The Savages

Vypec is initiated into his new squad.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role play forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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]

Moderator: Gossamer

The Savages

Postby Vypec on March 16th, 2016, 6:21 pm

2nd of Spring, 516 A.V.

Vypec had risen from his bed to the sound of a light tap on his door. He immediately knew it to be a stranger, whenever his father of grandfather came they would simply bang on the door until he woke and answered. Vypec made sure he had his gladius in hand hidden behind the door before peering out. His heart skipped a few beats when he realized that five Akalaks stood outside his door. All were wearing Night Leather armor, dark and seeming to suck in the light of the early morning. The one who had knocked wore his hair short and well groomed, and carried a longsword at his waist. Behind him stood a mammoth of an Akalak, truly massive even by Rivarian standards, with a claymore slung over one shoulder. This huge one wore his hair in long braids all slung together in a ponytail. There was a Cerulean there too. This one wore the most sparse armor, opting for a leather harness and nothing else. He carried a twin pair of Lakan and his face was tattooed in wildly clashing colors, designed to appear as a skull. His wild mane of hair was unkempt and shaggy. Two others stood sentinel at the entrance to the Algranos gate. Both wore scimitars and both were identical.

These were all Kuvay'Nas, and they came calling on him. The front Akalak said "You Vypec and Vypal Algranos?" He glanced up at the Algranos Sigils, the black flame on a purple and blue background, that hung proudly above his grandfather's house not very far away.

"Yes, sir." Vypec answered, sheathing his gladius and opening the door all the way. The Akalak noticed the motion and his face broke into a knowing grin.

"It is good to be careful, but you have nothing to fear from us." He continued, indicating the rest of the group with his thumb. The massive one seemed to be the only one paying attention at the point. The Cerulean was pestering one of the twins whilst scratching his balls and the other twin was cat calling women as they walked by. Vypec hadn't been late for any of his posts. His heart lit upon an inkling of suspicion as to what their purpose was here, but he did not want to jinx it by thinking on it too much.

You think they are here to offer us a squad position? Vypal asked, he too seemed excited. It could be nothing else. The Dark brother continued critically. We have been more than adequate in our service, and they wear armor indicative of full Kuvay'Nas. Why else would they come calling at our home?

Yes, yes. That was my guess! Vypec felt a surge of excitement and trepidation course through him.

"What can I do for you, sir?" Vypec asked, hoping he would ask it.

"You can serve your city." the leader said, without an ounce of joy or the crack of a smile. "You can lose sleep, go hungry, bleed, and possibly die. You can suffer and inflict suffering, protect and defend, all without recognition or praise." As he spoke the others in the group all gathered around to watch Vypec's reaction. No one was laughing or smiling anymore. This was the time for oaths and honor now. "You have been called Algranos, but we do not take pretenders." The Akalak said, crossing his arms. They all stared at him and waited, as if his next words were the most important he'd ever say.

Vypec, these oaths will be weighing us down in the future. I don't trust strangers. This one is a Cerulean! We can serve our Goddess' vow without taking this oath to some lesser entity. The more that binds you, the less freedom you have. Vypal said, appealing to his brother to think before speaking. Vypal wanted to serve as a Branch Kuvay'Nas, but he loathed giving his word out so cheaply. Vypec had fewer qualms about enlisting his honor in the service of their city. I do not break my oaths. Vypal said, his words ice.

"I pledge my life to the city, sir. Now and always." Vypec said, ignoring his brother's venomous words. Vypec felt himself being tied to another cause, another chain of honor and pride binding him to the city of Riverfall. The words were links in that chain, every spoken syllable linking the fates of he and Vypal to that of the city as a whole.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:40 am

The leader appraised Vypec silently. His stern lines seemed to be hewn from granite and his face showed nothing of what he thought. Here was a warrior in mind as well as body. He seemed to have ground every soft element of himself out of existence and left only the hard and the tough. He held out his hand. Vypec hesitated for a moment before taking the hand. The rough calluses of the Kuvay'Nas grasp barely registered before Vypec was jerked off his feet and he heard a bark of laughter. The squad leader had pulled him out into the courtyard of the Algranos home. The Cerulean had been the one to laugh.

