Closed Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

After escaping a band of Symenestra, Azira and Sira finally make it to Lhavit

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

The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

Moderator: Luminescence

Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

Postby Azira on February 15th, 2017, 8:23 pm

3rd Winter 516AV
She was bone-weary and hungry. It seemed that the trek towards the Diamond of Kalea had been an endless one and given that they didn't have a wealth of food, they'd been rationing it to ensure they'd have enough no matter how long the journey took. Azira had been the main guide for this part as she had a pretty good idea where Lhavit lay and if she could only come upon her familiar hunting grounds, she could get them to where they wanted to go without Syna's aid. Still, she'd never had to travel on foot from so far afield before and each passing bell without reaching their destination was taking its toll.

Despite the grim circumstances, the huntress was happy. Not only had they escaped from a Harvest intact but they had also grown close in an incredible way. They now shared a bond that no one could interfere with and meant that they now made each other complete. The bonding was bittersweet in their current situation though. Azira had not merely bonded with a Kelvic but also with a Wind Eagle! After all these years of dreaming and wishing, she'd finally achieved her dream of becoming an Endal. However, in a cruel twist of fate, she couldn't enjoy her newly earned status. They were far from home and had no way of getting back any time in the near future. They'd gotten away from the Symenestra but not without sustaining some damage. The former Avora had cracked and blistered her fingers with her own fire reimancy, which had left them aching painfully. Bending them was a world of agony and much of the old skin layer had come off to leave raw red flesh exposed. What had happened to her was minor compared to Sira though. She knew how important it was for her companion to enjoy her true form as a dire raptor and to soar through the air but an arrow to the arm had taken that from her. What was a painful and inconvenient injury in her human form was dehabilitating to her as a bird; it made her unable to fly. The huntress had begged her not to but Sira had shifted and tried to take to the air not long after being hurt and she'd felt the agony and anguish of her bondmate. The moment that the Kelvic had discovered that her wing could not support her, Azira had known about it and felt the depths of her despair.

The new Endal glanced over to her bondmate, who walked beside her. The evening was drawing to a close and she knew that she would have to call a halt soon. It was disheartening to imagine another evening spent brooding by the fire, eating a meagre meal and tending to her companion's injury while trying to remain cheery and optimistic about the whole thing. It wasn't possible for Sira to be fooled by such a facade given the strength of their connection but it was something that remained unvoiced between them, an accepted lie that was keeping them both sane. Azira wished that they could simply go home where they could be welcomed as eagle and Endal and given the chance to settle into the new bond and the closeness it brought. Instead, they could only support each other, drawing on their mutual determination to return to civilisation. It was certainly bringing them closer but not in the way she would have liked.

As Syna began her departure from the sky, she left streaks of oranges and pinks in her wake. The heavens took on a multi-hued beauty that cloaked the mountain peaks and crested the trees of the Unforgiving. There was a slight drop in temperature as night approached but it was still pleasantly warm for this time of year with hardly a cloud to obscure the sight above their heads.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" she announced aloud, her voice loud in comparison to the sounds of the nature around them. "We wouldn't normally get to see it like this, not in these surroundings, I mean. We're used to a different angle, not to mention a different altitude. I never liked how open Lhavit is but I can... appreciate the beauty above sometimes."

It was idle conversation, she knew but it seemed like a good way to coax Sira from her melancholy by reminding her of what was beautiful in the world around them. Shyly stretching her hand across to her bondmate's, she made a move to twine their fingers together. The closeness to another person was still a new experience to her but there was something both comforting and exciting about small gestures like these. Now that she'd let her voice ring out, she kept talking. It was aimless chatter, inane comments about the weather, their surroundings, the relaxation and comfort they would enjoy in the peak-top city. The words themselves didn't matter, the young woman merely concentrating on their closeness and the rise and fall of her own voice.

The sky's hues had deepened to reds and purples when her brain finally registered what her eyes had been regarding blindly. She trailed off mid-sentence and came to a standstill. She looked and looked again, staring in fact as she tried to make sense of what was before her.

