to silence himself on creaking floorboards. The gladius, honed edge glistening in the residual light from the fireplace below, stood sentinel before him.

The orange light from the fireplace below was now mixing with a brighter yellow light from the second floor. It fell on Vypec's face and shone against the glistening of sweat there. Vypec ignored his nerves as he reached the top few steps, willing himself not to give into the adrenaline and quicken his step. If he was to surprise whoever was up there he would need to maintain his discipline and stealth until the last moment. Vypec could see clearly the second floor of the house now. There was a thin hallways with three doors. One on each wall and one at the end of the hall. The door at the end of the hallway was cracked open and the candlelight was coming from in there.

Vypec stepped up onto the top step and his heart almost stopped. The stair was loose and gave a loud, slow creak as his weight descended on it. Even with his method of stealthy climbing it had made enough noise to possibly be discovered. Vypec groaned inwardly and he clutched the gladius more tightly, his knuckles turning white. Vypec could not tell if whoever was in the room had heard him. The Akalak climbed onto the second landing and crept along the hallway like a predatory cat. Vypec took a deep breath and reached out to open the door more, planning to leap inside and surprise whoever was in there. He hoped it wasn't all a horrible misunderstanding that made him look like an intrusive fool. But when he reached out for the door it leapt forward at him. The wooden door slammed into the Akalak and sent him sprawling against the wall, his gladius and sword hand crashing into the plastered wall.

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Night of the Star Tear

Postby Vypec on February 19th, 2016, 10:22 pm

The Akalak caught sight of a grungy looking cape as the figure flew past him. Vypec growled and shoved himself off of the wall. The steady chink of Mizas followed in the thief's wake. The figure spun down the steps, throwing a gloved hand against the wall as they descended at break neck speeds. Vypec howled in rage, challenging the thief. He sheathed his gladius as he vaulted after them. He did not want to stumble onto the blade and then bleed out in some random family's home whilst a burglar got away with their heirlooms. The Akalak took the stairs three at a time and reached the common room of the house just in time to see the edge of the thief's cloak whip out of the doorway and turn left.

Vypec's long braid waved and bounced behind him as he broke into sprint after the culprit. His blade hissed back out of it's sheath. Vypec felt he even heard an anger in the blade, as if it was physically hungry. The night outside was filled with the sounds of festivities, masking his own angry breathing. Though there were no revelers on the street, Vypec did see the dark figure tearing away across the slightly uneven cobbles. This was what he had been training for. Vypec broke into a run again, his heels slamming into the stones below his feet. He leapt from the balls of his feet, trying to control the speed of his heart and fall into the rhythm he often did when running. But it was different when he was giving chase to an enemy.

The thief turned a corner and Vypec followed. He almost ran right into a crowd of Rivarians that was now stumbling for balance. The thief had apparently crashing into them and caused a massive tumble. He was righting himself not feet from Vypec. The Akalak was forced to leap over the back of a child who was on her hands and knees.

"Stop in the name of the Kuvay'Nas, Thief!" Vypec bellowed. He saw the thief's head turn under the cowl. The face was shrouded in shadow, but that meant little for Vypec. He could see the soft features of their lower face, and the thin grin that played across their lips. It was a woman. Vypec's shouted warning had caused many of the citizens to scramble further out of the way. A few Akalak who were quick on their feet attempted to intercept the woman. She danced around them lithely. Vypec was forced to shoulder one of her victims out of the way. The impact caused a hard pain in his chest where the bulky Akalak's shoulder impacted. The warrior ignored the pain. If he failed to catch this thief he would never be selected.

...And also that family would be plunged into poverty. Vypal's voice broke through the chaos of the moment, calm as ever. Glad to see you have your priorities in the right over though, Vypec. The worst part of that was that his brother was only partially joking.

Vypec didn't have the time to response, even mentally. He was just willing his heaving body to catch up to the thief. His muscles burned and his chest burned. His breath came in sharp, angry gasps. He threw his energy into the chase, willing his legs to pound across the distance faster and faster. the thief was mere feet in front of him now. The civilians were long behind them both now. They had moved into a different part of the neighborhood, full of alleyways and winding stairs.

