Closed Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Abashai returns to find Nya.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Abashai on June 21st, 2016, 4:33 pm

Image20th Day of Summer, 516AV
The Wildlands, along the border between Sylira and Taldera


You will never find it, you will never find her. Hopeless.

The whispers of ghosts and demons drifted from the shadows of his soul, where he had exiled them long ago. Yet they were never truly banished, and as weeks had turned into months, the voices slipped from their hiding, waxing louder. Doubt sought to shred his resolve, to sap his energy and steal his faith. It was in those moments that Abashai halted in his tracks and leaned down to pluck the dagger and its sheath from his boot. Calloused fingers would trace the designs stamped into the worn leather by a caring hand. For a man who's soul had endured countless existences, the day that Nya had made that sheath and given it to him sometimes seemed as distant as one of those long lost lives.

Yet to that memory, its tangible proof of in his hand, Abashai clung. And to many other memories, good memories. When he clutched that weathered embossed sheath and its dagger, Nya was real again, and the cursed whisperers slid back into the dark places of his being to hold their peace. Abashai sought her, needing to find her. Though every bond they had entered together was broken, and even the tie of Unity had grown silent with years and miles, he still felt the void in his being that Nya once filled.

It had been many days since Abashai had parted ways with his traveling companions, three trappers and their stubborn donkey. Abashai had joined their company at the Evantide Outpost after picking up a few supplies in Syliras and hoping against hope to hear tales of a giant Talderian Cat stalking the forests. The Benshiran had left them on the Kabrin Road as he hiked into the wilderness, seeking for something he had never been able to find, even with Nya. It was the only place he could think of to find her, or word of her. Their old cave in the Bronze Woods was empty. Matilda in Syliras did not know of her whereabouts. So, Abashai sought her birthplace and home of her parents, Lormar Tower. They had tried to find it together, once, but failed. Instead, they ventured too close to Ravok. That is when their end began.

Another day had passed, the sun deepening in hue as it set, the light filtering through the canopy of leaves overhead. Earlier, Abashai had come across a long lost cistern, crumbling and nearly choked full of vines and thistles, but no sign of Lormar. Another fruitless day. Camp was always meager, his tent set not far from a small stream. Abashai had yet to start a fire, wishing first to see if he could snag some fresh game to supplement his broth, dried meat and apples. His hunting skills were meager at best, but he was able to occasionally bring down a small animal. With a supplication to Yahal lifted to the sky, Abashai took up his bow and quiver, tucked the rabbit snare in his belt and headed out.

Just as Nya had taught him, he tracked down a likely rabbit path through the underbrush. Finding a spry sapling, Shai bent it low and tied the snare to it. Fashioning a catch from a stick, he set the snare. Noting the snare's location by several unique trees, Abashai slipped the bow from his shoulder. Drawing an arrow, he set it to the string and began to seek some quarry.


Items purchased :
    Tent (one-person) - 2gm
    Travelers Stock (20 day supply) - 6gm
    Jerked game meat - 7gm
    -Dried apples (1lb) - 1gm
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on June 23rd, 2016, 4:26 am

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Nya's life had been divided into stages. She likened her life to an old memory where she'd once saw a massive tree cut down by a pair of men wielding a huge saw between them. The stump that was left was marked in circles of light and dark on the smooth flat surface where the saw had bitten through the trunk. The rings were strange so she'd asked her mother about it. The explanation had been simple. Years. The rings had been indications of the trees growth and marked the years it had been alive. The thick rings were years of plenty and abundant growth. The thin rings were years of hardship and starvation.

Nya had her own rings, even if they weren't physical like the trees were nor denoted in actual years but rather 'stages'. Her rings were instead buried in her head. So far she had five. First had been her youth, growing up with her mother and father in Lormar Tower. She could remember that time without issue. And indeed in the days she lived now, her mind often wandered to those memories. The second had been her time alone seeking. It was a time of discovery and she had no troubles with those memories either. The third had been her bonded and married time with him. Even now it was hard to think his name in her head. She knew it of course, but there as a huge hollow emptiness inside her surrounding the beloved three syllables. She couldn't look back on that time, not now... maybe not ever... because it was a time of light and love and looking back on it was like staring at the brightness of the sun. The forth time was filled with evil, pain, and suffering. She could remember it well, but didn't often decide to think on it. It was as dark as the time just before it was bright.

And then there was the now time.

She wasn't sure if now if this current stage was a good thing or a bad thing. If she had to put a label on it, Nya would have called it The Quiet. Someone on the outside looking in would perhaps say she was resting or even perhaps recovering. Nya only saw the quiet. She was existing in the here and now, ghosting through a life that wasn't truly being lived.

The current stage was reflected in her surroundings. She'd returned to Lormar and found it empty and partially ruined.

Nya understood destruction when she saw it and judged the damage to the tower four or so years old - old enough that it was likely caused by the Djed Storm of 512. She knew not if her parents lived. The Forest Cat suspected they had not survived. For surely her parents would have restored the tower if they could have. It was perhaps the reason she found it when years ago looking for it with him she had not.