He too now grabbed Vypec's other arm while the rest of the squad crowded in around him. Vypec made to shout out, but the Cerulean put a hand over his mouth and smashed his nose down. It was all Vypec could do to continue to breath. "Shh, quiet pup. You made the oath!" He pointed his free hand at Vypec's face with a devilish grin. Vypec had no idea what was going on. He growled at the Cerulean and tried to shake them off of him, but the ambusher just laughed.

Vypec's mind raced through the possibilities. Was this an ambush, a trick to murder him? The moment this notion entered his mind Vypal, who had started struggling for control upon first physical contact, pointed out that there would be no need to trick him to dispatch him. They could have just raided his home.

It is a crucible, an initiation of pain to purge us. Vypal said within his mind, the calm of his mind's voice edged with a wild shrill of apprehension. Two of the squad members, the twins, moved in front of him but Vypec was being forced to his knees, his arms contorted behind him. No matter how hard he struggled, he could not raise his head above their knees. The soft tan stones of the Algranos courtyard were pressed closer to his vision whenever he tried. It's going to be painful, whatever it is. Vypal warned, his words moving through the now settling chaos of Vypec's mind. He knew vaguely now that this would not be a fatal event. None of the squad was attempting to break him, though they were rough when they dissuaded his struggles. They were forcing him to submit. Though he had been in the Kuvay'Nas for some time now he felt an outsider. This was not a militia, this was not a squad. This was a family, a cult of the special. Membership was not achieved by mere words, no matter their weight.

But Vypal knew he would not just submit for anyone. Though he pledged allegiance to their squad, only his goddess and perhaps Wysar could bring him to his knees so easily without repercussions. Fight back. He hissed at his brother, refreshing his attempts to seize control. Fight the petchers off! Vypec's adrenaline was racing though, lending strength to his muscles and firmly latching him in control.

Why? This is our leader! Vypec hissed back. He was always loath to disobey orders, or show any deviation from the hard-paved path of discipline. However cruel he may be... Vypec was apprehensive about the squad's wild and brutal nature. They were now pinning his face against the stones, the Cerulean cackling.

Are you Kuvay'Nas or are you a sheep? The darker brother spat back at his brother in a tone of disgust. You want these companions to see you as a sheep?

But they out-number us brother!

Exactly. Vypal hissed. He made a surge to seize control and was able to. The squad had not been expecting a renewed and underhanded surge of wrath. Vypal was able to kick out hard at the Cerulean's shins, connecting with a satisfying yelp from the man. He spun and landed a desperate fist on the cheekbone of the squad leader. Vypal was momentarily freed, probably from the shock of the blows rather than any harm he had inflicted. The younger Akalak began to scramble along the stone ground away from them.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:41 am

But then the air was forced violently from his lungs and all thoughts of escape with it as the largest of the squad tackled him. Vypal's eyes bulged and his mind panicked, everything besides the desperate need to breath left him. The large Akalak grunted and forced his victim's arms behind his back before hefting himself up. Vypal gasped for air, snarling in fury as he did so. Spittle and a bit of blood from where his lip had been split against the ground dripped from his face. Vypal was pulled to his feet again and he gazed, blinking, around at the Akalaks. The grip of the large warrior was as good as an iron shackle.

The leader walked forward to stand in front of Vypal. He was not giving any sign that he had just been punched by a full grown man at all. "You think you've accomplished something. You think you are someone." They were not questions, and Vypal was not meant to respond. "You aren't anything until we, until I say you are." He grabbed Vypal by the braid and pulled slowly and firmly back. Then he leaned close and whispered so that only Vypal and the man holding him could hear. "You've got some big boots to fill, pup. Never forget what that means." Before Vypal could think of some way to respond the squad leader had released his hold and walked back to where the others stood. He rubbed his cheek ruefully. "Perhaps you've got the stuff for it yet, we'll see."