The woman turned down one such alleyway and Vypec leapt after her. They were immediately met by a staircase. Vypec grinned savagely. This would be where he caught her, he knew it. Vypec leapt up the stairs, skipping two at a time. She glanced behind her, the grin gone from her shadowed face. The thief swung her loot behind her, attempting to hit Vypec. He took the blow, a hard hit of jewelry and Mizas to the side. Vypec reached an arm out and grasped a handful of cowl and hair. He roared savagely and yanked back hard. Spinning his torso in righteous fury, Vypec threw the woman bodily down the stairs.

She screamed as she fell, hitting more than one stair hard. The stone was unyielding and she landed on her back at the bottom. Vypec stared down at her, a glint of wild victory in his eyes. How dare she ignore his threat? How dare she steal from Riverfall? He felt his soul began to burn with the anger.

Vypec walked down the steps as she struggled to her feet. A small wooden chest inlaid with gems had broken open, spilling Mizas and gemstones across the alley. They glittered in the light of the moon. Vypec wanted her to stand, he wanted her to fight back. It would be so much more satisfying if she did. He was vaguely aware of sentiment of leniency towards woman who may be mates to his fellow Akalak. The haze of anger and the satisfying thought of retribution eliminated those thoughts from his mind. She would forever know who she had crossed this day, and would rue that mistake for the rest of her existence.

Vypec said quietly. "That hood does not hide your face from me, wench. Prepare yourself for combat." He did not slow his unsettlingly calm pace towards her. The woman struggled to her feet and unsheathed a longsword from her belt. The blade caught the light and shone, a silver band of viciousness in the dark alley.

"This is not justice! I demand a trial in the arena." She breathed at him, though her body settled into a practiced stance. Vypec laughed and swiped the air hungrily with his gladius.

"This is Rivarians justice, wench. I will break you here." Vypec growled, pointing his blade at her. He could hear the shadows around them whispering in excitement. It was not often the inhabitants of the alley saw something as exciting as a duel.

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Night of the Star Tear

Postby Vypec on February 22nd, 2016, 1:55 am

Vypec lunged, aiming to kill with the vicious edge of his gladius. The blade tore through the night air with malevolent intent, clashing hard against the her own. The woman seemed to be at least good enough to block his more obvious attacks. They sparred there in the alley, Vypec slowly pushed her back into the street beyond. His blade swiped viciously, aiming for her sword hand. The woman was forced to step back. Suddenly they were once again in the bright moonlight.

Her blade licked the air, moving swiftly and deadly in the night. She struck out at him and twisted, edging the razor sharp edge of her longsword towards his. Exposed neck. Vypec felt a cold fury flare up inside him. This was the type of anger that steadied the quivering of his nerves. It was the type of emotion that made him still. She was attempting to end his life. Of course she was. It was obvious, but his mind had not really come to terms with it. But now it was crashing down around him like a bucket of cold water and he was finding it oddly calming. His heart was still banging against his chest, but the Akalak found he was seeing her movements more clearly. He fell back into the Onmakarux defensive stance, drawing on all of his training.

Vypec pressed the assault again, this time keeping the rage in check. Though Vypal burned and seethed, struggling for dominance, Vypec was able to hold him down and hold the thief off with a newfound iron discipline. He thrust and drew back just as quickly. Her longsword wavered to block the false strike just as Vypec spun low and slashed at her knee. The woman was quick, which was the only thing that saved her. Even still, Vypec's blade slid across her thigh lightly as she leapt back. The leather of her pant leg sliced open and a dark sheen of blood appeared there. Vypec did not let this slow his attack. Many a warrior had been felled by wounded opponent. Discounting an enemy was never justified.

The Akalak thrust again to push her back further and keep her moving. He swung a backhanded stroke and immediately turned it into a another vicious two handed thrust. She countered it and their blades dragged along each other, shooting the occasional spark at the ground. Vypec pushed in close, willing his blade to break her guard. They both pressed against each other, faces snarling close together. Vypec was winning, of course. He out weighed her by a significant amount. She did have the larger blade though. The Akalak could see he was making her shift her weight to the injured leg. He smiled savagely when she gasped in pain.

She seemed to have more grit that Vypec gave her credit for. The woman twisted and spun until she was almost out from under his weight. Vypec saw the move coming though. He grabbed her hair with a fist and slammed the top of his forehead into her temple, hard. The woman went sprawling onto the ground. Vypec seized the opportunity to attack. He had no qualms about hitting an opponent when they were down. The Akalak stomped down at her, attempting to break bones at the very least.

She was quick, even when disoriented. The thief rolled away and scrambled to her feet. She seemed to think better of fighting an Akalak his size and took off down the street. Vypec gave chase, running with his naked blade. He hoped to hamstring her from behind, but the woman seemed all too aware of his blade. She spun down another street and tried to open the first door she came to. Vypec turned the corner and found her with her hand around the latch, a look of desperation on her face.

She was able to raise her blade and stave of the his tackling charge. Vypec kicked the door shut that she had opened, waving his blade menacingly. She thrust her dark blade towards him. The moon was blacked by a thick storm cloud now and Vypec almost didn't see the blade she was so quick. He parried wildly, stepping back off the doorstep. Her blade linked back from the feint and then struck again, hard against his gladius. Vypec felt his blade swing out wide and watched in horror as the longsword twisted back towards his now exposed chest. He reacted before he could think, pure survival instinct. The Akalak dropped to the ground on his knees, willing his torso to plummet below her blade. Even as he dropped he knew he had staved off most of the damage. The tip of her blade caught against his collarbone and ran its length before Vypec could twist away. The wound was shallow but still burned with the fury of all the gods. He screamed even as he reached up and grabbed at her sword hand with his free left. His grip was weak though, as his left collarbone was bleeding profusely from the wound and he felt his body going into shock.

Vypec snarled as she struggled against his grip. He swung the gladius back around, willing it to find purchase in her skull. The woman spun away though, moving towards his left. Vypec let her arm go, feeling too exposed this close to her longsword. He rolled back onto his back, then continued, yelling in plain as his weight tumbled over his shoulder until he was on all fours. The woman charged at him while he was scrambling to his feet. He own foot caught him in the jaw and it was all Vypec could do to keep hold of his gladius. He willed himself to keep rolling as his body slammed against the stones of the street. The Akalak heaved himself up and was now breathing hard. This woman did indeed have more grit than he gave her credit for. Once again his blade found her longsword and staved off another attempt at his life.

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Night of the Star Tear

Postby Vypec on February 22nd, 2016, 2:50 am

The continued their duel, fighting with increasing desperation as they grew more and more tired. Vypec let the blood flow freely from his chest, though it went slowly. The woman was bleeding from her leg and now a bit from her forehead. Their blades clashed again and again. Vypec was beginning to wonder why had no one seen them yet? The woman seemed worried about the same thing. She was constantly testing him to see if she could afford to make a break for it. Vypec saw her eyes shift here and there, looking for an opportune alleyway or an open door. Vypec would not let this scum escape though. He would inflict justice upon her person if it was the last thing he did.

Just at that moment a pair of men came around the far corner. They seemed to be arm in arm, singing a drinking song and well into their booze. Both stumbled to a stop when they saw the Akalak and the woman trying to kill each other. Vypec looked up hopefully at the pair, but rent his Hope sin when he saw they were human. Who knew what they would do. If they had been Akalak he knew they would intervene. These two seemed to stare for a long moment before yelling bloody murder and tearing back down the street they had come. Much help they were.

Vypec snarled, pushing more cold fury into his attacks. The duel had lasted already mush longer than he hoped. Vypec had his hands full with this woman. She seemed to give at least as much as she got. Both of them were feeling it now though. Their defenses were becoming more wild and their attacks less precise. Vypec felt sweat loosening his grip on the leather of the gladius' hilt and had to maintain a vice-like grip on the thing.

He breathed at her finally after another dangerous parry and counter-thrust. "You are a fool. There is no scenario where you come out of this." He waved the gladius menacingly in front of him. She just stared back at him, her face pale and covered in sweat under the red of her blood. She did not respond to his words. There was nothing to say. She knew that if he did not kill her, the odds of her getting away without further notice were very low. They had no idea what those drunks had done when they left. Had they seen her face well enough to remember and point her out? Either way, her time in Riverfall may be coming to an untimely close. Vypec watched her with barely contained hate. "Why did you do it? Eh?"

"Girl's gotta eat." She said simply, smiling and lunging forward. It happened without thought. Vypec sidestepped and held his blade above his head. As her cold steel slid past where his torso had been heartbeats before, Vypec brought his sword down hard. The blade of the gladius made a satisfying resistance against his hand as it caught against her flesh. Vypec watched as the longsword fell from her grasp and she stumbled to the ground, screaming. Her hand was bleeding now, more than anything Vypec had ever seen. The blood was pooling fast in the road. The smell of iron filled his nostrils and Vypec just stood above her, watching the tears stream down her face. Two of her fingers lay there, feet from her, awash in blood.

The Akalak bent and wretched. He had never wounded someone thus. Sure, there was the occasional hunting trip. But he had never attacked with the intent to kill. He had never maimed another person. Vypec felt his heart skip a beat, and then another. He bent and wretched into the street, his body going cold. What was this? This was not how warriors reacted. This was not how an Akalak defends his city. He felt his fingers going numb and he sheathed his gladius so as not to drop it.

The woman was not crying out anymore. She was sitting in a pool of her own blood, whimpering pathetically. She had gone white and was now deep in a state of shock. Vypec knew she was no more danger, having lost the use of her sword hand. He could not bring himself to look at the mangled mess of a limb. Instead he picked up her longsword and stepped back, away from the scene.

It was in that moment, when he fled cowardly into the shadows of a nearby house that the two drunks returned, a pair of Kavran at their heels with Lakans drawn. I need to leave. I can't be here. I need to escape. Vypec found his mind racing. He was not in the wrong, but he did not want to be found out. Vypec watched as the four men approached the bloodied form of the woman from the safety of the darkest shadows.

Just as Vypec was about to lose his cool, Vypal surged forward wordlessly. The Dark Brother knelt in the shadow and whispered in the gentlest tone Vypec had ever heard him use. He said in Makath "We are shadow." The sensation of their body becoming shadow was becoming unnervingly normal for Vypec and Vypal. Vypec was grateful for his brother's intervention.

I'm sorry Vypal. I shouldn't have left. Vypec said, desperate for the Dark Brother to understand, even if he was struggling to do so himself. I should have explained what happened. I-

You did what was necessary, Brother. Now we leave it to them. Vypal said without judgement or scorn. He leapt deftly into the air and landed three stories up, on the balcony of the building whose shadow had been hiding them. The woman below was still staring into the shadows he had disappeared into. The men were trying to get her to tell them where the Akalak who accosted them had gone. She was pointing her good hand at the building, her white finger shaking.

"There's no one there, just shadow." One of the Akalak said, peering into the shadows below Vypal. Vypal stood, a sword in each hand, toes upon the railing of the balcony. The shadow form of his body was silhouetted against the moonlit stone of the wall behind him.

"Yes, I am." He yelled down at them. They all looked up at him incredulously. The woman screamed. Vypal raised the swords in each of his hands and yelled. "I am a servant of Akajia and this worm has stolen from the good people of Riverfall, so now I take her fingers!" Vypal leapt into the night. He knew he needed to get home fast, or else he would be stuck out in the night blind and deaf with a serious wound. The shadow would take its toll, no matter his physical state...

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Night of the Star Tear

Postby Konrad Venger on September 19th, 2016, 5:54 am

Vypec

XP:
Observation - 3
Running - 2
Intimidation - 1
Weapon: Gladius - 3
Acrobatics - 1
Endurance - 1

Lore:
Event: Zintila's Tears Setting the City Alight with Excitement
My Duty to Observe, Pursue, Protect... and Punish
Rivarian Justice: Sometimes the Arena, More often The Sword
The Sickening Reality of Causing Harm

Injuries:
- Deep gash into left shoulder; limited mobility for 3-5 days, proper medical aid needed to prevent infection within 1-3 days; three-inch scar if it is stitched and healed

Click Me! :
Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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