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Volunteering at the Orphanage

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 4th, 2016, 4:54 pm

Image

Timestamp: 64th of Summer, 516 AV
Location: Sunset Quarter Orphanage

It shouldn't have been such a strange occurrence, but the amount of Sunberthians working together at the orphanage in front of her was a sight to see. There were volunteers swarmingin and out of the building, carrying the sick in slings, or blankets, or sometimes just on their backs. There were some outside, carrying pails of water in, and some inside, carrying pails of...various substances out. Through the old, open windows she could see the sick laying in rows on cots, sleeping rolls, or the rug, while slews of doctors, herbalists, and healers knelt over them, attempting various cures or simply treating the symptoms.

Aladari felt out of place. She wasn't suffering terribly (or at least, not yet, just some minor fainting and irritation), but she also didn't have any ability to heal or help care for anyone. But, knowing that she very well may become one of the countless bodies on cots, she knew she needed to help while she could. So, Aladari pushed her way into the orphanage and began her search for a task.

The medics, and all the help for that matter, were unguarded from the sickly air. As far as anyone could tell, the disease was not contagious, so there was no need to waste precious time and money on precautions such as gloves or masks. Only the proper doctor, Petrious, was wearing his signature mask.

Besides the medics themselves, there were those who took vital signs. They listened to the heart and lungs, ans assessed the pain associated with the large black sores. This was nothing Aladari could do, for they used foreign tools and strange code words to report. There were some running herbs or alchemical potions here and there, but Aladari found even this difficult to do, because she could not identify any of the items. At last, she wandered out into the backyard of the orphanage, where she found the most horrific sight of the evening, and her job.

In the backyard, the dead were scattered everywhere, with some in neat rows and others in piles. Some were marred, their skulls crushed, or ribcages open. Others looked more peaceful, with just a pale, washed out look on their faces and matted hair to betray their unfortunate state. Aladari almost gagged at the smell of the flesh, but held back. A nearby woman with a kindly face and sweat dripping down her forehead smiled at Aladari. "You come out here to help us?"

Her voice told of her education, and that she was likely not of Sunberthian origins. However, she fit right in with the group, moving her hands skillfully as she wrapped the dead in long linen sheets and passed on to the others, who would haul them away to their graves. "We could use you over here with me, if you think you can handle it." The last remark was delivered with a cheeky grin, and a sly wink. Of course, in the face of a challenge, Aladari could not back down, and so she strutted toward the woman, eagerly dropping to her knees. "What I do?"

"Common speech"
"Vani speech"
Last edited by Aladari Coolwater on August 18th, 2016, 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
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Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 4th, 2016, 11:54 pm

"Pardon." Said Grim as he moved out of the way, letting two middle aged men carry out what seemed to be a body trough the narrow door frame. His grayish eyes followed them as they moved the carcass over where others, wrapped in the same manner, lay. The men around him shot weary looks towards the undertaker, who's appearance was equally, if not even more, intimidating than that of the only current doctor in the building. His face... mask, was certainly something Grim wasn't fond of seeing early in the morning.

"Good day doctor, you reek of death." Said the undertaker, making the obscure man pause his work for a moment, only to continue the very next, recognizing the voice.

"Ah, it is you boy, you look pale as one of these bodies, maybe you should come to my clinic tomorrow, I have just the cure for you." Retorted Petricious, his mask muffling his raspy voice ad he spoke. Grim could only picture what cure the un-doctor had in store.

Nimbly, Grim stepped in the back yard, where numerous bodies lay, waiting for the burial most of them probably won't receive. The scent of death was indeed strong here, although it wasn't anything new to Grim. "Oh, you call that slaughterhouse a clinic now? Gosh, your sense of humor has really improved doctor" The undertaker spoke fluent sarcasm, the last word rolling off his tongue.

"Instead of being useless, come help me..." Perticious called, beckoning him with his one free hand. In front of him, resting on a table dyed crimson, lay the body of a young man, still alive, barely though. His torso was exposed, revealing that numerous black sores. "Hold his arms." The doctor commanded as he shoved a piece of wood between the patient's teeth, telling him to bite. Dropping his scythe to the stomped grass, Grim obliged. Although he had a job with counting the dead, and seeing that their bodies be disposed of, he had plenty of time to spare. As he held his hands, the man gave him a pleading look.

"You girl, come here and assist me." Petricious called, his voice commanding and his tone impatient.
Last edited by Grim Ravenwood on June 23rd, 2017, 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Grim as an Eiyon, appears to undead as either something to be fearful, or weary of, depending on their personal power. To others, he might seem like a mystery, or just odd.
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Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 8th, 2016, 12:43 am

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"First, we need to make sure that the doctors haven't overlooked some sign of life," Explained the woman as she worked. "Ear to the chest to listen for a heartbeat, and a hand over the mouth to feel for breath." She demonstrated, kneeling close over the body with her head dangerously close to the dead man's chest. She closed her eyes, listening intently. Then, suddenly, she popped up with a smile far too wide to be appropriate.

"Nope! This one's really dead. That means that we get to wrap this one up and prepare it for burial. Or burning. Most likely burning. But when they're burned, the fire will pop and splatter if the bodies still have liquid in them. So, we get to take out the organs now!"

Aladari looked down at the figure in mild disgust. I have to touch it? She thought.

The woman undoubtedly saw her expression, as she stifled a laugh. "You can just watch this go-round."

Her hands moved almost more quickly than Aladari could comprehend. She reached for the thin, sharp knife and sliced the man's chest in one swift motion. Then, she swapped the knife for a big pair of clippers, similar to a gardener's. The second she took the clipper's to the man's rib, Aladari felt the blood rush from her body. Her head spun and her nose was filled with the coppery, sharp scent of spoiled blood.

When she heard Petrious's gruff voice calling for "girl", she took the opportunity without a second thought. "I think that I am the girl he is called." The woman merely smiled and nodded, continuing her work joyfully.

Relieved, Aladari quickly moved to the table where Petrious was working. The situation there was hardly better than the dead bodies, though. On the table there lay a man, barely recognizable as alive, grasping a piece of wood between his teeth. His chest was spotted with giant black sores, which appeared painful if his grimace was any indication. Her heart went out to the man, and even though there was one boy already holding the man's hands down, Aladari placed her own overtop of his. She looked at the man whose eyes were pleading with the three people around the table, and saw nothing but fear.

And rightfully so. Petrious was notorious, and his image was no less ominous than his legacy.

"Is going to be okay." She promised. "I saw dead bodies. You are not like them."

Okay. So it was mostly the truth. But lying to a dying man hardly counted.

Aladari reached for reassurance, for her or the patient she didn't know. She addressed the boy across from her, because despite his pale skin and dark attire, he was still more humanly than Petrious.

"He'll be okay. Yeah?"

"Common speech"
"Vani speech"
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 8th, 2016, 3:59 pm

"Make sure to hold him down while I work." Petrious ordered, his guttural voice impatient. When he spoke, it was as if he could barely hold his excitement and wait till he started working. Grim himself couldn't help but feel slightly disgusted by the man, wishing that he'd go and meet his Goddess already.

The girl that Petrious called came the very moment. The undertaker was slightly surprised at that, people don't usually come to him willingly, even if they were hit by some terrible illness, and in fact needed a doctor. Only the men that were so desperate, or stupid, to participate in the slaughtering in The Pits were his 'regular' customers. But at the end, one really didn't have that much of a choice, given that he was the only one in Sunberth that had a silver of medical knowledge. There were even rumors he hired people to make it stay that way.

As the doctor searched for his trusty scalpel in the pocket of his coat, Grim observed the other assistant. A couple of years younger than him. Didn't look like a fighter, and didn't seem to have any sort of weapon, odd for someone of her beauty. From the way she spoke to the unfortunate man on the table, she wasn't from these parts. If he had to place a bet, he'd say that she is a Vantha. Her question got Grim to raise his eyebrow, who was now seemingly in deep thought.

"You forget who this..." There he paused, trying to remember the Vani term for doctor. "healer be." Grim said, a half smile crossing his lips. His Vani was a bit rusty, but it was clear what he meant. Petricious lived up to his reputation, and with him treating the man, chances of 'being ok' were quite slim.

"Stop blabbering, I require concentration." The doctor said, cutting him off. The steel scalpel in his hand glinted dangerously, its sleek edge ready for work. Petrious lowered the blade slowly, seemingly enjoying the expression on the man's distressed face. Large beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, only to halt over his fear-widened eyes, stopping at his thick brow. The doctor pressed the sharp edge of his scalpel against the surface of one of the black sores, the largest one at his torso, located at the right side of his ribcage. The very next moment, the blade pushed in, penetrating the skin, before moving downwards. The wood between his teeth cracked as muffled screams of pain filled the room they were in.

"Girl, wipe the wound." Petrious ordered, pointing a gloved finger towards a clean white tissue. As soon as he removed the scalpel, vile black fluid, mixed with the crimson of blood, started pouring from the gash. Even though Grim spent most of his life surrounded by death, the sticky liquid reeked so badly, that it even made him frown. The undertaker noticed that the girl wasn't used to this kind of work, thus he said. "I'll do it."

Being half Isur, he was quite stronger than a regular person, thus holding the weakened man's two hands with his one wasn't really a problem for him. Taking the tissue, he wiped as much as he could with it, the previously white cloth now matching the color of his robe. Discarding it, he took another one. "I be Grim. What's your name?" The Undertaker asked, all in effort to move her attention from what he was doing.
Last edited by Grim Ravenwood on June 23rd, 2017, 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grim as an Eiyon, appears to undead as either something to be fearful, or weary of, depending on their personal power. To others, he might seem like a mystery, or just odd.
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Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 8th, 2016, 8:55 pm

Image

Aladari was no less than stunned when she heard the Vani fall from the boy's mouth. It had been years since she had heard the sweet, flowing language, and even in his broken form, it was a piece of home that nearly moved her to tears. She laughed shortly before answering with a tight smile.

"Ah, that's true. Although I sometimes forget on purpose. It's easier to handle if I pretend he'll be okay."

It was then that the doctor griped at them, causing an unnatural silence to befall the area while he worked, interrupted only by the squealing of his patient. Aladari winced as she watched the goo spill from the now-open wound and spill over the man's chest. Already, she could feel herself growing weak again. So, when Petrious called for her to wipe the wound, her wide eyes and nervous expression must have been plain to see. From there, her partner quickly took the cloth. "I'll do it."

Aladari watched as he wiped away the wound, holding the man's folded arms with one hand, despite his resistance. As effortless as it was, Aladari began to question his skill. He can't be using the Flux, can he? A magic user? In Sunberth?"

Before she could think too hard about it, he was speaking in Vani again, and Aladari was promptly distracted, her eyes shifting from their dark, depressed color to a bright, curious green. He introduced himself as Grim. She recognized the word, and felt its meaning was almost ironic, though she couldn't be sure whether or not it was intended, so she stayed silent.

"I'm Aladari. It's nice to meet you. And, uh, I appreciate you doing the work, here. I'm only really used to working with dead fish, and organs you can scoop out on a spoon." She had meant it as a joke, but even to her own ears, it sounded forced, and dark. She glanced up at Grim to judge his reaction.

"I mean, uh, I'm a fisher. Not a surgeon. But it looks like you do this for a living?"

"Common speech"
"Vani speech"
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 10th, 2016, 6:11 pm

While he worked, Grim observed the girl, finding her form to be a more appealing sight than that of the dark fluid running between his fingers, dying the tissue black. His stormy gray eyes locked with hers as they changed color. It always fascinated him, the way eyes react to emotions of the Vantha people. If it weren't so easy to read what was on their mind, Grim would have wished to have the same ability. Or was it? He couldn't tell anything from their now vivid green color. Realizing that he had been staring for a bit more than he should, his gaze dropped down, towards his task.

"Aladari..."Grim repeated, testing the word on his tongue. Hs didn't know if it had a meaning or not, but it had a nice ring to it. "It be nice to meat... meet you also." Grim said, chuckling silently at her joke, hoping he understood it properly. Dark was the humor he preferred, although making a more audible laughter would probably be improper given their surroundings.

The man underneath them, the one being cut by Petricious probably wouldn't laugh even if he understood what they were talking about. It was very likely that he would die, and Grim would have told him so if Aladari hadn't given him that last shred of false hope.

"Something like this. I be putting bodies underground for a living." Grim said, finishing scooping out the dark fluid. He never learned the word for undertaker in Vani, but hoped that she would understand with his vague explanation. "So as you see, none of us here are surgeons, isn't that right Petricious?"

Underneath his lether mask, there was no reaction from Sunberth's only doctor, save from a barely audible sneer. Instead, he continued working, puncturing another of the sores. Tears rolled down the man's pale cheeks as he let a few sobs escape from his throat. Grim could only imagine the pain of just having the sires, evident by the frowned expressions of the other cursed people in the room, but to have the cut up? "I come here to count the bodies for burial, it be job." Grim said as he struggled to find a clean tissue. "[color=#FF0080][b]But why a fishman come here?
Last edited by Grim Ravenwood on June 23rd, 2017, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grim as an Eiyon, appears to undead as either something to be fearful, or weary of, depending on their personal power. To others, he might seem like a mystery, or just odd.
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Grim Ravenwood
You reap what you sow~
 
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Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 15th, 2016, 4:00 am

Image

Aladari almost cringed at the meat joke. It was horribly macabre, but then, so was the situation. Joking with Petrious was a daring thing to do, and gave Aladari an uneasy feel. She felt as though the doctor might choose her to lay on the table next if she laughed. However, the doctor gave no response, so she belatedly snorted in laughter and smiled.

More than his ability to create laughter in such a situation, she was impressed by what he called his profession. Burying bodies, hauling them about, counting the dead for your whole life would have to crush all but the strongest souls. He must have been powerful in mind as he was with his hands. She wanted to express this amazement, but she didn't have the words- in any language. Her awe outweighed any words she had.

Instead of failing at words, Aladari simply shook her head, and stared at him for a moment. How?

It was only after at least a chime that she remembered he had asked a question.

"I am a fisher by trade, but I'm also a believer in the Gods, and I know that if I didn't help here as best I could, they'd strike me down with the curse, too. I'm sure they will soon enough, anyway, but I'd like to be in their good graces when it happens."

She was soon interrupted by another round of muffled screams and sobs from the man beneath her hands. She faked a smile for him. "You are doing the best." She assured the patient. Seeing Grim searching for a clean tissue, Aladari let go of her patient's hands for a moment to grab one for him. She handed it over, then returned to the patient, running her hands through his hair in a motherly fashion. To distract herself, Aladari kept talking as much as she could.

"So you said you work with the dead. That has to be hard. Have you done it your whole life? And how does one get into that line of work? Surely it wasn't your choice."



"Common speech"
"Vani speech"
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
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Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 15th, 2016, 11:12 am

Grim was starting to get annoyed by the fact that there was no clean tissue. That and because the vile black fluid covered his entire hand. Cursing mentally, he wondered how can Aladari take the god awful smell without cringing. A wave of relief came over his mind as salvation came in the form of another piece of clean white cloth. At the moment, he would have given a finger just for a mask like the one Perticious seemed to constantly wear.