He raised a hand and gestured at one of the twins. "And what I say... Is he's ready for the burn. Hey?" He turned to the squad, his face askance. They each gave a cheerful affirmation. The twins both grinned maliciously and the Cerulean seemed to quake with silent laughter, his tongue sticking out in a mocking imitation of some kind of wild animal. The big man holding him gave him a little shake.

"Bring out the burn!" He roared in a deep voice. Vypal and Vypec were both feeling that sensation of apprehension rise within them.

The Cerulean grinned and reached behind his back. Vypec surged to prominence as both their minds raced with whatever it could be that was labeled 'the burn'. But the Cerulean only produced a rough spun sack like those used to carry vegetables. The man stepped forward and with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach Vypec felt a wildly ominous threat associated with the simple sack. It was shoved over his head and then tied in place. He felt the twine of it digging into the skin of his neck and the artery beating heavily against its pressure.

"Move!" He heard a rasp, and he was freed from the giant's restraining grip. He had moment of stumbling confusion before he was roughly turned and shoved. He began to run, or else jog as fast as he comfortably could without knowing where he was going. He heard the others around him, shouting threats or else laughing.

"Watch out, pup." One of the twins said with a deep, rich voice as Vypec felt a shoulder shove him in a different direction. His heart raced. The threat of the unknown made everything so much more vivid. He could trip and break his head open, he could fall off the edge of the city. The gods only knew what he was running to. Even in the scared and chaotic rush of adrenaline and fear, he realized that their japes and insults were still serving to keep him aware of their positions around him, their jarring shoves to direct him
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:42 am

If this was 'the burn' he thought he was doing reasonably well. At least he hadn't fallen to his death yet. Vypal was not struggling for control but waiting with his entire focus on the senses that remained to them. They're taking us to the Suvan. He said within the confines of their shared mind. They're bringing us to the water. When Vypec asked him how he knew this Vypal responded as if the answer was obvious. We're going downhill. Always downhill. They are bringing us to the docks via the wide cart roads, a gentle slope and no stairs to fall on.

Well, it seemed they weren't trying to kill them at all. Vypec could not feel very assured at the moment because just as Vypal finished saying this the Cerulean redirected him to the left with a helpful punch to the shoulder. He knew it was him because the man cackled distinctively as he did so. He stumbled on.

Eventually Vypec heard the familiar waves lapping against the beach. The still chill air of the young Spring was windy here, blowing the bag against his face and making goosebumps sprout on his exposed skin. He slowed as he felt his feet touch sand. This was rewarded with a vicious shove in the back. As Vypec stumbled forward he felt sand flying against his skin and then he fell. His head and shoulder hit the sand hard, but he didn't not make contact with anything harder.

The others snickered and hooted. Someone pulled him up to his knees and Vypec reached for the bag. A hand thumped him hard and he lowered his hands. "This isn't the end, spoon." Said the same twin as before with a note of humor in his voice.

The surf rolled in with a menacing roar of tumbling water and licked Vypec's toes. The icy chill made him shiver involuntarily. It made the skin ache in protest. The men around him saw and laughed again. Someone gave him a shove and Vypec had to back pedal as his feet sank into chilly sand.

He was seized and the bag pulled from his head. Vypec blinked into the bright sunlit ocean. Jewels of light glimmered on the surface as the waves moved. He screwed up his eyes against the brightness as someone took hold of his shoulder.

"We swim, see that bit of rock outcropping down the beach?" The leader pointed to a black slab of stone that jutted from the cliff-face like a shriveled foot. "That's our destination. You don't make it and you die. You make it and you get to live a bit longer." And with the he sprinted into the water, splashing foam in all directions as he did so. He made no sound to show his notice of the chilly waters.