"Sira," she whispered. "I know exactly where we are. We can't be more than a bell away from where they stable some Okomo at the bottom of the peak. We're almost at Lhavit!" She practically skipped forward, dashing to examine spots on the nearest trees. She moved into areas of undergrowth, parting moss and bushes and laughing happily to herself.

"Sira, we're almost there!" There was new energy to her step, a vibrancy in her features as her excitement spurred her on, following a path that she recognised.

With renewed vigour, they reached the spot in a little under a bell when they sky had darkened considerably and Syna's presence was gone. The huntress flung open the door of the little stable to see a fire burning in stone lined nooks beside each of the stalls. There were two Okomo wearing blankets that were munching away lazily on some sort of grass that had been left for them. Here was an animal that she had once dreaded the sight of but which now she hugged happily around the neck, laughter and sobs mingling as tears slid down her cheeks. The beast seemed less than pleased to have a small, dirty redhead clasping it around the neck and tugged its head back from her grasp, doing its best to back into the corner of its stall.

"No, no, it's okay! I won't hurt you! Here, have a nice treat! See, nice treats," she cooed as she gathered some treats from the recess where they were stored. The foodstuff was shoved up under its nose, almost thrust into its mouth in her eagerness but after a chime of eyeing her suspiciously, the animal nibbled at them tentatively. When it seemed placated and less wary, she made a move to collect the tack that was needed to ride the animal, including a special saddle that was specially made for the Okomo.

"Come on. If you can get the other to take some treats from you, I'll show you how this stuff goes on," she told the Kelvic with a broad smile. "Then we'll get you up on it and won't that be fun! You can have a taste of your own medicine for a change," Azira joked.
Image
Nari | Common
Template courtesy of Khara
4 out of 5 active threads

Image
User avatar
Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
Words: 907811
Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

Postby Sira on February 18th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Image

The long trek had not been particularly pleasant for Sira. Miserable, in fact. Though her leg wound was minor, it stung and ached with each step. It was a pain she could manage, thankfully, and Azira's determination to reach civilization and her attempts to keep Sira in a good mood really did help. What made her the most miserable, however, was her arm. The wound throbbed, and moving it sent arrows of pain up her arm and into her shoulders. Worst of all, Sira could not fly. Even shifting was painful, though at night when the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, she sometimes chose to do it anyway. Her feathers kept her warm, and when fire was hard to come by, Azira could nestle under her wing and sleep safe and protected from the elements.

Her new bond with Azira was a beautiful thing. It had been so long since she had felt so complete. And though she was miserable, the constant flow of positivity from her bondmate kept her going. She knew Azira was in pain as well, and she knew that the bond was not everything they had hoped for. They could not soar the skies together, and Azira could not enjoy the comfort and status that came with being elevated to one of the Endal. But they would, eventually. And being stuck on the ground together, being forced to take care of one another, was giving her an appreciation of her bondmate that she'd never truly felt with Aidara. She'd loved Aidara, yes, but her relationship with the healer had been strained throughout their entire time together. There had always been problems, and they were both such different people. It pained Aidara to even kill a deer, and Sira was a predator. More often than not, Aidara would stay behind and continue the duties she had performed as an Avora healer, while Sira went out to hunt by herself. Azira, however, was a kindred spirit.

Unexpectedly, Azira spoke up, drawing Sira out of her reverie. At first the kelvic didn't know what she was talking about, until she followed the woman's eyes skyward. Her question elicited a half hearted shrug from the kelvic, and Sira trudged on quietly, enjoying the sound of the woman's voice but otherwise remained unresponsive. A hand reached out, intertwining with her own, and that finally brought the kelvic fully out of her trance. She smiled, liking the warm feeling of her bondmates touch, and looked skyward again. "Yes, it is beautiful. Strange how different it looks. It's the same sky that we see from home, but from here, in this place so far away, it looks like a completely different one." From that point on Sira's cheer continued to rise, and Azira's idle conversation was not one sided. When the former Avora stopped so suddenly Sira almost tripped on her own feet, so caught off guard was she. They were almost there? "Yes, let's hurry!"