Its discovery took cleverness. Nya wasn't used to using her mind like that. She'd been looking for it and in doing so had been lead everywhere but to it. It was only after she put it out of her mind and looked instead for what it had contained - books, shelter, food, love - that she'd felt a sense of the structure and found game trails leading to it. It was near impossible to find a tower that didn't want to be found in a forest boarding on a land of giants. But she'd done it if only because she had time to do it. There was nothing else better she had to do. And in a way the search itself had been cathartic.

Having a mind that worked in circles - as it always had - was perhaps the one thing that saved her sanity. She searched in circles, patiently, and kept at it hiding from the things she didn't want to face. And as she searched in small tiny steps she worked through things in her mind that still hurt but hadn't completely devastated her. Pain hadn't broken her. Slavery hadn't either. The shattering of her Bond and marriage had come close. But she knew inherently - and because she watched their enemies and understood - that sometimes people did things out of love and not greed. Somewhere deep inside she knew her Bondmate hadn't broken the Bond because he picked evil over love. He wasn't made of that sort of mettle. She'd come to the conclusion during her searching, and perhaps she was fool for it, that he had done it to protect her from something in that time and place she couldn't understand. And just because she couldn't understand didn't mean she couldn't forgive. The truth was she could forgive him anything even if he didn't deserve it.

But even as she thought about him again, Nya shied away from those thoughts and that darkness. Her memories were imperfect and made her skittish. Emotion crippled her. Instinct kept her alive. Routine kept her sane. So much of that stage had felt unreal and as if it were happening to someone else because those things had been beyond her control.

And in a way it was like he had happened to someone else. She wasn't the same as she was before, when she was with him or when they were together but apart. Older, less full of enthusiasm and more cautious by far, Nya had become a recluse. In this stage of her strange unlife, she steered clear of people. She somehow labeled Humans "them"... and didn't consider herself part of "them". So she'd moved home - to the wreck of the tower - and had begun to carefully repair it. And she moved through that life, alone, surrounding the quiet keeping her routines.

Her routines were important. Even though the tower was 'human' she wasn't. So she kept Talderian Forest Cat routines to keep that side of her sane as well. Every day she'd patrol her territory, which was much smaller than it had been in her youth. She padded pathways that her big paws carved out of the forest and checked for scent. And just like large herds of elk moving through the underbrush created large open pathways, a large forest cat the size of a horse pacing the same routes over and over created trails as well. Her pawprints were stamped in the soft earth after rains. Tufts of hair were left where she rubbed against the bark of trees. And even on some of the massive trees in the woods higher up there were claw marks where she was clearly warning off other cats.

The trails all radiated out from Lormar Tower now. And like all animal pathways in the woods, if someone stumbled upon one and kept turning consistently the same direction they would circle and return first to the center and then eventually back to where they stepped onto the trail. Nya's were miles long and wandering, but they acted on the same principle.

In a Seekers eyes, if one were looking for a Talderian Forest Cat, one wasn't hard to find especially when that particular cat was just existing, not looking forward or backwards.

Abashai would stumble on her sign soon enough, snaring rabbits and camping as he wandered. And like he would stumble upon her, sooner or later she would come across his scent padding down her patrol trails. When it happened she automatically tried to push memories away, assuming the smell of leather, oil, and the unique spice that was all Abashai was something her mind had called up to toy with her. So she'd growled and thought of something else, forcing the memory of 'him' away. She'd snarl her displeasure at what she considered a traitorous psyche and move forward, on a far reaching arch well out past the tower.

It wasn't until she'd been traveling down the trail for some time that she realized the scent was not in fact a memory, but utterly and definitively real. And in that moment, that sudden awareness of reality, she froze. It would be a strange sight to witness... a forest cat one moment animated and the next utterly still, not even breathing as her eyes flickered back and forth as if seeking answers in a mind that had been out of habit emptied of all thought.

She huffed her displeasure, snarled slightly, and then shook her head. Nya knew the smell couldn't be real. But her mind insisted it wasn't a memory.
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Abashai on June 23rd, 2016, 7:16 pm

Image
Crisp aquamarine eyes measured the rugged forest terrain for clues of passing wildlife. Hunting was not Abashai's forte, for Nya had been the hunter, in the days before. Any tracking skill the Benshiran acquired was gleaned while observing the feline kelvic stalk her prey. Abashai could not detect game through smell or other heightened senses like the Talderian Cat. But other clues, prints in the dirt, a tuft of fur snagged among thistle, trampled underbrush, scat, markings made by antler or horn on a tree trunk, these were what Abashai had to rely upon to find game. When he did, it was his bow that had to bring it down. The Benshiran was a warrior, much more adept at felling an opponent at close quarters with his heavy Eyktolian sword than by picking off a distant target with a arrow. Suffice it to say, the wanderer had to be satisfied with dried meat, fruit and broth for dinner more days than not.