Vypec did not think. Thinking would have made it harder. He simply invested all of his will in that first burst of speed. A leap of faith and a wild abandon were what this task called for. He almost didn't feel the first couple of steps. Or at least his momentum carried him waist deep before the cold cut through him completely. The hardest part was the crotch. When he began to gasp and groan at the cold Vypec thought his body couldn't stand it. He hadn't spent much time swimming before, and the rock was rather far away. But as he was about to turn to see if the rest of the squad was coming he tripped on a rock, it's jagged edge scraping across the top of his left foot lightly. The pain was nothing, or at least it was unfelt in the blast of sensation the cold Suvan was causing. His head went under and a aching numbness began to set in like a haze over the wash of painful cold. He struggled to the surface and gasped for air. The rest of the squad had caught up to him by this time. Vypec was tired from the disorienting run and aching from the cold.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:43 am

The others were all making their way towards the outcropping with their leader spearheading their advance still. "Come on spoon!" Someone shouted. They were around him, not leaving him behind or helping him. Simply watching him. Vypec struggled, walking along the sandy bottom rather than swimming. He tasted the salt of the sea in his mouth and gasped as waves slapped him against the face. Twice he fell again and had to kick himself up from the bottom. Each time this was a thrill of wild fear as he staring into the murky abyss under the waves, but it was not deep.

The pull of the current was strong, however. Vypec found himself struggling against it, splashing his way towards the beach just to keep from floating out to sea. The others seemed to deal better with the forces of the Suvan, undoubtedly more experienced with it. It was not impossibly strong, though his aching body was fast losing the energy to combat it and his mind losing the will to force his body to. But there was comfort in that the squad was here, he and Vypal were not alone.

You have been chosen, now choose to be worthy. Vypal said in his mind. The other's calm tone seemed to make Vypec relax a bit. Think and fight it. Think about the problem and find a solution.

Vypec set his feet into the sand of the bottom. He dug his toes in and began to creep along with his head and shoulders out of the water. A large wave rolled over him and he was dislodged, sliding a few feet further out to sea. Vypec wilding grabbed at the sandy bottom with his feet again. He found a hold. He dug in again as another wave came rolling ominously silent towards him. Vypec watched it come defiantly, his breathing shallow and his mind on his feet. It hit and he tried to keep his toes lodged in the sand. The ocean was too great for him. It pulled him up and carried him closer to the shore. Vypec was fine with this, however the next moment the water began to drag him back out with it, pulling with the force of the Suvan behind it he scrambled to find a foothold. In desperation he dove underwater and dug his hands into the sand. This was an improvement. He held his breath as the majority of the ocean's pull rolled across his back. the icy chill of the water was now nothing more than an uncomfortable aching, his body having gone numb.

The Akalak burst out of the water again, his toes dug in to the dark sand. He took a few steps as the waters calmed briefly. The squad had stopped when he went underwater and was watching him with keen eyes. No matter how wild their initiation was, they weren't going to let an Akalak die. He hoped.

Vypec saw another wave coming and decided to make for the squad. He thrashed his arms around and kicked frantically. He moved faster than he had been, but still woefully slow. He made for the giant Akalak who stood now head and shoulders above the rest. The man's solid mass seemed a comforting sight in the ocean's currents. As the wave approached Vypec stopped his sad swimming and dove. He dug his hands into the sand below as deep as he could get them and faced the wave. It was best, he found, to be perpendicular to the wave. The Akalak felt it roll over his backside and he sprung up, gasping for clean, cold air. Vypec repeated this process until he reached the squad. They were watching him blandly. their hostility and humor had evaporated with the last of their body heat. It seemed the cold water was enough to sap the attitude out of them. This gave him some heart. At least it was hard for these established warriors also.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:46 am

I'm glad you can find solace in this abysmal situation, Vypec. Vypal groaned. The brother hadn't spoken up until that moment so as not to break Vypec's concentration.