However, the undertaker didn't see the point in trying to convince the man that he was going to be alright. With his current condition, coupled up with the wounds that the doctor seemingly didn't plan on closing, at least to him, it was painfully obvious that he was going to die. If he had to guess, he'd give the man half an hour the most, if not less.

Although the thought of pointing it out crossed his mind, he dismissed it, it was probably better to.

"If you be fisher, that means you be Coolwater hold also member?" He asked, recalling the different Vantha families and their ties to certain trades and crafts. "No be surprised, my father live most of life in north." He added, remembering all the times his father would take him on the lap, and tell him stories of the city of Avanthal and its inhabitants. "Before he take my mother and come be grave keeper here, he be in Avanthal. The reason I know Vani, is because he teach me." Grim said, lightly chuckling. One couldn't say that he knew Vani exactly, but communication was seemingly possible.

"He loved Vantha language, Vantha culture, Vantha city, and mostly Vantha women." Grim paused, only to smile at his ow joke before continuing. "He tell me how city be beautiful and people be friendly.

What Grim was about to say next, was one if the few things he knew how to say fluently in Vani. The sole reason behind this was the fact that his father said the same sentence so many times, that even their pet crow would learn it. "He told me that during the homecoming festival, while he was laying in a small boat, Morwen's lights appeared, accompanied with so many stars, that their number could rival that of the snowflakes covering the ever green pine forests around Avanthal. And as they shone down, he thought that giving half of his life was a small price to pay if only the night could be longer." Grim said, finishing the well practiced statement. "[color=#FF0080][b] If I get mizas enough, I will go and see for myself one day.
Last edited by Grim Ravenwood on June 23rd, 2017, 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grim as an Eiyon, appears to undead as either something to be fearful, or weary of, depending on their personal power. To others, he might seem like a mystery, or just odd.
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Grim Ravenwood
You reap what you sow~
 
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Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 20th, 2016, 6:58 pm

Image

One brow raised at the mention of the Coolwater Hold. He was right, of course, and any Vantha would've been able to see it plain, but common men never knew. He must've seen the lifted brow, or the slight shift in eye color as she nodded, for he quickly explained.

"No be surprised. My father live most of life in north. Before he take my mother and come be grave keepeer here, he be in Avanthal. The reason I know Vani is because he teach me."

He added a slight self-depreciating laugh, which caused Aladari to smile, despite the horrid smell and deathly conditions. Grim was kind enough for a man so close to death, and the words of Avanthal and Vani made her feel a deep comfort, like coming home after a long spell away.

Aladari could feel the blush on her face when Grim mentioned his father's love of Vantha women. She quickly bowed her head to hide it, but the blend of pink and red in her eyes was too distinct to really hide.

As Grim recited the story, Aladari closed her eyed to the world around her, and let the flowing sounds wash over her like the waves at high tide. He spoke with passion, and yet it was as well memerised as if it were etched onto the back of his hand. And perhaps it was, she thought. People had done stranger things on Sunberth, for less reason.

When he was finished, Aladari opened her eyes and sighed, overwhelmed by longing and love for her true home- that which she had never seen. "I am goin' one day, too. I wanna see Avanthal for me self, an' kiss Morwen's hand. I am gettin' money for boat, then I am goin'. You will come too?"

Though the Common felt ugly in her mouth, she wanted to be sure he understood. It would be hard enough for both of them to survive the trip North; if they went alone they stood almost no chance. And, of course, it wouldn't hurt to have a storyteller with her to entertain either.

She smiled again (she couldn't remember the last time she smiled this much sober), and glanced down again...just in time to see the man beneath her hands convulse and his eyes roll back. She gasped, her head spinning around to face Petrious.

"What you do?" She almost yelled. Indeed, the woman she had been working with earlier turned to look with a suddenly solemn face. Petrious made no move that he had ever even hears her. Aladari placed her hands all over the body. She ran one hand through his hair, grooming him frantically, while her other hand patted his torso. She hardly noticed the black, rank goo covering her hands.

The man shuddered once more. His groans grew louder and then faded out into silence.

"Is just the pain? Yeah? No problem. He just pass out of pain."

She didn't even believe it herself, but she had to say it. She looked about for a bucket of water, nervously touching the Gnosis on her shoulder. If only she could get him cold water, then he would wake up.

"Common speech"
"Vani speech"
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 481
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Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 26th, 2016, 9:53 pm

Grim watched with an amused smirk plastered over his face as Aladari attempted to hide the redness of her cheeks, one that also reflected in her eyes. "I guess my father was right when it came to some things. The undertaker added chuckling lightly.

'See Avanthal for herself'? That must have meant that she was born elsewhere. It would have been hard to believe that she left the fabled utopia his father described him and came to this hellhole. Grim couldn't imagine anyone voluntarily coming to live in Sunberth. Yet there was the example of his parents.

"It just be fancy way for telling that he be lying in boat in night. Vani have way of doing that." Grim said, noticing that the resistance of the man underneath him is wavering in strength. He certainly didn't have much time left. " I love go to Vantha city, luckily work be abundant for me in Sunberth." The robed man joked. Talk about dark, while a misfortune for regular people, death is what kept him fed.

Just before he were to ask about the actual trip, an accusing 'what you do' left the Vantha's lips. The one the hiss was directed at, being Petricious, continued his work for another moment, before ceasing. At this point, Grim noted that the man was no more trying to release his hands. The undertaker observed Aladari as she refused to accept the man's death. It struck him as odd, and no, not the fact that people clung to life so much, but rather the fact that to her, he was a complete stranger. Perhaps Sunberth and its 'culture' left more an impact on Grim than he wanted to admit. But one thing was certain... "You seen be one of few good people in this bad town." He said, his broken Vani even harder to discern as he lowered his voice.

"He's dead." Stated Petricious as he wiped his tools with the rough cloth of the dead man's trousers. That much was obvious, or at least to the two men it was. He rose his scalpel, inspecting its now clean surface. "Lasted more than I thought." The mad doctor added with a voice that implied, that underneath his mask, he was surely grinning.

The undertaker followed Petricious with his gaze as he left, his lips pulled in a tight line. Of course he had no intention of helping the dying man, but rather just needed help in chopping him up. On some level, he understood his thirst for knowledge. Although, it was twisted, and his methods are far from something he would agree on. But then again, this was Sunberth.

The undertaker made a step forward, closer to the Vantha. His hand, who's bluish tint betrayed his Isurian blood, moved over Aladari's, only to move it from the corpse. "He be gone, he had no chance of living." Grim said, not quite sure how to comfort one who seemed to be so distressed by something he faced every day.

"Boy, what's taking you so long!?" Came the shout from the door, not drawing any particular attention, save for Grim; who's head snapped back upon recognizing who it belonged to.

"You counted 'em yet?" Jebbediah, the grave keeper of Dust Bed asked.

"Uhh, yeah."

"So, 'ow much?"

Grim's reply came late as he thought of an answer. "A lot."

"Funny." He said. He didn't laugh.

"Doesn't matter anyway, more than we can bury. I ain't paying you to to talk 'em pretty girls, come we need to lit the pyre." And with that he disappeared.

Grim quickly picked up his scythe from the ground, holding it low in effort not to cut anyone in the stuffed room. "I guess we see us other time?" Grim said as he offered a half smile, before turning to follow his employer. "Or you won't see me, if you're lucky..."
Last edited by Grim Ravenwood on June 23rd, 2017, 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Grim as an Eiyon, appears to undead as either something to be fearful, or weary of, depending on their personal power. To others, he might seem like a mystery, or just odd.
User avatar
Grim Ravenwood
You reap what you sow~
 
Posts: 120
Words: 101757
Joined roleplay: June 30th, 2016, 1:54 pm
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