But the concentration of the hunt served another purpose. Distraction. Those devilish voices were not always lying. It was a monumental task to find a single tower along the vast wild frontier between Sylira and Taldera. All he had to go on was a few vague directions Nya had conveyed on their former failed search for Lormar, a tower that very well could be concealed from plain view by magicks. Yet Abashai would not relent. In the core of his being, he believed some force would lead him to her, just as he believed it had twenty-seven seasons ago. Be it by the grace of divine will or cosmic fate, the desert man had faith that his path would eventually cross that of the one he had lost, and fill again the aching void in his soul not even the Holy One could heal.

After climbing over a large fallen tree, Abashai halted. He stood upon trampled ground. To his left and right, a swath had been pressed through the underbrush, as if many large animals had passed through. Ferns stomped, smaller branches bent or snapped as the large creatures passed by. Perhaps that evening the Divines would smile upon him with a big kill. Shai followed the trail. Soon the trampled foliage gave way to a small steam crossing. In the muddy bank of the brook, the print of the passing animals could be seen. Crouching, Abashai studied the marks. His lungs seized his breath and would not release. Paws, large, giant. He leaned down to lay his hand over the sprawling pawprint. Shai was not an expert in prints, but there was one animal's mark with whom he was familiar. Talderian Forest Cat.

It was quite reasonable for one of the great predators to be stalking the woods at the edge of the Talderian wilderness. They were fearsome creatures. Stealthy, intelligent and deadly. Abashai's crystal gaze lifted to the forest around him. A flutter rippled through his belly. He dared to hope against hope. Was it her? Abashai forged onward, slowly, quietly, knowing full well that he could not surprise such a beast. The forest cat would have already smelled his presence. A natural forest cat could easily turn the hunter into the hunted. If by some chance it was Nya, after all the passing seasons, Abashai could only guess her state. She too could pose an equal danger to him, should he ever find her.

Then, in the quiet of the forest, came the sensation. It was not without, but within. A brushing against his awareness, the caress of something so familiar, as if his psyche stared into a foggy mirror. It was essence split, having once been the whole of Abashai's living spark, now echoing back to him. He felt again the frigid touch of the Queen of the Dead as she had reached into his chest and clutched at his heart. He remembered seeing it in Dira's grasp, the essence of his life she had reaped from him and shoved into the wound in Nya's chest, the lethal wound Abashai himself had inflicted upon her. From that day on, they would always be one life. They had called it their Unity. Should all other bonds, affections and knowledge pass away, Dira herself assured him that he and Nya's lives were bound as one, unto death.

Even more diligent, Abashai muttered a prayer and stalked further along the beast trail.
Last edited by Abashai on June 27th, 2016, 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on June 27th, 2016, 2:42 am

Image
The big forest cat turned on her haunches and changed course. She lifted her head and scented the wind. She was downwind of him, whomever he was, and he was coming towards her. Her instinct screamed at her to attack, but she was not a creature full of fight like she once had been. The cat instead sat down on her hind legs and wrapped her tail around her quietly. Had she not been smack in the middle of the hunting trail of her making, she would have been virtually invisible in the forest.

A wind flickered through the canopy around her, rattling the tree leaves and needles, sensing the tension in the Stormwarden even though she looked outwardly calm. Green eyes studied a bend in the trail that should bring him to her sooner or later and waited. The breeze whispered at her, urging her to run, matching what her inner instincts were howling at her. The breeze though, not unlike the wind disturbing the trees in warning, saw only hunter. It saw threat. It saw invader. Nya saw all that too but the scent said more.

Once there had been comfort in that desert spice. He always had dates on him, even though he walked in cooler lands. She huffed, catching a hint of the dried fruit and continued to wait. Oil for cleaning his weapon reached her senses. The steel of his Kopesh itself mingled in the air. Then there was the light sweat of a man himself. She knew all of it, even if she didn't want to remember because it was easier to forget.

And so the cat waited, in the middle of the trail, in plain sight.

When he did come into view she simply studied him. She noted his stride, the way he held himself, and even the tilt of his head. Nya avoided his eyes. His gaze was a trap, one that could hold her for hours. She noted his hair seemed long and he was as fit as ever. There was a slight worn and weary look to him, as if he'd been traveling a while. He was alone. Observation after observation flooded her senses. That he had no horse was a surprise to her. He usually traveled with one even if he didn't ride it. She flicked her tail, the only indication that she was more than a statue blocking the whole of the trail before him.

Feelings tried to flood her but she pushed them aside. She knew if she relaxed his senses would flood hers. The Forest Cat knew she could hear his heartbeat and that her own breathing would alter so that they took breaths together.

Involuntarily her ears flicked forward. It was always a tell. Her ears invariably went to where she was looking or thinking. Forward, then back towards the tower, then forward again. Slowly she rose. There was nothing she could do here. The Kelvic would not shift in the woods to give herself a means of communicating with him. The tradeoff was unequal. She would not trade in her strength as a cat for her weakness as a woman just to have a voice. The man would understand... or he would not.