Together the group made their way to where the rock stood defiant against the sea's onslaught. The leader was the first to reach the stone's safety, but he did not climb on. He clung to it and turned to yell encouragement to the rest of his men. The next to reach the rock was the giant. He was panting and clung to the rock with both hands, but he too shouted encouragement. The giant climbed up and waited to help the next man climb the jagged edge of the outcropping. The others were moving forward, though careful to keep Vypec within reach. They did not abandon him to the currents that so forceful attempted to claim him. Vypec, for his part, tried to reach the rock with all his strength and willpower. He continued his method of ducking waves and crab-crawling forward in the calmer waters after the waves. What he was doing could only be called swimming in the loosest definition of the term, but he was making it there. The edge of the dark rocky platform was only a dozen or so paces away.

As he reached the rock he clung to it in desperation. His fingers clasped greedily over rough edges until they found a hold and he let himself be battered against the stone by the sea for a moment. Vypec closed his eyes and gave a silent prayer to both Wysar and Akajia for his good fortune in making it to the stone. The others were climbing nimbly up out of the water when he opened his eyes. He glanced over and watched as one twin helped his brother escape the frosty waves.

Vypec looked at where the giant stood and the man shook his head a fraction. I guess this is all us as well. Vypec intoned to Vypal, his mind tired as well as his body. Vypec began to pull himself from the water. The clothes that had been weightlessly tugging at him with the currents of the water were immediately transformed into devilish coils of weight pulling his weak body back into the water. He fought their pull as well as the force of waves crashing against his side to gain a dry handhold on the rock. Everyone was watching and muttering encouragement. Vypec felt against the side of the rock with his feet and found a jagged crack to set his toes in. He did not care about the shallow scratches as the rock bit into the tops of his toes and the tender skin between his toes and foot. He just needed to be out of the water.

As Vypec made his way up onto the rock he did not open his eyes or observe anything about the outcropping except that it was blessedly dry. He gasped and struggled, not caring what he looked like as he slid on his belly onto the dry rock. He was exhausted and could not bring himself to turn over, let alone stand. His back heaved under the salty linen of his shirt as he draw in wonderfully unobstructed breaths.

"Get up, spoon." The Cerulean said, nudging him with his foot. Vypec opened his eyes and found himself staring at a sopping wet boot. He pushed himself up and struggled to get his feet under him. When he finally made his way to his feet he noticed the squad was gathered around him, wet and tired, but grinning. He had made it to the rock, whatever that meant.

The leader stepped forward and observed Vypec, judgement heavy in his eyes. After a moment he said "You swim like shyke."

Vypec grinned and he let out a tired laugh. The leader snorted too and pushed a fist softly into Vypec's chest. Then he turned and nodded to the Cerulean and one of the twins, the more groomed one, though both looked especially unkempt at this point. They lunged with grace and strength Vypec could not have mustered after that swim. Both seized him, though not aggressively. Vypec looked angrily at the leader. He had made it! He had made their gods-forsaken swim without help.

"You seem to follow orders well, even if you can't swim." The leader said as he slid a oilskin-wrapped parcel from where it was wedged between two small boulders. Vypec eyed it ominously. The Cerulean had also gathered some oilskin wrapped wood from out of sight and was now arranging it to build a fire.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:47 am

"What are you doing?" Vypec asked, fear was elevating his voice a bit along with exhaustion. Vypec listened to the pitiful notes in his voice but did not try to eliminate them, all his energy was focused on watching that parcel the leader was now unloading.

At first glance the contents of the battered wooden box did not seem all that intimidating. Some flint and tinder, some bandages and ointments that would not be out of place in a field medical kit. But as the Akalak laid out the items Vypec become more worried. Next came some short of blunted iron rod, about a foot long. Then a gag and a chisel.

Just after seeing the chisel Vypec glanced around and found that the face of the rock was sparsely littered with crudely etched names. A few dozen of them is various stages of weathering stood stoically against the elements. Was this the end of this hellish induction into their group? Was he finally going to be done with this?

As the Cerulean brought a small, friendly flame to life, the leader continued to speak, ignoring Vypec's question. "Many Akalak have stood where you now stand. It's something of a tradition for us to bring our newest members here, to introduce them to the rest of the family." He gestured around at the faded, stony names. "These are our predecessors, and those whose legacy we protect." Vypec was thankful for the warming, drying aura of the flames that were now happily licking the air. As the leader spoke, the Cerulean rearranged some of the items. Setting the bandages back in their box and setting the chisel safely aside, then moving the iron rod so the blunted end sat in the fire. Vypec felt the numbness of his body fleeing in the face of the fire's bracing warmth. "Our squad has served Riverfall for hundreds of years, in different forms. I inherited my leadership position from the warrior who trained me, just as one of you," He gestured around at all those present. "Will inherit it from me one day."

"To protect the city of Riverfall and our people is to protect the legacy of this squad. We find our city's enemies no matter where they hide, and we kill them. We face the evils this world sets against us together, because we are one family and one blood." He continued.

"One blood." The other members muttered, as if in prayer.
After this, the leader turned his focus on Vypec. "Vypec and Vypal Algranos, you are of this city though you have yet to serve her." He folded his arms. "We think you can serve her and uphold the legacy of this squad. We've been watching you and marking your progress. Do you accept this responsibility?"

"Yes." Vypec said, his voice quiet and tired, but firm.

At Vypec's reaffirmation of his willingness to serve, the Cerulean pulled from the fire the iron rod and Vypec immediately realized what it was. A brand. He groaned and began to struggle in earnest. His captors redoubled their efforts and the second twin had to join in the struggle. Vypec yelled as the leader took the brand and the Cerulean approached him. The painted Akalak began to unbutton Vypec's linen shirt, taking care not to rip it with his thrashing.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:48 am

All pain, all exhaustion, all of the world left his mind as Vypec desperately tried to free himself from the squad's iron grip and the hot orange glare of the brand. He screamed and kicked, thrashed and scratched. Vypal yelled inside his head and made a wild bid for dominance. It did not matter. As both struggled for control and both let the fear overwhelm them, they felt the searing pain of the iron touch their skin. For an instant it smelled of burning meat and felt all the world like they were dying. Then everything went black as both tumbled into unconsciousness.

When Vypec returned to himself the world was a blur of light and movement, and his chest a deep cavity of ache and pain. He tried to sit up and something immobile and strong kept him from moving. He groaned as a dull pain radiated from where the brand had touched his chest. Vypec felt his mind coming back to him and with it, the groggy presence of his brother.

How long have we been out? Vypal asked, prodding Vypec with a mental tendril. The Akalak was just as shaken by the ordeal as Vypec. Both sat silently, trying to feel some inkling of what had transpired after their blackout. Finally, Vypec felt strong enough to open his eyes. He did so and was greeted with the concentrated gaze of the Akalak giant.

"Kazma, he's awake." He said in his low baritone. Vypec blinked up at the eyes. Then was vaguely aware of a cooling rubbing on his chest and glanced down. The Cerulean was judiciously applying some ointment to his bare, raw chest. Vypec closed his eyes, not wanting to look at it. Shyke, they really branded us! He said to Vypal. The brother hit him with a righteous fury and Vypec momentarily cowed.

You and your damn mouth were always going to do us in. Vypal said, his anger a secondary burn compared to the physical pain of the brand.

"You're alive! You made it, Algranos." The leader said as he appeared above Vypec, next to the giant. "Think you can stand yet?" He asked.

"Yes." Vypec managed. His head was lifted and the giant helped him to his feet. The world was reeling, but Vypec found that it was not so bad as it had been moments ago. He was shaky, but the water one of the twins offered helped a lot. No one said anything until Vypec had drank his fill.

"You did it. You're in." The leader said. "Time for some introductions I suppose." He glanced around at the now dry warriors that sat, stood, or knelt around them. "This wild killer here is Delric." He indicated the Cerulean, who was crouching on the balls of his feet. The Akalak nodded without a shadow of a smile. "This is Mirrix and Maso." He indicated the giant of a man who had helped Vypec up. Vypec nodded to the huge Akalak and Mirrix, or Maso, nodded back with a half grin. He seemed to be less intimidating now, with a careful gaze which seemed to be assessing Vypec's ability to stand on his own.

