Solo A Piece of Home

An all too familiar face from Kaie's past has appeared!

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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A Piece of Home

Postby Kaie on July 27th, 2016, 4:39 am

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3rd day of Summer, 516 AV
Early Morning



The Cliffside Grotto was a place designed for all sorts of people throughout the vibrant city of Riverfall. It was for lovers plucking free bright flowers to present to their significant other, ducking prying eyes to steal kisses among the blooming foliage. It was for the grieving who contributed to its beauty with green thumbs and sprouts to serve as living memory; for the commoner traversing its winding stairs and pathways to observe the wonders the vista provided. It was this renown spot Kaie deemed merely acceptable to enjoy a drink.

The Myrian woman was perched precariously upon an rocky ledge high up in the gardens off the stone-carved path. Her legs hung recklessly over the drop, occasionally swinging the breeze that sometimes carried with it tendrils of mist from the nearby falls. A sunkissed hand brought the waterskin filled with wine up to her parted lips. The fruity alcohol trickled down to cast its flavor across her palate, quenching both desire and soothing a reeling mind.

So much had changed in one day in the wake of one life-changing encounter. It felt cliche for her to admit that one man had truly altered her entire world as she understood it. They met as foes upon a mat years ago, but bonded body and accidentally in soul upon the very beaches of this city. Kaie knew the Kelvic to be long gone from her touch...and yet she could sense him somehow. They were joined in a way the young woman was only just beginning to discover, and between the Grotto's breathtaking view of Plunge Pool Bay and the unrivaled wine in her possession, there seemed no greater way to process the recent events that had been involuntarily joined to her.

Kaie took another sip and breathed in the summer air. Her amber gaze cast downward toward the expanding blue surface far below, ears drunk on the sound of the water that crashed upon it. Syna's morning rays ignited a yellow blaze upon the edges of gentle ripples as she navigated her way up over the horizon. Seagulls gawked through the air, screeching with craned necks and crooked wings as they glided about the bay. From her position she could see sailors trudging up and down the docks to and from ships, which rolled and rocked gently and water moved beneath their hulls. She should've been on her home shores by now. The memory of her craven bow-out had her nursing her drink again.
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A Piece of Home

Postby Kaie on August 13th, 2016, 7:09 am

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After all these years one might've thought Kaie to have found an outlet besides drinking. It seemed to be one of the very few parts of her that didn't waver regardless of time or place. There was solace to be found in alcohol. She could find a quiet spot with her drink, and let herself go numb in the face of the world. It was a temporary fix but a fix all the same. The somber Myrian took another swig, legs swaying carelessly over the edge with the breeze. The pounding sound of the Bluevein River dumping into the Plunge Pool was a roar enough to silent most negative thoughts. Now and then, when the breeze blew her way, mist from the falls would waft up to glisten upon her cheeks. The little things were what mattered most in dark moments like these.

Kaie let her eyes wander back to the gorgeous expanse of sea beyond the city. A ship that had dotted the horizon when she first arrived to the Grotto was now sailing into port, its bright blue sail puffed outward proudly. The Myrian's brow furrowed the closer it came into view. Upon the largest sail was a great silhouette of a painted shark. I know that symbol, curious mind announced to none but herself. Gaze dipped first to the wine skin in her hand, then back toward the incoming ship. She blinked a few times. Nope. It's definitely there. Kaie squinted, a hand coming up to block the sun from hindering her view. So far forward did she begin to lean that she had to remind herself she was upon a ledge.

The familiar shift drifted toward the docks within the Plunge Pool, drawing its deck occupants somewhat into view. Figures she assumed to be sailors jogged along the ship, readying it for its arrival. It was impossible to decipher individual features. There was something strange about the one silhouette that knelt near the bow, like a traveler seated as forward as possible to get the best view of a new city for the first time. She knew the stance because she had once assumed it many years ago. Her ship came from the shores of Falyndar back when her life was nearly complete, and nothing laid before her but barbarian cities to explore and worlds to conquer. Now those were some simple days she really longed for. Yet, now that she reflected upon them, an epiphany struck her.

Gods dammit. That's the same symbol the ship that ferried father and I over here sailed.

Just like that the Myrian was possessed by something else. Thoughts did not exist in her head. The only sensations that entered her awareness were the widening of her eyes, the adrenaline coursing through hungry veins, and the sound of her boots hitting the ground. Kaie kept pace as she sprinted down the winding tiers, arms pumping, lungs craving air as exhaustion threatened to set in before her destination was reached. She all but collapsed by the time she finally reached the docks. The mad woman had only just recovered by the time the ship approached the docks. And when it finally sailed close enough for her to get a good view despite the sun, she nearly dropped to her knees.
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A Piece of Home

Postby Kaie on August 13th, 2016, 7:11 am

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Gritty voices hollered to other sailors on the deck, ropes were tossed overboard, and before long the gangplank was extended down to the docks. The figure kneeling toward the bow now stood tall among the experienced Svefra on board. Long black hair billowed behind her shoulders, and her face was turned toward the stunning view of Riverfall. One of her sunkissed hands rested upon the sword sheathed at her side. Kaie's lungs seemed to almost repel air altogether. She'd know this stranger anywhere.

Kaie remained paralyzed where she stood on the docks. Sailors unloading precious cargo growled commands at her to disperse from their way, but the warnings fell on deaf ears. Wide amber eyes were set upon the leather-clad warrior woman descending from the ship, whose gaze seemed focused on the enormous waterfall that lended Riverfall its namesake. Time for Kaie passed at an agonizing pace. Finally the woman turned her head and immediately froze in place. They locked stares. She could feel the words that wished to spill from her lips build, but her mouth ran dry. The stranger composed herself first.

"Kaie?" The question was posed in their shared native tongue, and hearing the language spoken to her alone was enough to keep her speechless. She managed a stiff and slow nod. The woman moved quickly toward her with that same cautious, neutral expression. She paused again when the pair were nearly toe-to-toe. Kaie licked her lips, attempting to properly pull herself together. The name that had been on her lips was finally spoken. "Jeida." The right hook that rocked her nearly sent her down upon the docks. Kaie's balance wavered, but when she drew her head back to face her younger sister, defiance was far from the shores of her mind.

Jeida's face contorted into something of raw, unbridled fury like the walls holding back a sea finally broken down. Fists rained down toward Kaie, and the rattled woman could do nothing but evade them with redirections and blocks. Her left hand caught one left-handed attempt, and soon after her right hand did likewise. They stood there for a few ticks, Jeida struggling against her as she maintained a solid grip upon both her wrists. Then, just as quickly and violently as it came, the anger dissipated. Kaie could feel the fight leave the arms in her grasp. When she did release them, the sisters wrapped their arms around one another so tight it was a wonder they didn't crush each other.

For the first time in a years, she felt the hot rush of tears trailing down her cheeks. They blurred her vision and made her feel weak. Vulnerable. Kaie felt the subtle tremble of Jeida's shoulders, a testament to the fact she was not enduring this unwelcome rush of emotion alone. For several chimes they remained locked like that where they stood on the docks. And all the while Kaie choked out the same words over and over in their Myrian tongue: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
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Kaie
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A Piece of Home

Postby Kaie on August 13th, 2016, 8:04 pm

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At last the tight embrace ended. The pair stepped back from one another, both rushing to compose themselves as if tears had never been permitted to run down their cheeks. "What are you doing here?" Kaie asked with furrowed brow. Jeida glanced down momentarily at the wood beneath them, scoffing her boot upon it. "I'm making my pilgrimage. Same as you after you completed your Blooding," the younger of the pair responded plainly. Kaie pressed her lips into a line.

It was a common thing for a curious Myrian to cross the Suvan Sea, to explore and conquer the barbarian world, and to spread the light of Myri through worship and sacrifice. Their father had often visited the world beyond the jungle to make his mark as a mercenary. The matriarchy made rising through the ranks as a notable male a challenge, and thus he sated his ambitions every few years by spending a season or two abroad. His knowledge and rapport among the barbarian people had made him the perfect guide during Kaie's own pilgrimage long ago. Jeida was making the same trip alone. The guilt blossoming within her was nearly incapacitating.

"Come," Kaie coaxed her away from the docks and Jeida reluctantly fell in stride. "Let me get us a proper barbarian drink." They took to the streets, weaving through the colored bodies of the plentiful Akalak denizens as they searched for a tavern. Try as she might, it was impossible for Jeida to hid the awe written all over her face. Fables come to life, Kaie mused with a twitch of her lips. Before long the pair of Myrians entered the notorious Blue Bull. It was quiet, and barmaids and tenders were bustling about to complete their opening duties before the crowd set in. Kaie led Jeida to a small table far in the back. There was much left unsaid, and she thought it best it be voiced as privately as the public venue allowed.

"Make it a bottle," Kaie suggested to the barmaid that quickly sauntered there way. The woman was certainly no stranger to foreigners visiting the city, but the employee seemed noticeably on edge before the pair of Myrians. Perhaps it was their garb and reputation that tended to precede them. Then again, it just as well could've been the hard, distrustful stare of Jeida resting upon her. In any case, the barmaid nodded and raced off to accommodate the request.

"You never came home," Jeida wasted no time accusing her sister now that they were seated and relatively alone. Her dark eyes rested upon Kaie's, demanding answer. "I'm sorry," was all Kaie managed before her sister was speaking again. "We thought you were dead. You were supposed to be back in a couple seasons, and then the Djed Storm came..." Her dark eyes seemed to go elsewhere, jaw setting as evidence stacked. Her face turned to one of disbelief and pain. "The Djed Storm happened and you still didn't come home!" Kaie remained silent yet the pain mirrored in her own stare. "Well? Jeida's fist came to rest upon the wooden table, giving the returning barmaid a scare that almost sent their bottle smashing upon the floor.

Kaie handed the woman 10 Gold Mizas, and once the bottle and glasses were set upon the table, the barmaid made haste to rid herself of their company. The elder of the sister's took the bottle and poured each of them a glass. What was she to tell her? "Is father--?"
"No," Kaie crushed her hope before it could be truly voiced, the tone of her words coming out harder than she had initially intended. "He's dead." Jeida sat back in her chair while her older sister took a long sip of the red Riverfall wine. "Tell me how." Kaie certainly couldn't deny such a request. She set her glass down.

"Everything went as planned. We left after my Blooding and reached this city by mid-spring. Father rounded up his Drykas contacts, men he'd done mercenary work beside in the past, to escort us through the Sea of Grass to Syliras. We were set upon in the grass plains by a winged breed of people called Zith. I built his pyre, and before he succumbed to his wounds, he gave me this." Kaie unsheathed the gladius from her side and offered it across the table with both hands.

Jeida steadied herself and took the blade carefully, a nostalgic smile threatening to appear on her face as she admired it. "It was always a beautiful weapon. I understand why he loved it so." Jeida held onto it for a few moment before she relinquished it back to her sister's possession. To put the rest of the bar at ease, Kaie immediately sheathed it once more. "Our father is dead because I was stubborn. I made him take me along and begged him to show me this world. I took him from you, from our siblings, from mother." There was no forgiveness to be found in her younger sister's eyes. In fact, there was no message plainly read at all. "Did he die an honorable death?" Kaie nodded. When Jeida spoke again, her words were reluctant yet fair in nature. "He always brought us gifts when he came home from his journeys. He knew these lands, Kaie. Father would've come with you on your pilgrimage whether you wanted him to or not."
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Kaie
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A Piece of Home

Postby Kaie on August 29th, 2016, 4:17 am

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Kaie ran her hand through her hair, shaking her head despite Jeida's generosity. Years had passed since they last saw one another. It was questionable either sister knew the other anymore. Yet even now her younger sister could read her expression clearly. It was as if that fateful day in the Sea of Grass had been bells ago. "You haven't touch your wine. Your first time on a ship didn't make you that soft, did it?" The humor intended to saturate her tone failed to land in light of her mood. Jeida's gaze darkened briefly and the corners of Kaie's lips twitched in mirth. Someone spent a good part of the trip leaned over the side. Her younger sister seized the bottle off the table and poured the contents into the unused glass.

"Smells of weak barbarian shyke," Jeida scoffed as her nose hovered about the cup with doubt riddled within her eyes. Kaie exhaled a laugh and leaned forward to place her forearms upon the table. "That's because it is weak barbarian shyke. Gods, our grog would petching kill them." Both sisters laughed at the revelation, minds drifting to the fearsome Taloban drink served in Durak's Tavern. There had never been a shortage of stories after a night with the stuff. Nothing good every happened when the grog came out, but violent puking was an almost certain fate for a boozer.

Jeida tipped the wine to her lips slowly as if still not convinced it wasn't some sort of rare poison. Her brow furrowed. Her tongue lashed out to lip droplets lingering on her lips. "Not bad." Kaie smiled and made gesture toward her sister, awkwardly clearing her throat as she attempted to move toward lighter subject. "You're not so scrawny as I remember." Jeida took another drink from the cup though amusement was reluctant upon her visage. Something in her had snapped again.

"Some of us stayed behind to serve our Goddess Queen." The elder of the pair was not quick enough to hide the wound. Jeida pressed together her lips and turned her gaze away. "Three years done then?" Again, her sister nodded. Part of her couldn't help but wonder if, in some twisted way, Jeida had chosen that more righteous path to spite the sibling that she believed dead: to explore only after duties to their people were complete. "Skin any skurak?" This time Jeida couldn't help but let the corners of her mouth twitch up in a proud smile. Her hand came down to rest on her own sword. "A few."

Silence persisted between them for a few ticks. There was so much to be said, and yet where were they to begin? What right did Kaie have to demand answers to her questions about home? Years of not knowing and fearing the worst had gripped her fiercely. The inevitable conversation could not be kept at bay. It was time to face the darkness of the unknown and cast within it the light of knowledge. She could only hope she would not regret the short burst of courage that surged from within.
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Kaie
Player
 
Posts: 1569
Words: 1635789
Joined roleplay: May 9th, 2013, 3:13 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Myrian
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 7
Featured Character (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1)


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