Still, she avoided his eyes, as she rose up on all fours again - still large and far more filled out than she had been in Ravok. Here she hunted, fed herself, and was no man's slave. It showed in the healthy gleam of her coat and the wicked sharp length of her claws. Casually she stretched, forelegs forward then hindlegs back, tail arched as she worked kinks out of her back. Then she kneaded the mud of the trail a moment, another tell that she was calm, and slowly turned.

The tower was close and if he would follow she would lead him to it. There they could talk. It was better than here. And it was better than remaining sitting there, staring at him, longing to walk up to him and rub her jaw along his to mark his flesh as her territory. Such gestures were no longer her right or privilage to make. And so she moved knowing it covered her weakness and cowardness at not being able to look him in the eye.

The cat walked for an hour. Her gait was an easily rolling stride that was both determined yet unhurried. She flicked her tail only occasionally, but scented the air often. Breezes that seemed to have a mind of their own danced in her fur and around Abashai. Though he couldn't hear their voice, the Benshira would know they spoke of him, teased him, and just came close to get a good look at the man that used to be the Stormwarden's bondmate and life love.

Lormar came into view abruptly, hidden by trees until they were nearly upon it. Once mighty, an observer could see that it was partially in ruin. It rose to the sky perhaps four stories tall with the top story now exposed to the sky but partially thatched. It was evident that whomever - most likely Nya - who was thatching it had no idea how to do so.

The Tower sat in a clearning and had a small two horse stable at its base. There was a well house and something else that looked like a garden shed. The shed was in ruins but the stables were in good shape. The tower's main double door was open and Nya passed through it, disappearing into the depths. If Abashai followed he'd see that it opened into a sitting room that spilled into a kitchen that seemed fully functioning since bread cooled on the counter and a stew sat simmering in a pot over the coals of a slowly dying fire.

Two minutes later the cat reappeared through another archway, no longer a cat, but instead a sturdy familiar woman with brindled hair. She paused in the archway as if to get a second look at him. She was dressed in a loose shift that belted at the hips. Its green coloring brought out the intense jade of her eyes. And those eyes watched him carefully, never straying left or right.

"Hello to you born of the Tents of Eliab of the Sons of Havid." It was a formal greeting, and one in which allowed her to say hello without using his name. She still wasn't sure she could say it. So instead she waited, one hip leaning against the door frame, wondering what in the world he was doing in the here and now.
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Abashai on June 29th, 2016, 11:59 am

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Abashai continued along the trail, tempering his anticipation. Tracking a Talderian Forest Cat was tantamount to courting death, and most would call him a fool for such a pursuit. Yet to find that one, he had traveled the breadth of Mizahar. Abashai was convinced he would not find rest, not find wholeness without her. Yahal forgive him, even communion with that Holy One left him still with the hollow chamber, that space created when Dira drew from his life to resurrect Nya, because he had plead for her life. He had only known its true emptiness when distance, in all its dimensions, had separated them. Yet Abashai knew was that Nya was alive, because he was still alive.


As if escaping through gaps in a bottle's seal, those subtle brushes of the familiar touched his mind in fleeting wisps. His boots tread on, the wind coming and going in a rush amid the forest canopy, becoming more fervent as he neared a bend in the path. A stray zephyr whipped about him, lifting the locks of his mane, tugging at his garments, then vanished, Much like the minions of the Storm Warden once did.

They betray me.

Abashai rounded the bend cautiously, the iron head of the arrow readied but aimed to the ground. It took a moment to discern the great beast that sat astride the trail, the brindle markings of her dark coat hiding her in the dapple of sunlight beaming through the leaves and needled boughs overhead. Booted feet halted in the forest carpet. She was a large one, a prime example of the powerful dire cats of the region. The creature made no move towards him, no move to slip off and disappear, she remained as a graven statue. Abashai's breath seized in his lungs. Then he let it free, seeking to find her gaze, to find a tell to prove his suspicion, but the mossy greens averted his seeking glance, diligent ears flicking. In his own ears, Shai's heart pounded, his body chilled with adrenaline. She was beautiful, so much like Nya. Not at the end, after their ruin, but when he had first found her by the waterfall, young, vibrant, strong. How could it not be her? Everything about him seemed to confirm that it was. Do not let me delude myself, Holy One. Then Abashai swore he heard the thrum of a second pulse in his head, one that grew closer and closer to the rhythm of his own, until it sounded as one. He would no longer doubt.

He had found her.

Eventually, the great cat stood. Abashai watched in wonder as she stretched, glossy black hide sliding over lean, powerful muscle. Too far to smell it, Abashai knew the scent of the fur, having rested his head against it on many a night. Too far to touch it, yet he knew the brush of that sleek coat against the pads of his fingers and palm of his hand. Abashai plucked the arrow from the bowstring and reached back to slip it into his quiver. The bow too was retired, slung over his shoulders, for the cat offered no sign of hostility. Instead, she turned on great paws and headed away, up the path. Abashai uttered no words, simply compelled to follow her, not closing the distance, but allowing her to draw no further away.