"These two are Banador and Dost, and Vuhran and Thexar. They're twins more than most Akalak are." He indicated them each in turn as he said their name. The well groomed one smiled widely and gave a quick wave. He was called Vuhran and Thexar. The more unkept one nodded soberly, tucking his thumbs into his belt. This was Banador and Dost.

"I'm Kazma, sometime you'll meet Dakar, my brother. We're both the leaders of this squad and we both have earned your obedience if nothing else." The leader, called Kazma, said carefully. He made sure Vypec knew that no matter who gave the orders, as long as it came from his mouth they were to be followed. Vypec nodded to show he understood. "And together this motley crew is lovingly dubbed the Savages." He spread his thick, muscled arms wide to encompass the entire group. "We exist to watch Riverfall and hunt her enemies, to observe the movements of known hostile forces and seek out the existence of the unknown. We are the ones who make this city a safe place to live, and now you will walk amongst us." Kazma finished. He bent and picked up one of the bandages and stood in front of Vypec.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:50 am

As he wrapped the cloth gently over Vypec's burn, he continued to speak. "We require more dedication than the general kavran. As part of the squad our missions take precedence over all, including family." At this Kazma gave Vypec a deeply piercing look. "Risks and danger are often part of the territory, even within Riverfall." He finished wrapping Vypec's wound and tied the bandage in a knot at his shoulder. "Wear this mark to remind you of your duty. It can not be shrugged off, or discarded when the going gets tough. You are in this for life." Kazma finshed. Delric was nodding behind him, fingering the twin Lakan resting at his hips.

Vypec lifted his fist to his chest, careful not to touch the bandage, in a traditional salute. "Yes, sir." He said. After a grave moment in which no one spoke, Kazma's face split into a grin.

"You can call me Kazma, everyone does. But today is a cause for celebration! We have with us a new member of our family." He gave Vypec a gentle pat on the shoulder. He produced the chisel from nowhere and grinned at Vypec. "Set it in stone now that we've set it in flesh." And with that, Kazma gave Vypec his first order.

Vypec took the chisel and knelt. He found an old, faded name. Vypec ran his dark purple fingers over the lines of the name, wondering who was and when this person had lived, what they had done for Riverfall. Telavar-Plex, it said. Vypec set the chisel to stone with a shaky hand, using a stone to wedge the tool across the dark rock's face. He gouged the first three letters V-Y-P then paused. He made a decision and returned the chisel to stone. A few minutes later he looked down and just below where it said Telavar-Plex the rock now read Vypal-Vypec.

Why did you do that? Vypal asked, his inner voice carefully neutral.

Do what? It's just our name. Vypec said dismissively.

You know what. Why did you put my name first? Vypal asked. His presence pushed against Vypec, searching for the answer in their shared mind. But Vypec was practiced in this and held his barriers strong. they had spent a very long time together, and knew well how to navigate the other.

I don't want anyone to think I did this alone, or that you aren't vital. Vypec let his inner voice die out.

Vypal was silent for a moment. Well, I am mostly responsible for our survival this long after all. He said dismissively. Vypec found himself smiling inwardly.

Was that a joke, brother? He asked.

I completely stand by my statement.

The squad was watching him carefully. They had not missed the fact that he carved his brother's name first. But when the leader squatted down to examine the name he did not ask. Instead, his question caught Vypec by surprise. "Why did you choose to place your name here?" He let his fingers fall across the letters.

Vypec shrugged. He hadn't realized the placement of the name was significant in any way. "It seemed as good a place as any. Why, is something wrong?" He asked, concerned he had made some hidden mistake.

"No. But why under this name?" Kazma asked. Now that he was so close, and Vypec wasn't blinded or drowning, he could see many small scars littered across the squad leader's face. One dragged across his jaw, the vicious shadow of some past battle. Here was a man with pain and struggle in his past, he wore it like armor.

Vypec looked down at the name. Telavar-Plex. He hadn't ever heard it before, nor had he really decided between it and another. As he thought on it, he supposed that it was an act of companionship. He had carved his name close to this other name in solidarity. He wanted to protect the legacy of the carved names. This was some symbolism, no matter how murky, of that need to protect the legacy.

"It just seemed as good a place as any." He said, glancing at Kazma. Somehow that did not seem to be enough of an answer. This Akalak was accustomed to receiving details, the details were his craft. He did not look satisfied with Vypec's indifferent response. "I don't know who it is, besides that they were a member of the squad. I just thought it would be good to make the connection from the beginning. Make it strong." Vypec said, gesturing with a slight embarrassment towards the name. Was that move too bold? Would that set him apart form the beginning? He hoped he had not overstepped his bounds as a new member. He knew something of the subtle hierarchy of respect, the dance of dues that warrior groups demanded from their members.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

The Savages

Postby Vypec on December 18th, 2016, 2:51 am

Kazma nodded slightly, then turned and glanced towards the others. All of them were looking at the pair with serious eyes. Vypec felt Vypal stirring under the stoic scrutiny. The leader turned back to him. "Well that's where we're going next. To his home." Kazma gestured at Telavar-Plex's name. "This is the man you are replacing. He disappeared and we... haven't been able to find trace of him." Kazma said, a pained look flashing across his eyes. "We think one of his enemies got to him."

Vypec understood. He has put his name next to his immediate predecessor. That random chance seemed unnerving even to him. He could not imagine the shock of those who actually knew the man. As Vypec looked at Kazma he wondered how many of these names drew up a face in his memory. How many brothers had this man laid to rest or else searched in futility for? He did not show whatever he was thinking, masking his feelings behind a discipline honed from practice. Vypec felt a deeper respect blossoming in him for this older warrior. "I did not know." He said, glancing around the group.

Exhaustion threatened to over take him. Vypec hadn't eaten anything and the run and swim had sapped what energy he had. The burn still throbbed spitefully on his chest as well. Vypec felt his thoughts lagging with the stress of the day. But Kazma let the odd moment go, turning and motioning for Vypec to follow him. The two lead the tired and damp procession down the long outcropping back towards the beach. Vypec was glad he did not have to swim again, his body just now losing the last icy tendrils of cold from the Suvan. The walking helped. He felt the numb leaving him as he walked and heated his body back up. They moved along in silence, their clothes drying from the sun and the water dripping from their cloaks in a silent pattern across rock, then sand, and eventually cobblestones.

Eventually the group came to a humble house a few streets down from Vypec's own residence. It was a small place built through artistic magic into the rock of the cliff-face, like much of Riverfall's architecture. There was a small garden in front of the front door that had gone to weeds, presumably from neglect. Kazma fished from inside one of the folds of his clothes a small key and unlocked the door. They all filed in with the silent respect of ceremony. Vypec entered last, closing the door as gently as he could. Sunlight splayed in from the single small window carved into the rock wall next to the door, but other than that there was no light. This did not both Vypec, wing blessed with the touch of the Night Mother. He still felt the somber mood is cloaked the place in.

The home was a small space, with sparse decoration. The first room was small, barely fitting the six of them standing. It had a small fireplace for cooking, a small table with two simplistic chairs, and an unlocked chest that contained clothes. The only indulgences came in the form of a rack which housed armor and a longsword, presumably the battle gear of the dead Akalak, and a small glass case with a thin layer of dark earth at the bottom. Vypec examined the case inquisitively, wondering what it was for.

The Cerulean approached him and watched him looking. "Centipedes. He used to keep centipedes in there. I took them to my place. They have a venom, when harvested, that causes some interesting side effects in people." Vypec watched Delric pull a small glass vial from a secured belt pouch and shake it gently. A murky liquid splashed within. "I've got a few different sources, but this is one of my favorites." He grinned maliciously.
User avatar
Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests