Closed [High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Wikus encounters Kiva once again after a personal tragedy

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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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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Wikus on March 8th, 2016, 2:35 am

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6th of Spring 516 AV

High Spirts


Wikus’ precious had escaped. Jumped right off his arm and ran frenetically down the street as if wishing to escape him for some reason, clucking and waving its wings as it slithered between the forests of legs that were roaming the street. How dared she do this to him? Wikus’ was angry, of course, for he had bought that precious little hen for two entire copper coins, and thus it belonged to him to do whatever he wished with her. Yes, perhaps he was taking it a bit too far this last day. Thinking that he had hugged her through the entire night, doing it over and over again… Perhaps the hen was finally making a run from it, trying to escape Wikus’ annoying finger that petted her neck day and night. He didn’t quite care for her, but there was an obvious attraction between the two. Any man with an eye could see the magic and the sexual tension between the two. Wikus’ curse was something he had accepted just the past morning, his sexual attraction to animals being as horrible as it sounds. He couldn’t help himself for there was no choice for him. It he didn’t manifest his love for that damn hen then he would begin feeling twitches, discomfort, loss of sleep, loss of appetite…

It was very weird, at first. The hen, his precious, pecked at his face every time he laid a kiss on its soft plumage to the point that she had made him bleed. By shaking her violently, he had managed to fix her behavior and she had allowed his smooches on her to go unanswered. She had been good, perhaps too good, as she was surely plotting her escape from him. In that brief moment of distraction, she had jumped and made a run for it to some other destiny or fate that didn’t involve Wikus’ lips. Making his way through the streets by harshly shoving any of the inhabitants that stood in his way, most of them were wise enough to realize he wasn’t stopping until that chicken was captured. They all suffered from their own manias, all of them being far madder than they believed he was. That didn’t matter. All he wanted was the damn hen in its little knitted sweater, courtesy of another citizen’s own addiction. Nobody in this city was normal, not the last season that had left him leaking ink, and certainly not this one in which he felt sexually aroused by a hen. Wikus was certain he’d think twice before ever stepping a foot in this crazy city.

She saw her as she attempted to fly, slipping through a door that shut itself afterwards. Now she was trapped! Wikus rushed to the door and quickly entered the unknown shop. Once inside, he shut the door behind him to trap the hen and not allow it to escape. Gloom befell the shop, the inside being perhaps older than Wikus himself which was strange given the polished surfaces found in every other shop in this city. He advanced slowly, as silently as his bare feet allowed him. Shirt open, he’d bend forward to reduce his height as much as possible and redistribute the weight of his feet to avoid the wood below his feet to creak. He failed, as every step no matter how fast or slow brought a loud creak. Voices came from within the establishment, yet Wikus saw none. Scouting the floors for the small chicken, his senses sharpened as much as they could. Slowing down until paralyzed in place, he waited for the hen to make a mistake. Tick, tick, tick… He heard it then, those clicks of the hen’s legs moving on the wooden floor. She wanted to hide, but her intent was enough to reveal her. Following the sound, he turned to find some sort of storeroom in which many shelves lied. Wikus began creeping between them, his eyes moving through the contents to see what was being sold there. Flour, some sort of woodcarver tools, vials of blood, a shiny white stuff stuffed into a vial…

Nothing made much sense, yet he ignored it for a moment. The voices still echoed around, yet Wikus saw nobody. Furthermore, he didn’t see his hen which was already pretty annoying for him. He crept forward, running through the weird assortment of supplies until he reached a somewhat weird section. Diverse animal parts were scattered all over the shelves, be it jewels made of bone, collars, weird pelts… This was truly a weird place. “There she is.” Said a voice directly behind him, Wikus startling himself so harshly that he almost knocked one of the shelves, the bones scattered on it clicking against the wood. Nothing fell, thankfully. Nothing was behind him either, no matter how clear he heard the voice. Blinking, he scouted around yet once again saw nothing but the shop itself. “Right there.” Another voice, this once above him. Looking up to meet the speaker, there was nothing but an old assortment of beams. The distant voices had stopped, and the only sound was Wikus’ cartilages cracking as he glared all around. “I will help you now.” Said the voice from somewhere, Wikus’ beating heart not letting him distinguish the direction.

The following moments were silent and tense. There was nothing to be heard, nothing new to be seen. Wikus was really worried, as if he had entered another world the moment he crossed the business’ door. Leaving his basket of flowers on one of the shelves, he was ready to pull his whip out, yet finally the tension broke. His hen came at him, charging with a loud guttural scream more common in a rooster than a hen, wings flapping and body dangling awkwardly due to the pressure of the sweater that trapped the hen within. Despite its size, the hen was pretty ferocious, almost as much as she was… cute and cuddly. Wikus wanted her by his side again, true, yet her current charge through the tight hallway made by the shelves discouraged him. He was still in place as she reached him, her beak coming forward and biting with a harshness unknown to Wikus no matter her attempts the previous day. In fact, she bit so hard he felt the blood pouring from his spleen after the third bite. Even if she wore her sweater, that wasn’t his hen. Grunting as he tried to dissuade her by shaking his legs, eventually his patience waned and his foot came from above to stop directly on the hen’s body. The force was enough to kill her. Silence again.

“Hah. You killed her…” Said the voice from behind, Wikus turning around to see a distorted figure of a man slowly floating away. He had seen a ghost before, but never from so close. That lost soul had tricked him to kill his precious. Looking down at his precious’ corpse, he picked her up by her legs. Definitely dead. Sighing, he glanced back the way the Ghost left, bitterly thinking that now he had to choose a new chicken to be his precious. He had four remaining.




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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Kiva on March 8th, 2016, 4:36 am

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6th of Spring, 516 A.V

Stretched languidly out on a worn bench, Kiva smiled brilliantly, wonderously happy despite the light nip in the air. Having shed some layers since the unforgiving winter just weeks before, Kiva now only wore a light coat atop her mid drift top, her loose pants accompanied with no shoes and she wiggled her toes in delight. Before her was a man staring out at the cliffs of Riverfall, and into the distant sea, barely a blue sheet from the view. He was a human, with tan skin and chestnut hair disheveled from his fingers yanking at the poor locks in distress. Just a few bells ago, Kiva had witnessed the wondrous act of his break up.

"Mmm, how delicious." Kiva whispered, sighing wistfully to herself. Sadness clung to the corners of his lips, yanking them downward and making his cheeks appear like heavy jowls. Judging from the dark circles under his eyes, Kiva guessed the break up had been a long time coming, but after craning her neck, her eyes lit up in surprise. His hands lowered, and fiddled with something around his finger - a ring.

Delight fluttered in her heat and she tried not to squirm with glee. The stranger, so caught up in his woes, had failed to yet notice her, and with a wonderful idea, Kiva slithered to her feet. She weaved between some passing Akalaks, eyes still following the much shorter male. He couldn't have been more than twenty eight, but his shoulders sagged with a terrible weight.

She briefly recalled the events. The Myrian had overheard some shouting, then some pleading, and after sneaking up on the two and eavesdropping quite a bit, heard the exchange of names.

"Please, Wendy. Please don't do this. Not here." His begging was desperate, but was as soothing as silk to Kiva. His wife, or perhaps fiance, replied thusly:

"Jacob, I can do this. I'm sorry."

"But my parents have already made the arrangements. I love you. you love me. I... We.."

The woman cut him off, raising her hand and casting a look to the ground, "I'm sorry. I can't marry you, Jacob Marhess." She ran off about that time, just as bliss enveloped Kiva in a sweet embrace. Misery flowed from the man like warm honey, sticking to everything around him.

Now was no different. Biting her lip, Kiva straightened her shoulders and tried to replace her grin with a somber expression. Excitement rumbled in her stomach like an insatiable hunger. She approached him like a shadow, both terrified and eager for her next action, "Jacob Marhess?" she asked tentatively, her soft hand lightly tapping his shoulder. Her jolted at her touch, surprised to be shook from his dark thoughts.

"Yes?"

Kiva paused, her thoughts tangling in her mind, "My name is... My name is Eris." she introduced herself. Jacob seemed weary, as she should have been. "I am a messenger from your home land," Wherever that was. Kiva kept her voice confident, if not a bit soft. For feigned sympathy, "Your father is very sick" The lie was simple, but one unbelievable had the victim not already been so upset. His face twisted in pain and it took everything in her power not to laugh.

Kiva cleared her throat to restrain the sound, just as tears began trailing down his face, "Go home." she urged, as if she cared for the made up plight. The man asked her many questions, most of which she dodged. At the end of it all, just when she thought she was going to give it all away, the man emotionally spent, sunk to his knees in the street, thanked her, and slipped a gold miza into her hand for the trouble.

She stared at it for a long time, turning her back to him with the best high she had felt in months. Adrenaline flushed her cheeks and her she was giddy, only brought back down to the real world when the squawking of a bird caught her attention. More misery, perhaps?

Kiva watched as it disappeared into a shop, and then a man rushing shortly after. The dark haired girl's eyes raised to read the sign to the building, thin eyebrow lifting at the common words. It took her a moment to read, as she was not terribly gifted in the practice, but the words 'High Spirits' was clear enough. She peeked into the dim shop, mouth gaping slightly at what she saw. Some of these objects, she was familiar with, intricate circles carved and painted on bone, rope woven with hair. 'Malediction.'