With patience Abashai allowed the forest cat to lead him, until the base of a stone tower appeared amid the foliage. She did not stop, but passed into the clearing towards the structure's entrance. A gaze cast upwards revealed the tower's dilapidated state. Yet it was not all in disrepair and there was evidence that much of the area was being maintained. With only a moment's hesitation to make a quick study of the stable, Shai followed the cat into the tower proper.

It became apparent quickly that the tower was still a viable home. The rich scent of fresh bread and stew left a delicious savor in his nose as he stepped into the living area. When the large cat disappeared, Abashai took the liberty of setting his quiver and bow by the doorway, slipping the heavy khopesh from his belt to lean it against the wall next to them. Could this be Lormar, her birthplace? There was no evidence of anyone else livng in the tower. Where were her mother and father?

Then Nya, the woman, appeared in the archway. She looked healthy, beautiful, and wary. The face of the woman, still the heart of the cat. Abashai drew in a deep breath and let it out. Even more so with her standing right there, the man strove to rightly divide his many sentiments and feelings. His musings were interrupted when, finally, those brilliant green eyes held his. She spoke in a voice so familiar, once treasured.

Abashai's brows stitched slightly at the formality of her greeting, but he replied with a respectful bow of his head, the dark curls falling around his face. He could not bring himself to respond so formally, yet the moment was not to be treated casually. The benshiran's head lifted, his hands folded in front of him. "Hello, Nya. Thank you for accepting me into your home." There was a pause as he saw the expected inquiry in Nya's gaze. Abashai had appeared out of nowhere after nearly twelve seasons. He could only be honest with her. "I came to find you. I have traveled a long way to do so. You look well."
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on July 6th, 2016, 4:37 am

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Nya quietly watched the world worn Benshira as he studied her, studied the interior of the tower, and then spoke. His words caressed her ears and she shivered slightly at his use of her name.

The woman didn't know what to do. She didn't know what to think, what to feel, and least of all what to say. The cat had almost exclusively been in charge for the whole of the last year. In fact it had been the cat's oversized paws that had taken the woman away from this man before her and his son. They'd needed time in the wild, time alone to heal, and Nya wasn't sure it had been long enough.

"Be welcome here." She said gesturing to the kitchen. "There is food if you are hungry. And above some of the rooms are still intact and you can select one to sleep in if you wish. They have hearths that can be lit to warm them and I have fresh linens to make up the beds with." Nya added. In her own ears, her words sounded foreign because it had been so long since she'd spoken aloud. Her internal voice didn't exactly match her external reality. It felt cold, lifeless, and in a way unwelcoming despite what she'd said.

The Kelvic glanced down at her hands a moment, wishing suddenly she had something in them to keep them busy. Instead the fingers flexed into involuntary fists externally displaying her internal nervousness. If her hands were full they wouldn't be so tell-tale obvious about her mental state.

"You said you came a long way. Does that mean you made it to the desert with your son? Is he well?" She asked, having a fondness for the child even though his mother had been one of the most evil women Nya had ever met. She didn't hold the parentage against the babe. If he grew to be evil, it would not be due to his environment. They had liberated him from Ravok, after all.

The Talderian Forest Cat stalked across the room in human form, stirred the stew in the kitchen, and then flung a few windows open to let in the breezes. The place was a mess, really, with a huge pile of blankets in front of the cooking hearth. It was obvious that's where Nya had been sleeping. She ignored them as well as the pile of bones in the cold ash of the hearth. There were paw prints on the floor traced in the faint dusting of ash from the fires the Kelvic lit at night.

If Abashai really looked he'd see signs of Nya's slight instability. Once she was carefree and clean. Now there were weapons about, some only sharpened sticks, but placed in ways they weren't obvious. There was a decided worn patch across the slate stone by the fire behind where the blankets were piled as if something big paced the kitchen floor at night. Nya looked around at her surroundings and suddenly saw them as Abashai might see them and she was suddenly... a bit ashamed.

"I... wasn't expecting company. There's often not even stew. I was craving cooked food. I would have cleaned had I known." She said, letting the words drift off. She reached up and tried to drag a hand through the loose curls in her brindled hair but found snags and snarls instead. Nya rubbed her chin on her shoulder as if scratching an itch and gave herself a good sniff. She almost wrinkled her nose but restrained herself. Hygiene hadn't been much on her mind. The man before her was fastidiously clean. She had no one to answer too, and certainly no one to impress. And a cat groomed itself far better than a human.

"I...." She said nothing else even though she started to apologize yet again. Then she glanced towards the door suddenly, wondering if it wouldn't be better to go.
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Nya Winters
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Abashai on July 7th, 2016, 5:27 pm

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It was uncomfortable and awkward, but Abashai had expected little more. The close relationship they once enjoyed was a union so intimate few in the world could come close, or even imagine. They were the closest to being one that two people could be. The discomfort that filled the first floor of the tower was a testament to the utter thoroughness of their ruin. They were worse than strangers. Strangers enjoyed the bliss of ignorance, there was no history, no baggage, no tangle of rooted emotions. Nya and Abashai could feel acutely the divergence between what they were, and what they had become.

Her welcome was hospitable but understandably distant. Not quite comfortable with making himself at home, the Benshiran strolled further into the room, subtly studying her home as they spoke. Indeed, it appeared as if the woman shared the tower with a large animal. He knew they were one in the same. He noted too the state of the dwelling. Even when they stayed in the cave in the foothills of the Cobalts, Nya kept a tidy home. The tower lacked such attention.

What was not lacking was something the cat had rarely employed in the past. Weapons. Carefully stashed, makeshift means of protection in human form. His crystal gaze drew back to her. She was not the Nya he had known. But she would not likely find the same Abashai either.

"Yes, he is strong, with a gentle heart. I took him to stay with my family in Yahebah. He deserves a stable life. I want him to be raised in a traditional Benshiran home." He did not articulate that fact that he did not feel capable of giving Micah a stable home. Too much had transpired, to much damage inflicted. "He is alive because of you." He added with gratitude.

Abashai caught Nya's gaze as she looked about her home. Embarrassment was never something that had bothered her before. The signs of the cat were telltale. It was the feline that ruled her these days, the woman had been left to wither. He offered a small smile. "I apologize for surprising you like this. I can imagine there are few travelers this way. Honestly, I have slept in a tent or in the street most of the past year. This place is much more inviting."

He shed his coat and found a place to hang it. They were never ones for small talk, and resorting to it now was strange and frustrating. Abashai had sought for her for so long, had become nearly penniless trying to find that very tower. Now, as she stood before him, the Benshiran could see that Nya was still so far away, that he had so far to go still to really find her.

Abashai ran his hand along the back of a rough-hewn wooden chair, then looked to the Kelvic. When they were together, they assumed her parents still lived at Lormar. It was clear the Winters had not lived in the tower for some time. He feared the worst for Nya.

His features softened as he caught her eye. "Your parents?"
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Abashai
There are winds I am compelled to follow...
 
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on July 8th, 2016, 4:55 am

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He made it easier for her when he started speaking. She latched onto the words to keep the emotions she could feel radiating off him in check. He was hers once. Hers. And she hated it when he hadn't been any longer. She lost him during the days of starvation and pain, before the slavery, but after the breaking. Nya had always thought in the here and now, never much in the future, until she'd met the man before her. He'd taught her a different way to live, a more forward thinking way, but it had not been something she could sustain without him... and not without the bond.

Consequently she couldn't think of what his presence here would mean for tomorrow or the next day or even the next hour. To her, there was only the right now. So it was a relief that he made himself comfortable, hanging up his coat, and filling the silence between them with words.

"I'm glad Micah is safe." She answered, slightly surprised she had no trouble uttering the child's name. He had the man's hair and eyes, but he bore some sign of his mother as well - in the curve of his cheeks and the roundness of his chin. Nya was glad he was with people that would treat him well. Ghosts of chats previous called to her mind and she remembered snippets of the man before her telling her about his life, his childhood, why he had left his people.

Her eyes widened and she inhaled deeply. His scent was the same. It was comforting, and something about that made her angry. Nya moved, picking up a decently clean bowl and ladling some stew into it. She handed him the bowl, forgetting a spoon, and then began to dish up another for herself. Nya figured he could take a seat in the chair or find somewhere else more comfortable to sit. She sat down facing The Benshira's position on the pile of worn blankets, and began picking out bits of stew with her fingers. She didn't' seem to mind the lack of silverware. Almost as an aside she held a bit of meat up as if to reassure him it wasn't mouse.

"Rabbit".

The Kelvic said, saying nothing more. The vegetables had a distinctive wild flare to them, consisting of things that had gone to seed in her mother's tower garden and what she could gather in the woods. It was almost human in its preparation. It had to mean there was something of that left in her for all that she looked even now uncomfortable in her human skin. Cooking. Shame at the state of the tower. They were all distinct signs, if he were looking for them, of not all being lost to the winds.

And since she'd thrown the windows open, the dust was slowly vanishing from the counters, pots and pans, and floor. Little breezes were flittering about unnaturally, going in directions they normally wouldn't have. It was another sign the Kelvic hadn't been completely anti-social. She was a twice marked Stormwarden and at least that much about her hadn't changed. They were cleaning to please her or to reassure her, most likely chattering as they did so, or for maybe even some other reason lost to someone who could not hear their voice.

Only he could... like a slight dull murmur as if overhearing voices a room or two away. The breezes were vocal. The Unity that linked them filled him with information, some of it straight from her. She was nervous, terrified even, and she wanted to run though she was holding herself stoic. Her mind was in twists and turns and she didn't trust everything she saw. He could tell that even right then she was uncertain he was real. Maybe she'd conjured him up before - maybe many times - to have conversations with in her loneliness or depression.

The fact that she wasn't happy was evident. Nya had always had a lightness to her soul that was now missing. A joy had infused her almost constantly that had drove her to fearlessly explore and ask questions that many would not. That joy had been replaced with caution and even fear. It had made sense, in the end, that she'd been Tallshade once. And that he'd been the most important person in her life even then. He still was.

Nya nibbled away at her food, glad to have something to do with her hands and her mouth. Talking... she wasn't sure she wanted to do that. But she was willing to try, at least with him in that moment. When he asked about her parents she simply shrugged.

"I found the Tower easily. Mother's wards are gone. They were both gone. I found no evidence they were here and dead. I found no evidence that they weren't. I think that big Djed Storm that did so much damage in Syliras hit here too. I think it ruined part of the tower. There are a lot of big trees in the woods that are down. The tower wasn't the only thing damaged. I've been trying to fix it. I'm not very handy with stone though... not yet." Nya said. It was a long string of words, ones carefully put together, and the longest string she'd said yet.

She took to watching him again. When she ran out of vegetable pieces and meat chunks she licked the bowl carefully, animalistically, never taking her eyes off him. Meals were few and far between sometimes so Nya savored them. She wasn't hungry, not exactly, in a wood full of food, but cooking was rare and to be savored even if the seasoning in the stew was not what it could have been in a better culinary hand.

"Why have you been looking for me? Why such a long journey here... now... why?" She said quietly.

Nya's intention was not putting him on the spot. But i she did like to cut to the heart of a matter. The small talk bothered her. They'd never done it before. They had hardly ever wasted words. Touches and knowing looks had often served such purposes. Why. She knew that simple word was a loaded crossbow aimed at him and ready to be released. But she wasn't just putting him under pressure. She was pressuring herself too. Nya wondered if she could bring herself to say his name. She tried thinking it and her mind shied away. She almost whimpered, though outwardly she showed no sign.

Her clear green eyes met his blue-green ones and the questions in them were evident.
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Nya Winters
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Abashai on July 8th, 2016, 12:30 pm

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Mundane activity, the work of simple daily living. The serving of the meal was a blessing in many ways. Firstly, Abashai was hungry. The stew would be the finest meal he had eaten since leaving Syliras. Secondly, it framed their encounter in something familiar. They had cooked and eaten a meal together like this countless times. Abashai accepted the bowl of stew, unconcerned at the lack of utensils offered. He sat in the wooden chair and watched as Nya settled upon the pile of furs. Without hesitation, he too plucked out the chunks of meat and vegatables with his fingers, popping them into his mouth. The stew lacked the tang of spices, but the gamey, wild flavor was more than satisfying to the Benshiran.

Silent moments were graciously excused as they ate their meal, giving Abashai time to study Nya, to reach out and feel for her. Those playful winds returned, errant breezes tending to the mistress' house, examining her guest. As he stared into the bowl, Abashai allowed his mind, his being to stretch. Yes, he heard the curious voices of her zephyrs. No, he did not hear them, he felt Nya hearing them. There she was. His essence found its ex-patriot within the Kelvic. Unity rekindled, and he read the subtle cues emanating from Nya. The Benshiran felt a pang as he sensed her apprehension, how she gripped to her will to keep from fleeing. She doubted her own perceptions. She could not even bring herself to speak his name. His heart wrenched, but he would not pity Nya. That would be an insult, as if he believed the woman, the cat, he had once loved to be forever lost. Abashai would not believe that.

She finally spoke, a stream of consciousness in a voice that he had longed to hear for so long. But it was hollow, lacking the spark of vitality Nya had always possessed. His head bowed again, nodding slowly. The Djed Storm had left many missing, leaving the fate of loved ones uncertain. Yet there was little emotion in Nya's reply.

The Kelvic finished her bowl before her guest, Abashai still slurping at the broth as she finally asked for an explanation of his appearance. In the quiet moments that followed, Abasahai lowered the bowl and met Nya's mossy greens. If she chose to seek, to stop resisting, the woman would receive back the echo from her life-force's origin. She would feel his nervous excitement, concern for her, a beacon of faith and an emptiness that was already finding substance in her presence. As he fixed upon her emerald gaze, Abashai saw a glimpse of her, his Nya, questioning, for a fleeting moment.

He spoke with honesty. "When I...lost you, part of me went dark. I could not light it again. Micah could not fill it, even Yahal himself has left it dead, though I plead with him ceaselessly to fix it. That empty place loomed over all I was, leaving me incomplete. I knew what it was, knew that no matter how I tried to mask it or to cover it, I would need you to make it whole. The memories, they all returned, and I felt the weight of them, and to know those memories meant missing what once was, profoundly. I did not have high hopes of finding you, but I could not go on without even trying."

Even before he had met Nya, before he knew the truth, the gods had laid a path out for him. A path that lead to Tallshade's latest incarnation. They had been driven to follow the will of the Ukalas. After the ruin, there seemed to be no more direction. Whether his search for Nya was indeed an act of his free will, or if it was again just the divine guiding their pawns together again, Abashai refused to consider. All he knew at that moment was that Nya was finally there, sitting in front of him. He took a lesson from the cat he once knew. It would be a moment by moment journey.
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Losing Fate in the Wind (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on July 9th, 2016, 5:25 pm

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She wasn’t ready to stop resisting. There were two reasons. First, she didn’t think the visage before her was real. How many times had she conjured him to talk to and comfort her when she had been alone and afraid – pretending he was really there? This could be one of those conjurations, an elaborate hoax of her broken mind. And secondly, there was a part of her that wanted him to be gone, away, if he was in fact truly there. This life was not what she had planned it to be. The joy of her childhood and indeed the joy of their initial bonding had been a lie. The Gods had other ideas for them in the here and now and most of it was nefarious at best. If he were really here it would mean that he’d come to partake in the madness willingly, and that was not something she wanted for someone she’d loved so much.

His words were slow to sink in. But as they infused her awareness she felt the pain she’d so carefully cast aside rise within her. He’d been the one to break the bond. He’d been the one to break the marriage as well, her Cheva mark vanishing and then reappearing as a muted form of itself, a Lacun mark, tucked beneath her sternum. She’d blamed him then. And consequently the mark had scarring across it, claw marks, where both the woman with her nails and the cat with its claws had tried to erase all knowledge of his existence from her body. Cast aside, her job done, she’d been sent to the Kelvic Institute and then sold as a slave to a wealthy family in Ravok. Her memory was hazy from that time, not because it was particularly brutal or depressing, but simply because she hadn’t lived for a time during that transition. So there was nothing in particular to remember. Not like the joy of before when they were together and life was so full of promise or the horror of their capture and the time of their incarceration.

Even now, staring at him just a few feet away, she remembered. Nya had never truly forgotten. Not like he had – brainwashed and rebuilt into a weapon for the Ebonstryfe. She hadn’t blamed him. It hadn’t been his fault, not really, not after what they’d done to the pair. She’d been part of his breaking as much as anyone else, used as a tool and discarded. In a way, they’d been equally abused. Had he not once killed her and their unborn child at the order of a God, she might very well have born the offspring of her abusers as he had sired offspring on his own tormentor. Micah was a child of the enemy as much as he was a child of the man before her. Nya should have been his mother. But the Gods had other things in store.

She knew the sensation he felt. For her it wasn’t darkness though. It was instead as if someone had cut her heart out and every day she’d missed its steady beat. The hollowness was all in consuming. The cat had seen to it she hadn’t succumbed to it though. And instead the cat had taken her to populated places, introduced her to people who were good and kind, and tried to get her to rebond. But none of them were him. None of the men, women, or children she stumbled across.

Once, after he’d had the courage to bare his soul, she would have comforted him and told him things would be alright. She would have accepted his words and offered shelter and protection and the promise of safety and having his emptiness vanish. Now though, now she just shook her head and uttered a soft bitter laugh.

“You are a fool for looking for me. They don’t want us full up with each other which is how we are happy. They don’t want us together. The past has proved that. This life is just the beginning of many such lives we will live in which they will punish us for the crimes we committed as members of the Seven. I made too many powerful things that made the Gods afraid. And even saying ‘I’ is wrong because you made me even then and stood at my side as I created. We made them. We made them because we were foolish and wanted more for people than the Gods thought people should have. This is what this life was about. They showed us and will continue to show us why things like the Anvil of Souls doesn’t belong in mortal hands. Even now, the Power Cube proves a danger far beyond something we can control together. I thought we could. I was born into this life just as arrogant as I was when I was Alessa and forging all those unforgivable things. We hid them throughout the world for a reason. And in this life we wanted to find them. And they punished us for it. They made me born into this world as a Kelvic because they knew I would need to bond and the only one I would settle for was you. They made me a woman because they know how I could affect you as one. It’s … I… You… “

Nya growled then, frustrated, and rose to her feet in one motion without the use of her hands. She collected her bowl and then his and took them to the sink. She tossed them in with the other dishes that needed tending too but didn’t tend them. Instead she turned, leaning against the basin with its old fashioned spicket leading to some sort of well beneath.

“By being here you will force their hand again. You will make me love you and start saying your name again and forgive all the things of the past. And then they can start fresh again, tearing us apart and into tiny pieces. It’s good you got Micah so far away. They would have used him too.” Nya said, her teeth bared, her eyes wider than they should have been. She looked feral in that moment and even though she was wearing the skin of a human, she looked like the animal she partially was.

“And then how do we fight them? How do we keep what we need to be whole?” She said, taking a deep breath and continuing. “We can’t fight them. They are Gods.” The Forest Cat said, tossing her head and fisting her hands where they gripped the counter by the sink that she still leaned again.
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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
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