Ignoring the ache of her wounds she followed her bondmate excitedly as they made their way along an alien path. Soon enough the building came into view, and without hesitation Azira flung open the doors and went inside. Sira noticed the light of fire and hurriedly followed. Inside she realized it was a stable, much like the horse stables in Wind Reach, but there were no horses to be seen. Instead there were two of the strangest goats Sira had ever seen. And Azira was.. hugging one of them? She fed the thing some sort of food, and then proceeded to saddle it, telling Sira to saddle the other.

Sira just stood there, staring at the strange creature with it's large horns, chewing it's grass. "You want me to ride that? It's a goat." She tried to sound disgusted by the idea, but their bond revealed the truth. There was the slightest bit of fear in her voice, and Azira could feel it from her. Sira stared at the Okomo, which stared back at her. Normally, such a creature would have been nothing to fear at all. Dinner. Sira was a Wind Eagle. She literally ate goats for breakfast. But she couldn't do that now.. she was hurt, and the goat knew it. Sira was certain of that. Why else would it stare at her with those weird eyes. It was taunting her, because it knew she could not harm it. Ride it? It would likely gore her with its horns if she got too near. If she were a goat and had a helpless Wind Eagle at her mercy, that's exactly what she would do.

"I will not be riding any goat."

Image
Image
Nari | Common
Italics are Telepathic
User avatar
Sira
Player
 
Posts: 963
Words: 737381
Joined roleplay: July 4th, 2010, 3:42 am
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Wind Reach Seasonal  Challenge (1)
2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

Postby Azira on February 20th, 2017, 12:00 am

The prospect of reaching the city had them both buoyed up with excitement. However, the huntress felt the change come over her bondmate as they entered the stable and Sira saw the Okomo for the first time. The enthusiasm stuttered and died, an indignant disgust in her voice as her fear behind it was betrayed by the bond. Despite her obvious discomfort, Azira found the situation exceptionally amusing. It was nice to see that the woman was not entirely unshakeable and it was pleasant to allow her to experience the fear that she so often caused in others. Even the former Avora had been terrified by the Kelvic the first time she'd encountered her but this one was funnier. It made sense to be frightened of a Wind Eagle because they were dire raptors who could rip you in half in a mere tick. While the Okomo did have horns and had the potential to be dangerous, they were tiny creatures compared to the form into which Sira could shift. The opportunity to tease her was just too good to pass up.

"Of course you won't be riding a goat. Don't be silly," Azira scoffed, radiating an innocence that had a thread of mischief underneath. The other would know that she was planning something but not have a sense of what was coming. "You'll be riding an Okomo, which is what this is. It is most definitely not a goat, as I'm sure you're relieved to hear."

The huntress cackled with laughter, tightening the saddle straps of her future mount as the creature eyed her warily.

"These are animals they use in Lhavit. They're a bit like Wind Eagles for us. People use them for all kinds of things and you don't harm an Okomo. It's like if someone harms a bird at home. You don't do it and if you do... well, the consequences are deadly. So please, don't do anything to them. It'd put a bit of a dampener on things if you went and got yourself executed," she explained.

She fixed the reins in place, adjusted the height of the stirrups and stepped back to evaluate her work. She could fit a finger comfortably under the straps so she knew they weren't too tight. She'd had a little bit of practise at this but compared to the Lhavitian hunters who were accustomed to the beasts, she seemed like a chick as she fumbled with the gear.

Glancing towards her bondmate, she registered her tense and rigid posture. She hadn't made a move towards the other beast and had instead stood woodenly as Azira prepared her own mount. She knew that Sira wasn't being stubborn. She could feel the fear being broadcast and she suddenly felt guilt for her levity. The redhead approached her Kelvic, tilting her head to the side in her bird-like way. She held out both her hands towards the other woman, moving to take one in each hand. Provided the other didn't resist, she'd clasp their hands together, close the gap between them so there were only a few inches between their faces and hold their hands to her own chest.

"Sira... she murmured tenderly. "You know that you can trust me. I hate them, can't stand them and I never thought I'd be happy to see an Okomo. But look what we've been through! Look how we've suffered! You want to get to Lhavit, I want to get to Lhavit and without the Okomo it's an awful trek and the terrain is a nightmare. They're docile, they're easy to control and I'll be beside you the entire time. It might not be keen on you, sensing what you are, but it'll only take a bell," she explained earnestly, moving to kiss Sira's hands.

"I'll be with you the entire time and then soon enough, we'll be able to have a warm bed. I'll have to exchange some money but thank the gods, I had it with me or we'd be in bother. But after that, we can get a warm meal, maybe a drink of something strong and then we can rest in a way we haven't done for days. It's just a big dumb animal. You just need to give it some food and then we'll get this tack on, all right? You can see what it's like to tack an animal that isn't a dire bird," she added with a wink.

She made coaxing noises of encouragement, trying to get her bondmate to grab some of the Okomo treats in order to placate her own future mount.
Image
Nari | Common
Template courtesy of Khara
4 out of 5 active threads

Image
User avatar
Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
Words: 907811
Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

Postby Sira on February 20th, 2017, 1:46 am

Image

Sira grunted indifferently at Azira's teasing, though the movement did jar her arm, reminding her that she really did not want to walk all the way up a mountain in her state. Still, she eyed the goat.. the Okomo warily. It eyed her back, staring at her with a sinister expression on its face, just like the horses of Wind Reach did. Except this animal, she could not eat. At least, if she did eat it, she had to be sure she was not caught.

"Wait... they actually execute people for hurting their goats? That's... that's just silly. What if it falls off a mountain or something? It's not like it can fly to save itself."

Absolutely ridiculous. To think that a goat held the same station as a.. what did it just say!? The goat made some sort of grunting noise, startling the wind eagle and causing her to narrow her eyes in suspicion. The beast was taunting her now? She could still slice it in half with her sword. Was it stupid, or did it know something she didn't.

Azira, noticing that Sira was still refusing to approach the monster, moved over and took the kelvic's hands, drawing them close together. The tender action immediately relieved much of the tension Sira was feeling, and she realized that she was just being silly. She let out a hesitant sigh and lowered her hands, glancing over at the Okomo again.

"Fine. I'll... I'll give the goat a chance. But if it bites my hand off I'm blaming you!"

The Okomo did not bite her hand off, and Sira found the act of saddling it to be quite interesting, once she got over the close proximity with the creature. It seemed to be used to having strangers handle it, and while it was certainly no Wind Eagle, it was smart enough to know how to cooperate. Sira knew first hand what it felt like to wear saddles and have straps tightened on her body, so she was surprised that the Okomo did not put up a struggle. By the end of it she was feeling more confident about the ordeal. Until she swung onto it's back.

Riding the thing was like trying to balance on a windy ledge. How did people do this? Was riding an eagle this bad? Surely not. Eagles were far more graceful than this goat.

"This... is.. terrifying," she said, only a few steps out of the stable. "How do people ride these things up mountains? How are we going to ride these things up a mountain!?"

Image
Image
Nari | Common
Italics are Telepathic
User avatar
Sira
Player
 
Posts: 963
Words: 737381
Joined roleplay: July 4th, 2010, 3:42 am
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Overlored (1) Wind Reach Seasonal  Challenge (1)
2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Bittersweet Freedom (Sira)

Postby Azira on February 24th, 2017, 1:25 pm

The huntress couldn't help smiling at Sira's questions as they were very similar to the ones she had asked herself during her initial visit to the city. She had had a hard time understanding why the goat-like creatures were so important in Lhavit. She couldn't say that she completely understood it now but she certainly had a better grasp of their importance now. At one point, she had not been able to see why Wind Reach kept horses but Zhol had helped her to see that they had a vital function, particularly on the steep slopes of the mountainside. Like the horses, the Okomo served a similar function for the Diamond of Kalea, except that the sacred creatures were more fit for the terrain than a horse would be. They were less likely to stumble, more at home on the ridiculous steep terrain and she did have to admit that they were incredible animals because of such feats.