Before she could think further, she stepped aside and pushed through the doorway, not even bothered by who she faced. In front of her was a very familiar figure - familiar in the sense that she recognized his face, his smell, and may have seen his genitalia (and/or had it pushed up against her once before).

Petty details, really.

He lost her interest quick enough, even with the dead bird beneath his foot, and something else in the room was all too familiar. The air smelled... sharp and minty, and she spied a vase with white flowers and long stems with glossy leaves.

'Wraith Mint.'

A very popular plant on the island of Black Rock, where she had been exactly a year ago working in a herbalism and remedy shop. Wraith Mint was known for it's properties for soothing ghosts and spirits, causing the Myrian to eye the dark corners wearily. Plucking one of the flowers from its home, she weaved it in her braid, and turned her attention to the wondrous magical items that lined the walls.

She had no idea a place like this existed in such a boring city. Flashes of her home in Taloba played briefly in her mind and then she scooped up a necklace made of what looked like finger bones, in awe at the tiny, intricate circles and detail that must have gone into such a piece.

Kiva wondered what it did.
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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Wikus on March 8th, 2016, 11:48 pm

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Despite his attraction for the hen, there was no other choice than to accept his death. It was a hen, after all. Taking a hold of his basket and hanging it from his left elbow pit as usual, he’d place the dead hen on his forearm in the same manner he did when she still lived. That ghost had tricked him into killing her, and maybe that ghost would return to attack him if he overstayed his welcome. Turning around in order to take his leave, his eyes soon came across a rather familiar female frame, a woman he had met the previous season under strange circumstances. Grunting for himself, he’d squint his eyes as he stared at her, starting to head towards the exit. She too lacked any footwear, and her pants were strangely similar to his although surely not as loose as they were on the waist. The only thing she needed is blond hair and a big manhood like his – a big bushy beard of majestic proportions – to be similar to him. Had she obsessed herself with him? It could be, as it had happened before. Women stuck to him like flies to shyke, a reaction Wikus didn’t quite understand as he never quite made something to incite their interest.

He stopped beside her, giving her his clearest expression of disgust as if aware of her obsession with her. Glancing down at the flower in her braid, he checked his basket if there a similar flower laid inside without success. Shamelessly reaching for the vase, he’d steal one of those flowers for himself as he usually did, considering all the various and colorful flowers he had in his basket were someone else’s property. Breaking the stem, he’d leave just enough to insert it in his beard and trap it with the golden hairs of his. The smell of the flower immediately reached his nose, and despite not quite knowing the name or properties of the flower, he nonetheless enjoyed it. “Woman.” He’d say plainly, squinting to inspect the strange necklace. “Strange neck decoration.” He’d comment afterwards, unbeknown of any of the abilities and magical properties of most of the items within this business. Lacking any kind of consideration or manners, his right hand would shoot towards her hand in attempts of scooping off the necklace from her grasp. “This is good place for lonely woman like you, with only bones.” If the successfully took the necklace, he’d give in an uninterested inspection before tossing it back from where it came from.

Wikus was unsure as to how he felt about this woman. Although she was truly useful on that distant day of the last season, her behavior was unacceptable by the ends of it. Still, she was way more realistic than other women like Kavala, whom was truly a nightmare to deal with. This woman was also a nightmare, but at least she kept quiet and didn’t expect anything too grand from every single thing that surrounded her. Her words were bold as were her actions, unrefined and certainly not feminine which was somewhat soothing for Wikus. Women were usually so much trouble to deal with, reason why he avoided them whenever possible. He couldn’t help but wonder what her curse for this season was, as everyone in this hub had one. Perhaps it was something as disturbing as finding pleasure in animal company, in the sweat touch of a hen’s feathers grazing the flesh, the sensual clucking, the lovely small eyes… Shaking his head, he’d try to steer this thoughts away. Extending an arm, he’d focus on the ink that decorated his right arm, the flowers slowly starting to sway as if a light breeze was blowing them. Their tones began changing, the flowers turning iridescent by the man’s whims until he returned his attention on the woman.

Reaching to his basket, he’d pat the dead bird with a finger. “Hungry?” he’d query, with the same seriousness that was expected from him as there seemed to be a lack of any other emotion in him. Even his mockery and sarcasm was done with those serious features of his, which may perhaps be the reason why his relationships never quite bloomed. “You can make neck decoration with bones after.”



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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Kiva on March 9th, 2016, 5:20 pm

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The maker of the necklace was skilled, Kiva could tell. She would have loved to try something like this and the possibilities of its power intrigued her. The Myrian was vaguely aware of the man moving beside her, caring little to oversee his every move. She flipped the necklace in her hand, holding it up to her collar, but not daring to put it on. Briefly, her eyes scanned the shop for a shopkeeper, but the faint whispers of ghosts faded in and out and she was very aware of Wikus, who had decided to approach her personal space.

He gave her a look of disgust, which Kiva returned with a blank stare. This man was strange, and last season, perhaps she would have scowled back. Instead, her mood was lifted both by the shop and the poor man outside, and remembered to the time Wikus had reunited with his donkey. There had been a lot of horrid sounds, things that resembled wailing and choking, and some sort of clicks. Or maybe she was just recalling the memory stranger than what it was? Either way, this was likely some sort of communication difference, and she let it slide.

Wikus then commented on the necklace in her hands and then grabbed it from her, an action that made her sigh deeply, more exasperated than angry. She crossed her arms as he examined it, then watched him toss it down with disregard. Another quip at her loneliness. "You were here first," she replied, leaving the necklace and picking up another piece. It was a ring, carved from a much larger bone, it's details elaborate and fine. The etchings on this were lined with red ink, and she smiled lightly.

When Wikus did not leave, Kiva returned the ring and looked up. He looked very much like he did the season of last, dirty, a little disheveled, but.. healthy. His tattoos, flowers that swayed and changed on his arms, were... a heavy contrast to what she had imagined. Despite having seen all sorts of ink tricks from Wikus in Winter, she had paid little attention to what the images actually were, and it struck her as odd. She stared at the flowers and then spied the wraith mint flower in his beard.

The sight was odd, and she pointed to the flowers on his arm, finding them pretty. But how did she say such? She surely didn't want to compliment him in any way. It would inflate his ego. The expression that had softened momentarily stiffened and she turned away, muttering under her breath.

"Hungry?"

Kiva turned, curious. He was referring to the dead bird. Why was he carrying that around? "You can make neck decoration with bones after." The bearded man didn't know what he offered her. It was a hen, nothing special, but in a way, he offered her power. Depending on what they made, Kiva could improve her magic. A genuine grin flashed across her white teeth, but she did not have a time to speak.

"She likes the flowers," A voice rose up, a spirit materializing. It was a woman, with wild hair and sunken eyes. Dark circles deepened them and her cheeks were guant. She had been a tired woman at the time of her death, "But she should," the woman turned to look at Kiva, approaching her in an almost accusatory way, "This is a Myrian from the City of Bones. Among bones and death is where she flourishes." The ghost lifted her hand, and her fingertips were all touching. She opened them, like a flower that blooms.

"How amusing," The woman was calm, and floated to perch herself on a display table's edge. The ghost did not seem to care how much of what she said was understood, but her eyes pierced the Myrian's face. "You are from Taloba," she turned to Wikus then, smirking as if knowing a secret, "There are more wondrous flowers there than anywhere else in Mizahar. But be cautious. Many of them will kill you for they are watered in blood."

"How many have you killed?" she asked the Drykas, winking and then fading out with a dark chuckle that lingered even after she was gone.

A thoughtful and ominous silence was heavy in the air. Kiva spoke first, scoffing, "I hate ghosts." Then, she jerked her head towards the door, signalling to Wikus that she would go with him for food. As she pushed the door open and sunlight filtered onto her tan skin, she looked back to the strange man. Why couldn't anything be normal with him? Always something. Akalak orgies, donkey reunions, and ominous ghosts who spoke too much.

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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Wikus on March 9th, 2016, 10:59 pm

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Wikus himself was pretty anxious to exit the shop, pushing the woman in front to finally leave this place and exit into the slightly more normal city compared to the haunted shop. Almost forgetting his basket, he’d stretch back and reach for it as quickly as possible, as if the ghost would return with an axe in its hand and chop off Wikus’ head. Were they capable of such acts? He certainly didn’t wish to learn from first-hand experience. Once outside, he’d make sure to shut the door loudly, as if that sound would stop the ghost. It worked, and so his act was not in vain. Wikus froze now, letting the words of the ghost sink into him. It took him some time to translate them or deduce their meaning, yet his reinsertion into society for the last two seasons aided him greatly in his task. Furthermore, it was the second time since he first entered Riverfall that he got that look, that wink. The first was at the library, in which a man handed him a book that spoke of ‘The Lie’ and basically wanted to turn him into a mage, while the second one was just moments away from the present. What did they saw in him? Did they know about his ‘condition’?

Wikus’ arm came forward harshly, taking the female by the arm and pulling so that she would turn around and face him. Doing so was as harsh as expected, while his frowned face would greet her if she was to face him. Despite his knowledge that this may incite her to swing at him, that didn’t quite matter this moment. A tick of silence was first, gathering his words before speaking at last. “You like flowers?” Pretty idiotic question by his part, possibly brought forward because of a doubt nudging his misty mind. “What is Myrian? What is Taloba?” Pause. Quoting her own question from the past season, he’d add in afterwards. “What are you?” Letting go of her at last once his most immediate doubts were solved, once again Wikus seemed about to ask something else yet not finding the words for it. The ghost had really altered him, perhaps more than he realized. Ghosts were something mysterious and unknown to him, thus being immediate threats he would’ve liked to avoid. The best example was the fate of his hen, which he was forced to terminate for whatever the ghost did to it. Looking both ways, he’d struggle to think of a location proper for a fire.

A grunt would be his hint towards the new destination of his feet, turning in a random direction on the street and starting to walk with his big and fast strides as he usually did. Readjusting his basket and letting the het rest within before it was peeled and stripped from flesh and bones alike – nothing from her would be wasted. If this woman wanted to make herself some jewelry, she’d have the components. She was from the ‘City of Bones’ after all. How large those bones must have been to craft an entire city he didn’t know, but the curiosity was slowly pecking away at him. It wasn’t long before he realized that his destination was truly unknown. He couldn’t take her to his room in the inn, not only because of the very limited space, the grand disorder within or the lack of any sort of cooking utensils within. There was a recent outbreak of pests slowly creeping through the entire building, and Wikus didn’t quite want to face that while the light was still present. “Woman. Go your home. We cook there.” Just as he said this, he’d stop in his feet and stare at her, eager to follow a new direction if she was to guide him. “Or we go out hub and there.”

Whichever way they went, or even if they stood in place, Wikus’ mind would once again hover to the memory of his hens. So alone they were in his room, waiting for him, for his caresses. At least they would be eating quite healthily, now that the entire room was filled with bugs for them to peck on. He wanted to pet one of them so badly… Shaking his head, he’d once again focus on his tattoos and changing their color at will rather than thinking of how lonesome he felt without them. He didn’t want to admit it, but he did enjoy their company quite a lot… perhaps more than his donkey. ‘No’ he thought, as the memory of his donkey’s perfect features and soft hair were truly starting to arouse him. No amount of tattoos would manage to cover that up.




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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Kiva on March 10th, 2016, 6:25 am

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She was more than happy to leave the shop. One ghost was far too many for her, the memory of having one pass through her in Black Rock all too clear. The apparition in High Spirits knew far too much about her culture for her liking, and Kiva absently touched the wraith mint in her hair. In theory, she knew how to affect a ghost, but she would need soul mist, something she had never made, nor knew how to exactly use. Thinking on this, she kept her pace brisk beside her bearded companion, spinning when his hand grabbed her arm like a vice. She had not been expecting the contact, nor the strength that yanked her to face him. Stumbling, she caught herself, eyes landing on his hand and she tried to jerk away, ablaze with fury.

"You like flowers?"

His body was close, allowing Kiva to distinguish the light color of his blue eyes and the coarseness of his beard. His stared down at her with an intense gaze, seeking answers, which made her falter in her anger. Eyes narrowed suspiciously, Kiva answered sharply, directly, "Yes,"

She tried to pull free again, but he would not release her.

"What is Myrian? What is Taloba?" He paused as if trying to think of his next words, "What are you?"

She did not know how to answer. There was a lot to it, and she was quiet. "You do not know?" Was he troubled by the ghost's words? Kiva assumed Wikus avoided human contact if possible, although she wasn't sure why she felt that way. He was stiff around others, more so than even herself, so his intensity surprised her, "Myrians are the warriors of the south, children of Myri. Taloba is our home." She wasn't sure how much information to give him, although after a moment of thought, the dark haired woman conceded, "There is a lot to tell you," she placed a hand on his wrist, a warning and a reminder of his grip, "Not here."

Wikus released her, and Kiva straightened back up, stepping back for him to pass. He grunted and began leading the way, but changed his mind, giving an order for her to take him to her house. Well, she had no house, but was welcome at the Sanctuary. Nodding, she mulled over what she would say, looking around. A few shops were recognizable, and the streets busy.

Kiva began to lead the way, using her memories and experience of last season to guide her. Riverfall was slowly becoming familiar to her; she wasn't sure if she liked that or not. Sometimes, she thought it meant she had stayed for far too long. As the pair weaved through the town, they walked in silence until the edge of the gates, where less and less Akalak appeared to be. Once they began down the road to the Sanctuary, Kiva spoke, "My people... live deep in the jungle."

Kiva wasn't sure if he had ever seen a jungle. She had surely not seen such vast expanse of plains since arriving to Cyphrus, "Where trees touch clouds. Flowers grow as big as your head. Colors are more..." She struggled with the word, and then finally settled on one, "Bright." Kiva lifted her hands to show how big these plants could get. "A lot of green things."

"Myrians worship the goddess queen, Myri." Did he know of Myri? Surely so! Such an ignorance would be a great abhorrence, "Myri, goddess of war and victory. She struck down old god, took his place." Kiva let him mull over this information, curious as to his reaction. "Our city Taloba is large. Called City of Bones because..."

Why was it called such? An interesting thought she had never considered, "Deyhan," she pointed to him, and then motioned to Riverfall, "Not Myrian, do not often live around my people unless strong." A mental picture flashed in her mind. Should she tell him of the corpses that hung outside the city? The skeletons that warn the Dhani, or any other outsiders?

Not yet.

A wistful note of nostalgia tugged at her heart and Kiva tried to dwell on the sadness. Her craving for misery would return soon, "What of you? Human? Other?"
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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Wikus on March 10th, 2016, 5:43 pm

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Wikus liked to listen about a world he didn’t know about. He realized this was the second time he had heard that ‘jungle’ world, having met a woman of similar origin back in fall. The name was not recalled, yet that didn’t quite matter to him. Kiva’s explanation of it was more than enough to have a clearer image of what those distant and unknown lands, yet still he lacked details as to what it looked like in reality. Having only seen the plains and some of the forests of Sylira, those forests of ‘bright’ greens and trees with no end surely had an appeal to him. The Wilderness was no jest despite his entire life being spent in them, yet in the image Kiva described him was enough to draw him towards that land. Maybe one day he would go there and see for himself. Myri, Taloba, City of Bones… It felt fantastic to hear about a culture that valued strength rather than wealth like these simpletons in Riverfall did. ‘Deyhan’ or not, he knew he was strong and perhaps he could find a place in those lands. Perhaps it was this land what had bred an individual so crude and undesirable as this woman was, and Wikus couldn’t help but wonder how the men were. Surely, they must be formidable warriors of immense power and elaborate cultures and traditions.

He kept quiet for most part of the journey, not only because he meditated on the woman’s words, but also because he felt slightly betrayed by her. He was no fool – he knew they were heading to the Sanctuary. The thought of moving into Kavala’s domain was unpleasant, and the fact that this woman was taking him just there was somewhat disappointing. If she didn’t want to go to her home to cook, then they could’ve used the wilderness that stretched out for all eternity instead. As they walked, he often moved from side to side in order to pick a flower, breaking their stem to an adequate length and making it join his collection in the basket. Once in a while, he’d discover an interesting or somewhat rare flower that didn’t find a place in his basket, but rather joined in his beard. Perhaps it was these sojourns what often made his travels between cities slower than usual, and in fact was already slowing them down as they made their way to the Sanctuary. Looking around, he saw a small pond of water that had apparently been around for quite some time, heading towards it as he spotted three flowers that were basically demanding to be picked. Carefully approaching them to avoid falling the waters, he’d reach out and cut the stem by pressing his nails together.

Returning to his traveling companion, he’d place one of the small flowers on his beard, the second in his basket, and the third would be offered to the woman. The red asters, although not very rare, were still one of his favorites. “Drykas. Human.” Gesturing with an uninterested hand towards the endless wilderness that stood to their right, he’d sigh afterwards. “Horse people. Goofs, stupid. Weak.” It felt like an offense against himself to have called himself a Drykas when he hated everything they were. Thankfully, he had fixed it by adding he was nothing but a simple human afterwards. The resentment against his race was obvious in his words, and the slightly more severe frown. His frown and its minimal changes were by far the best way to understand his emotions, reason why surely he was often a mystery to all. Emotions were not his domain. “Endrykas, city of tents. Moves around plain, never in one place. Not safe like city.” Pause. “Not safe in city.” The more he talked about it, and the more he thought about his past, the worse his mood got as visible by the increase in his big strider’s haste. He couldn’t brag like the female about his origin. There was nothing good about them.

Even the flowers stopped capturing his attention, instead starting right ahead as his mind lost itself in thought. He was clearly not done with the matter, as instead a small outburst escaped him. He didn’t yell, but he did speak with an increased fervor and anger. “Zulrav, God of Wind. Big lie. Deaf and mute God. God for goofs.” Another pause. “Me, strongest man, from strongest family, from strongest Clan… Goof people. Care more for horses than strength.” And so, he shut up as they approached the Sanctuary, which thanks for his fast rhythm in his walk was closer and closer in the horizon. He didn’t seem likely to talk again, at least for some time, instead focusing on walking forth and thinking of gutting the damn hen.




WIKUS

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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Kiva on March 11th, 2016, 2:30 pm

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They walked slowly, Wikus stopping to pick flowers every few feet, it seemed, and Kiva pausing every so often so not to leave him behind. Her own mind was conjuring images of her home land, imagining the sweet smells of exotic spices, the roars of the jungle cats, and the passion of her people. It was bittersweet, as she had left the land in a rather depressed state, and she sighed softly.

Wikus continued to cut the stems of flowers, studiously tucking them in his beard and in the basket with the dead bird, and she watched him curiously. This man was aggressive and obnoxious, yet he enjoyed something so simple. When he offered one out to her, her mouth dropped slightly and she gave him another look of suspicion. Was it poisonous? He had taken the other two for himself, tucking on in his beard, so Kiva quickly dismissed the thought. She looked down at it and ran a finger over the bright red petals, nodding in thanks and confusion. Had he not given her a look of disgust before? What was this act of kindness for?

Since leaving Falyndar, no one had so much as offered her a gift so simple, Kiva was not sure how to react to it. Tucking it in her hair, she listened to the intensity of his description of the Drykas. Weak and stupid? Goof people? There was no safety among his people, at least not to him. The Myrian furrowed her brow, taking in his appearance once more.

'Is this why you are so odd, Wikus?'

His voice raised, as he talked of horses and tents and Zulrav, a god Kiva had never heard of before. God of wind? What a silly god! Wikus apparently thought so, too, as his mood was souring quickly. He grew quiet, and Kiva was finding herself drawn to his story. Was there misery in his past?

When he did not elaborate further, the Myrian restrained a pout. It looked like his mood wasn't going to worsen any further just yet, "Myrians have clans too. But no horses. Horses not so great in jungle. We ride tigers, giant cats with claws and teeth. Sometimes ashta."

When they reached the Sanctuary, Kiva pondered whether or not she should let the man in. Were the workers just allowed to let whoever in willy nilly as long as they watched them? Probably not... 'But Kavala's busy' Kiva reasoned with herself, 'Spring means babies,' Horses were pregnant, litters of various things were being delivered. Kiva thought she caught a glance once or twice of the blonde Konti in the halls, but they were fleeting. The figure looked both parts busy and exhausted... assuming she had seen the right person. Kiva did not keep tabs on those who worked here, just kept her head down and did her work.

Kiva lead the two inside, beelining straight for the kitchen. She poked her head around the corner when they reached he door, but no one was inside. She motioned for the Drykas to enter, and followed behind. The kitchen was elaborate, with far more resources than some sticks in the wilderness. Kiva would need some of these knives for the bones after.

Going to the large pantry, Kiva retrieved a number of items, "You can pluck feathers," she suggested, scooping up a bowl of salt. A hen between the both of them... would it be enough?

'We are both large,'
Kiva reasoned, eyeing a sack of potatoes, 'We will need more to eat.' While she was more interested in the bones than the bird, a hearty meal wouldn't hurt. She grabbed them as well and took them to the counter, then retrieved a pairing knife, propping herself up with a stool.

The whole bit felt strange... Doing something so normal with Wikus. Finally, as she eyed the hen and thought of the "jewelry" she was to make, Kiva decided to take a daring step, "Have you heard of malediction?"

She propped a potato in her hand and slide the knife under its skin, "It is a magic."
★★★
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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Wikus on March 11th, 2016, 5:35 pm

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The more Kiva talked about her people, the more envious Wikus felt. Unlike his people, hers seemed like a perfect culture. Despite not knowing what a tiger is, a cat large enough to ride was surely a fearsome companion. Cats were predators, aggressive and somewhat dangerous despite their size. Horses were weak, fearful and required way too much attention that busy men like him couldn’t quite provide. Drykas didn’t quite realize this, as apparently they were so focused on retaining their obsolete traditions that their minds were clogged and their hands grew weak. Goof people, indeed. Despite his bitterness towards his ousting, he knew he would never return to them even if he was allowed to. Perhaps the only occasion he’d enter Endrykas was to set every last one of them on fire. This woman had no such feelings regarding her people. He was old already, thus unable to ever travel to this Taloba land and make a name for himself or a reputation. If only he was born there, he was sure his life would be different. Regardless of it, he was stuck in this existence and he liked it despite all the troubles and issues he had to bear on a daily basis. It is thanks to the Drykas and their horses that he was where he was, and thus he had no right to complaint.

Wikus followed the female as he had never been inside the actual Sanctuary nor seen what facilities it had. He only wished Kavala didn’t just pop out of the soil to stare and him and blame him for something once again, as she usually did with those cursed eyes of hers. Kiva seemed somewhat wary of her too, which was somewhat appreciated as they may share the same disgust for Kavala which was obviously very comforting. Once they were in the kitchen, a huge appetite invaded Wikus, whom had not been in a market in a long while. This kitchen was surely a market, with all those ingredients ready to be devoured. “Burn water, woman.” He’d comment after her order, requiring it to scald his lovely. He was somewhat attracted to the idea of an improvised visit to his donkey, which he discarded as he was unsure of how he’d react near his animal. His curse… he couldn’t do that to the donkey. They were companions, not lovers. Plus, it was a male which was even worse. If they locked eyes, who knew what would happen. Wikus obviously didn’t want to think about it. He did, however, think about it. The thoughts were not pretty, and certainly not appropriate for a place like a kitchen.

Leaving the task of boiling water for the female, he’d instead browse around in hopes of finding a watermelon. The whole winter had been a nightmare, not only because of the lack of flowers but also because of the lack of watermelons. Those are the only two things that kept him alive, he was sure of it. No matter how much he looked for it, he found none of those. Only a cantaloupe, which was the most disgusting fruit he had even tasted. Calling that a melon was heresy. Giving up at last, he’d move around and pick some ingredients for a salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions… pretty much everything that could be shoved into a cup and eaten. Before going to clean them, he’d freeze at Kiva’s latest comment. Magic? Magic was for fools and weaklings, and every mage he had met had confirmed that. To think this woman was bringing up the subject was somewhat discouraging. “No. Why?” What was next, making flames with the fingers and proclaiming to be a healer? All of that was a scam for sure, yet the female had brought it up for some reason. Listening to her to later on lash out about how big of a goof she was worth the time. Taking a bucket of water, he’d begin washing the ingredients as best as he could. Taking a knife from the kitchen, he’d begin cutting the ingredients after cleaning them.

Cooking was so weird. He had done it a lot in his past, but that was long in the past. These days, his cooking consisted of skinning an animal and shoving it into a fire. Bugs didn’t need cooking, and neither did the bread and water they gave him in his inn. Perhaps it was that what had made him so skinny these last years. Nonetheless, it felt good. “Not very trust of magic. Most is useless. Drykas have own ma---.” He was forced to shut himself up. Revealing webbing was cause of execution, and they’d gladly do it since he was an exile. His initiation into webbing was something they may have overlooked, and spreading the secret to the outsider could cost more than his life. The Watch would find him and they’d end him. At least in Cyphrus, he had to keep quiet about it. Maybe later on he could sell the magic and perhaps cause the collapse of the Drykas’ secret. It was going to happen, sooner or later, but not in their kingdom. Wikus returned to his task, once again falling silent for a while. “Tell me about maleidiation.”




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[High Spirits] Hen-tai (Kiva)

Postby Kiva on March 11th, 2016, 6:40 pm

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The knife curved under the skin of the potatoes, breaking upward and leaving a peel. More than once Kiva had to dig the knife back into the flesh, peeling and tossing scraps. When it was barren, Kiva set it down, looking over to see Wikus had begun to clean some of his own vegetables for a salad. He had given her an order to boil water, and Kiva rolled her eyes defiantly, but stood up and set her tools on the counter.

She moved around the kitchen, crouching to poke around the cabinets and locate a pot big enough for what they needed it for. When she found one, she walked to the corner of the room where a water pump stood. There were many amenities at the Sanctuary not found many other places. Running water, for one, and a wood burning stove, for another. Much simpler than making fire with sticks and the like outside. If she wasn't careful, Kiva could find herself spoiled.

Pouring water to into the pot, she took it to the stove and began to prep everything. Soon, she had a fire going and began heating up the water. It would take some time, so Kiva returned to her potatoes, hearing Wikus' weary response to her question. He seemed to clam up after mentioning the Drykas, and Kiva's dark eyes snapped upwards to look at his face. 'They have their own magic?'

In turn, she was also skeptical on sharing the information, but its use was one she enjoyed and the practice of it was a dangerous thing in Riverfall. A shop selling items were one thing, finding or killing for it's practice... that was another. There was fear surrounding malediction, and fear surrounding her race.

Yet Wikus had known of neither. He pressed her for more information, and after a moment, the thin line of her mouth relaxed, "Myrians only like some magic, we hate others. Many magic users killed. Malediction is... worthy."

"Useful," she added, cutting deeper into the potato than she intended. "You take body parts... and you make talismans. Helps... give power. Or curse enemies. Depends on remains. Depends on intention." She didn't elaborate whether or not the so called body parts needed to be attached to a living being or not, as either could be used. Her father had been a maledictor, and a respected one at that. Kiva pushed the thought of him from her mind, focusing on the task in her hand.

When she had skinned some of the spuds, she took them over to the water Wikus had and when she had a chance, cleaned them. Drying her hands on her pants, Kiva started cutting them into chunks, sprinkling salt on them when she was done. She went to check on the boiling water, leaning against the counter and squinting when the sun from the window filtered in. Taking a few steps towards him, she watched him carefully and lowered her voice,

"I can make hen bones into something after we eat. Show you."

It had been a long time since she practiced the art, and she looked at Wikus with level eyes. She was trusting him with this offer, as he had proven to be the only one besides Kavala to truly aid her since last season. They had differences, and she found him unsavory plenty of times, but he was competent... In some things. And his silence and ability to avoid people was a great benefit.
★★★
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