Completed The People's Court of Opinion.

A sudden crowd following the People's Council peaks the interest of those in the Syliras Theatre.

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

The People's Court of Opinion.

Postby Vaerin on January 19th, 2017, 2:04 pm

30th of Winter, 516 AV


This very day marked his entrance into the world. For most this would be a reasonable excuse to be happy. Or to spend time with family. For most it was a time to celebrate the survival of another year. Dra-Vaerin never put much emphasis on his birthday. His mother did her best to make it special for him growing up. Jealousy and confusion over the lack of interest, and exclusion from other's celebrations had marred his childhood memories of this day. He looked up to the patch of sky from the courtyard of the Syliras Theatre's lower level - he managed to procure such a prime spot to stand by arriving very early. "Just remember to be thankful for the blood that courses through your veins. This would be the will of Veritas."

He had lacked a proper opportunity until now to explore the city since arriving. Trying to find accommodation, and a job to sustain himself had taken up much of his time. It seemed like in order to earn a career in the performing arts was to get patronage from the Knights and perform in this very theatre. "Not so unlike back home, is it? Just more open and bright, nowhere near enough fabric either."

There was a sense of levity that felt much like the Cobweb. The thought of that academy brought on extreme pangs of homesickness. Suspending himself from the silks and creating moving art with his body was about the only time Dra-Vaerin had ever felt any semblance of peace if he was honest. What he wouldn't give to find a corner of this city in which he could properly practice his dances. Stretching could only do so much to stave of the desire for movement his body and soul craved.

But he was not here to dwell in the past. Not today. He was determined to engage himself with this new world and learn as much as he could. Just at this moment he focused in on a show that was causing quite a euphoric reaction with quite the diverse range of children and their parents for the last twenty or so minutes. Whatever the act entailed didn't entice him over. He felt himself too old to really engage with the mirth that was being inspired by the antics of the actors. But that didn't seem to matter all that much, as it finished shortly after it had caught his eye. As the final bows were taken and the troupe departed from the stage, an officially dressed man walked up to where the principle actor had stood a moment before. The entire courtyard fell to a hush as the members of the People's Council walked into Dra-Vaerin's sight, taking their place behind this official.

"Fair people of Syliras! The People's Council have taken it upon themselves to tour the streets to hear the people review the Hunt and Feast that took place in the Market. Please step forward, in an orderly fashion, and relay to them your thoughts and feelings! We wish to make this a permanent fixture of the calendar if that be your will!"

Dra-Vaerin murmured an utterance of surprise in Symenos at this announcement. Such a marvelous city this was! Such an event in a place with a population as staggering as that of Syliras! He shuddered to think of all the effort that must have gone into the organization of such an event. Something of this nature would be easy to achieve in Kalinor. Here though? Truly it was mindboggling!

He stepped back into a shaded corner at the very edge of the now swelling crowd as people seemingly materialized around him from all directions. The throngs pushed by in a staccato rhythm to have the opportunity to state their piece about such a grand display of not only community but food. This was not something he wanted to involve himself in. So many people in such close proximity put him on edge - even if he knew his bone structure was nowhere near as delicate as a full-blooded Symenestra.

Truthfully, Dra-Vaerin did hear about the event. But he knew that his presence would not have been well regarded due to his dietary needs. The Symenestra councilor had explained to him that most of the other races found Symenestran cuisine thoroughly unappetizing. "Better to not make a scene and not attend than insert oneself into a situation because of their own selfish desires."

Seeing such an interaction between those that administrated and ran the community, and the people reminded him of the closeness of his people. It brought a level of joy to his heart to see something like this. So he stood there, looking into the crowd, and the area around him. A soft, crooked smile twitched to life from beneath the wrappings that partially veiled his mouth. This was as good a gift as he could think of receiving for his birthday: looking into the excited and smiling faces. Occasionally his eyes made contact with others in the crowd: to which he would divert his gaze and bow his head quickly as possible. It was a force of habit. He did not want to appear rude by gawking, or draw attention to himself. He would be mortified if someone thought him rude.
Last edited by Vaerin on February 27th, 2017, 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The People's Court of Opinion.

Postby Vaerin on February 7th, 2017, 6:14 pm

Thankfully nobody seemed to pay him much mind. There was a certain level of freedom that came with the anonymity of living in a place where nobody knew him. One that he had never been afforded growing up. The small population of the Symenestra did mean that more or less everyone knew of everyone else: even if there was an outward façade of not having knowledge of the inner dealings of the webs. The rumor mill in an environment like that could be particularly vicious.

As a result, the isolation he felt being in Syliras did not quite negate the sense of levity in the young man that had been a new experience. Levity was not the word that many would associate with Dra-Vaerin: yet to him, and if there were an individual in Syliras that had known him prior to arriving, there was an unmistakable difference in his overall demeanor. He felt optimistic.

"Perhaps the first time I can ever afford to let myself feel this way."

Today was a bright one for the small man. This newfound freedom to be something other than a lesser, and reminded of it at every turn was exhilarating. Though, he would never show such a feeling in a way that would make him appear uncouth. It was enough for him that he felt this way at all. Even if it marked the first birthday he would be away from his mother. He imagined it would not have been an easy day for her either. In many ways, the two of them were each other's anchors. She had received just as much insults as he had from some of their kind for allowing herself to bring Dra-Vaerin into the world. His mother shrugged off those words in a way he wished he could. In a way that he felt himself incapable of doing. Once more he internally chided himself for having such a thought on a day that was about celebration.

So to did he have to admit the man she married was a good man. He had helped them both in their hour of need. He was never expressly warm to Dra-Vaerin as he was his own progeny; but he provided for, and never harmed, either of them. Though, he was not sure if there ever really was a genuine romantic love between the two. Moreso an abiding loyalty and friendly closeness.

Looking through the courtyard he briefly held the gaze of the Symenestra member of the People's Council. A vague expression of recognition crossed their features. An act that Vaerin was unsure how to appropriately respond to. They had been informative, but the youth was unsure as to whether their motivation for doing so was from an altruistic place. It seemed more likely to him that they viewed him as little more than a dra, who would only serve as a burden or public embarrassment if not prepared sufficiently.

He stepped forwards tentatively. Did he truly wish to talk to them? They were here on business. He truly had nothing to add about the event other that he thought the very idea of such a festival to be a brilliant idea. Surely though, judging by the enthusiastic gesticulations of those that spoke to the council there was not a lack of that sentiment. Nor did he particularly think spending time around his kind was what he wanted for himself that day. All he saw that causing would be an avalanche of dark emotions he had no desire to partake in at this point of time.

He decided to continue to walk through the crowd. He was still not sure as to what end this would serve, given his decision not to pester the People's Council. Whilst it was very noisy he did pick up on parts of conversations. Some was mundane, idle gossip. Another was the adorable interaction between a young girl and her mother engaging in a debate about what to do next after they talked to the pretty woman on stage. However, there was one snippet of information that he overheard that made his brow furrow.

"Bloody good food it was."
"Indeed it was. Almost makes up for the lack of winter weather this season don't it?"
"Mmm...Makes me wonder what is going on up there. S'pose that it is only fair that the Vantha and her chosen get what's coming to them for this."

While even one such as himself was aware of the weather being odd for the time of year that it was, he was not fully aware of any measures being put in place about the goddess of winter. What could that possibly mean? Last he had heard was that there was a desire to question the Vantha about what was happening. Had something changed that he was unaware of?
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The People's Court of Opinion.

Postby Vaerin on February 25th, 2017, 6:36 am

Dra-Vaerin tried to listen in to this conversation to get more information about the situation. However, it didn't seem like any really useful information would be discovered from this dialogue. The two discussed how bad the weather was going to be for the crops mostly, then some light banter about this unseasonable weather and chafing. He was about to leave entirely when one of them finally said something of value.

"How d'ya think they will...y'know, deal with em?"

That made the young man's blood run cold. Suddenly the Theatre didn't have the same warmth he felt earlier. It felt a little dangerous now. Like he had made a wrong turn down a dark alley in the middle of the night. The fear of what might happen caused his heart to beat faster. The meaning of the words were stark in their portrayal of the situation. The young Dra didn't want to believe what was being implied. There was no way that such a thing could even be considered surely? His head felt light. It felt like bile was rising into the back of his throat. Dra-Vaerin had to leave. Immediately.

He felt eyes on him as he quickly made his way through the crowd, trying not to push or step on anyone's toes. Not that it was entirely avoidable.

Dra-Vaerin made a beeline for the noticeboard near the entrance to Syliras. He needed to check it. He needed to see what was happening with his own eyes. He reached it much faster than he expected. He ignored the perspiration that bubbled to the surface of his skin. It clung to his clothing, it stung his eyes when it slid into them. From the blurry, salty stinging sensation he rapidly blinked away he scanned the board. He knew that the news had to be there. He cursed the overly crowded board. Where is it? WHERE IS IT?

There was a yellowing piece of parchment with very official looking writing on it. This must have been it. A quick scan of the document confirmed his fears. "Put to death".

A ragged, shallow breath escaped his mouth. He needed to go home right this instance. He felt that all the eyes of the city were on him. That they could see his father in him. They had to have known. He quickened his pace to as fast as he could walk. He couldn't run. That would draw attention to him. He already felt the sword hovering over his neck, he didn't intend to give it a reason to cut him down.

--

He was at his door now, his hands clammy and uncontrollably shaking. He couldn't get the key to get into the lock. "Just open. Just get in the cursed lock and open."

"Why won't you bloody work?!" he hissed at his trembling hands, his eyes completely clouded over by the tears that poured out thick and fast.

It took him several more tries to get his apartment key to slide into the elusive lock. He started laughing uncontrollably, his small frame shuddering with each sharp, derisive "HA" that expelled itself from his mouth. He pushed the door open with a surprising force that sent him stumbling into his tiny house.

Vaerin knew slamming the door was a bad idea. So rather he slid behind it, letting his weight force it shut as he sprawled out onto the floor. He sat there sobbing for what felt like three bells, just trying to make sense of what was happening.
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The People's Court of Opinion.

Postby Vaerin on February 26th, 2017, 9:48 am

It seemed as if life, maybe possibly the gods themselves deliberately dealt Dra-Vaerin bad hands at every turn. He had arrived at his destination set on discovering the identity of his biological father less than a season ago.

And now...now there was the very real possibility that his father may not be alive. Executed for the sole crime of being born into a specific race and alive at the wrong time. Truly there was no crueler fate that he could think of. To try and form an attachment with the other half of his heritage right now was sheer folly at best. Outright suicide at worst. He felt a crippling defeat take hold of his admittedly fragile heart. Dra-Vaerin could not stop the assault of thoughts that told him that his life was meaningless and that all he would ever know was hardship and disappointment. He only knew half of who he was, and where he came from. That half may have shaped a large majority of who he was today: but it did not stave away the longing to fully understand and know who had sired him. How did this man shape the way he was? He wanted to see him for himself: to know of the Vantha ways. He may never know them now. His mission thwarted before it even had a chance to begin.

Truly though, he accepted that there was every possibility that his father had died long ago. Mizahar was an unkind place. Yet prior to now it just seemed like a very vague, unlikely possibility. More of an innocuous pondering of potential outcomes. Inside he had felt such resounding assurance in the notion his father was alive somewhere out there. The young man steadfastly believed that it would only be a matter of time before he was able to untangle and connect the thread that inexorably linked him to his father. Yet now such a dogmatic belief had been thoroughly shaken to its core by the harsh reality of life here. There was a sudden and very concentrated hatred for his father's people. Therefore, a hatred that extended to him for existing. This was not a foreign concept to the young Dra. Rather it just reaffirmed his notions of being an undesired abomination born from a union that may not have ever been genuine. After all, he did question if the man that sired him truly loved his mother like she said he did: why had he never returned to Kalinor? Had he never thought of her again or what might have been from their dalliance? What of any relatives that may never have known about the truth of his time spent in Kalinor?

His only solace at the moment came from the fact that he had been rather silent about himself and his heritage ever since arriving. So there was still a sense of mystery about who and what he was that cloaked his history. This was done out of a desire to ground and stabilize himself in the city before attempting to make himself known. It had turned out to be a very prudent decision in the long term. What a god-forsaken turn of events this had turned out to be.

The unfortunate man kept sobbing, thinking of the corpse of a man that looked like him: with eyes that shone a molten shade of gold over the love he shared with his mother whenever he gazed at her tender face, and inky hair that carried with it such a spectacular gloss that shone like a prismatic diamond. Part of him was surely dead, or would be should a full blown war erupt upon the Vantha and their matron. He desired nothing now but to be home with the only thing that loved him. The only real thing that existed for him: the love of his mother. This was a selfish venture that surely wouldn't lead to anything but his demise. Who had he been fooling? He was not the sleek hero of the children's tales who used his ingenuity to entwine and seduce the world to his every whim. He was a gullible fool. Nothing more than a harried gust of wind that threw itself against the mountains, hoping to bend them to its will. That was to be his legacy when he surely died in this hostile world: unmourned and alone. There was no place for him. Not amongst the Symenestra, not amongst the Vantha. Certainly not in the putrid, lofty stonework that he found himself languishing away with. Surely before long, someone would realise that he was half Vantha and report him. Even if he had no connection to them ever in his life, he was still marked as belonging in part to Morwen. Guilt by association. He was sure he would be crushed like a spider beneath a boot before the season's end. Dra-Vaerin's destiny was not to set the world aflame was it?
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The People's Court of Opinion.

Postby Vaerin on February 27th, 2017, 12:27 pm

Soon thereafter the outpouring of emotion stopped. For the moment at least. It was all outside of his control. He had to ground himself lest these emotions completely envelope him and do something drastic. Viratas would not look kindly upon the poor young man should he have parted with his blood so willingly. He could not make his life forfeit when it he felt deep down it was not his time, nor served a purpose. This was to be his grounding force without his mother, or really anyone that made him feel secure. His god. Whether his web appreciated his life or not, he would bring them honor. His piety to his kin was his virtue. Perhaps it always had been.

He picking himself up off of the floor, walking over to his bed and wrapping himself in the sheets. His breathing was still shallow and rapid: a natural response to being in such a volatile emotional state. However, this physiological effect would only serve to heighten his emotions. A life spent dulling his emotional reactions, and trying to maintain an even facade had taught him that much. This was why he missed being able to dance as much as he did. That would have given him something to do, and distract him from his thoughts.

He inhaled deeply, feeling the air rush through his open mouth and impregnate his lungs. They filled until it felt like they would burst. Closing his mouth (his cheeks puffed outwards - a childhood quirk he never really outgrew), he held his breath for four counts. He slowly released the trapped air, it whistled in a slow and consistent stream from his nose for two counts (His cheeks would also deflate in time with this - a correlated childhood quirk that stubbornly persisted). He repeated this process. Deeply inhaling, this time for five counts; exhaling for three. Then six, and four. All the way up to ten and eight. The only thing he focused on was his breathing. It took a concentrated effort to keep his overactive and overly critical mind centered on just this one activity. However, years of continued practice made it easier for him to achieve this. By the time this breathing exercise was complete he had managed return himself to a more calm and detached position than where he had been before. He may not have had a strong connection to either his father or the Vantha: but Viratas knows, the links forged by blood were more tangible and strongly forged than he or any mortal could recognise sometimes. His father had assisted in giving him the miracle of being born. For that he could be grateful for. He knew he desired to see and establish a strong connection with the Vantha (preferably with his father and his kin if possible). He also knew life was unfair. The way he saw it was if he was meant to have that meeting in his life time, it would happen. He could only do so much to manifest his own destiny. What he was doing was the best he could at this point in time.

Two scriptures from the Viratassa often brought him a level of transcendental peace. He would often say them aloud when he was alone to center himself. Sometimes in the Common tongue, mostly in Symenos. It seemed the right time to speak them, as right now he needed as much assurance as he could get that life would find a way. However since he had no-one to help him with this: as he had many times previously, Dra-Vaerin would have to draw from his own inner fortitude.

He would say these two passages in his native Symenos. He missed hearing it spoken freely and often. It would also reassure him of his own connections and community that he fiercely defended in his own manner. Dra-Vaerin's interpretation of the Viratassa was a very peaceful, but deeply held one.

As he quietly spoke them, he could almost feel the power of the words refortify the wells of inner strength he had. It was like donning a freshly polished suit of armor after the end of a long battle, in preparation for the next.

"By nature, by love, by creed, by the will of gods the chains of blood are made. Cursed is the creature who severs them in selfishness. The life of the body is in the blood, and it is the blood that binds the soul and flesh. For by blood comes atonement and mercy."

With this, he felt his eyelids grow heavy. He was spent now. All he needed now was rest. He lowered himself until he laid completely horizontal on his 'mattress'. In his last waking moments he had two thoughts. The first was to go to the temple at the earliest convenience and offer a small sacrifice of his own blood to give thanks to Viratas for his lessons.

The final thought was of himself, much younger. Just a child of four or maybe even three. Staring wide eyed in amazement at the first Notok he could remember. The aerial dancers put on a display that had left him awestruck in the enraptured way that only children knew. He didn't know or care to know if people knew he was not full blooded Symenestra. It was one instance that he remembered vividly where it did not matter. There was festivity and excitement in the air. Shrill and elated shouts of joy. His mother laid a caring hand upon his tender head. The act pushed his sleek jet black hair over his wide purple eyes. Yet even this mild irritation did not shift his attention. It was the first time that he really felt any conscious understanding of his culture: and it had set the groundwork for how he wanted to enmesh himself in the tapestry of his people. With that, sleep overcame him.
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