"The Okomo are very important. They bring things up and down the mountain, they're sure-footed. You're not far wrong calling them goats. They're as ridiculously agile as the sky goats around Wind Reach. They can walk up terrain that they shouldn't be able to and for Lhavit, there are no Wind Eagles so they're pretty vital," she explained, noting the way the Kelvic was eyeing her prospective mount. She looked prepared to slaughter it if she had the chance; her expression was far from friendly and the huntress rushed to deter her. "It's different if an Okomo fell off a mountain. That's a freak accident. Now if someone pushed it, that's not. The Lhavitians need them and so they mind them closely. Just... don't do anything to them, okay? I'd quite like for both of us to survive long enough to actually get home."

Whether her explanation or her tender actions got through to her bondmate, the dire raptor showed herself willing to work with the animal. She felt like pointing out that the Okomo wouldn't bite her hand off because it wasn't a meat eater but she thought it wiser to hold her tongue. She showed the Kelvic where the saddle needed to be fixed in place, trusting that the woman would know how to tighten the straps comfortably; she was well accustomed to wearing a saddle herself and as such was more aware of how an ill-fitting harness could chafe. Azira checked that she could comfortably place a finger between the strap and the animal's body before showing Sira how to fix the reins and the stirrups. Overall though, while the new Endal provided a guiding hand, she allowed the other to do most of the work so that she got a feel for what she was doing.

She stepped back while the Kelvic swung confidently into the saddle and laughed her head off at her reaction. She moved back to her own mount, put a foot into the stirrup and propelled herself upwards, swinging a leg over the saddle. She settled herself into position and the creature started on its way without any prompting from her; it knew what was expected of it.

"You have to learn to move with the animal. When it steps, its back moves a certain way. You get tilted to one side and then the other. You need to loosen up a little. Hold onto it with her thighs, not too tightly but firmly. You keep your back straight but try to be a bit flexible. You hold the reins but don't go pulling on them for dear life because the Okomo will react and move accordingly. If you pull the reins, it'll make it stop, that's how it seems to work," she told the Kelvic. "It knows where it's going so it can get there itself without having to do anything but if you do need to control it, knowing how to stop is pretty important. If you need to turn it then you pull the reins to the side you want because it turns its head. It'll go where its head is pointing. Don't worry, it'll all be over soon," she assured her.

The pair of Okomo moved leisurely towards the increasingly steep incline that led up to the Amaranthine Gate. The huntress focused on keeping her balance on the thing, remaining straight but not being so rigid that she couldn't adjust her body when necessary. She could understand her companion's discomfort. Sira had obviously never had need to ride on a Wind Eagle but the thing about the dire birds was that you didn't usually have to put up with the way their back moved when they walked because you were typically airborne. The raptors could walk of course but it wasn't something they often did when they had a rider on their backs. If they needed to move a short distance, their rider could dismount and do the walking instead. Still there could be turbulence during a flight and as such, the huntress had some practice maintaining her balance. Of course, she didn't have as far to fall from an Okomo as she would from the back of a Wind Eagle.

The animals started the upwards trek, finding their footing on the uneven terrain and making steady progress. It was difficult to judge their progress as the deepening darkness made assessing their surroundings difficult. She could see the lights of the city overhead, a city that never seemed to stop and she could only watch as they inched towards them, wishing them closer all the time. She just wanted to reach her destination and relax.
Image
Nari | Common
Template courtesy of Khara
4 out of 5 active threads

Image
User avatar
Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
Words: 907811
Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest