Completed Let Them Pray

[Samuel Longwell]

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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]

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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on April 11th, 2017, 6:58 pm

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21st Winter 517

His hand in hers was awkward and uncertain. Aladari couldn't help but wonder when his last intimate contact might have been. When had he last been hugged? Had his mother stroked his hair when he was young? Did he have even a furry companion to snuggle at night, or was he cold?

Despite the uncertainty, Aladari did not retreat. It would be good for him too, she reasoned, if he was alone as well to find hope.

Following his directions, Aladari closed her eyes.
At first the ambient sounds around her were distracting. The whistling of wind, the quiet moaning of wood, even the whispers of Samuel's breathing suddenly seemed loud. Luckily, they were all soft sounds, and they faded when she listened to herself.

It was strange, as she had never truly listened to herself, but now that she did, the sounds were familiar. Her body hummed with life in the quiet. Her ears rang with a single, almost pure tone, her breaths dragged in and out through a snotty nose, and her tongue made soft clunks as she swallowed. Even though she'd never paid attention before, somehow she knew those things had always been there. Letting them fade was more difficult, but she was happy with the small amount of awareness she had achieved, and so she let Samuel go on when he began to speak.

"Lady Priskil..." Samuel prayed with both a strength and reverence, but also a dash of fear. Aladari could feel his hand tighten around hers as he spoke, and she squeezed back in reassurance. His prayer was short, but she felt within it everything he needed to portray. Her prayers, however, were closer to an art form, and she couldn't help but drag it on.

"Lady Priskil," She offered up to the Goddess, "Like Samuel said, we's havin' dark times 'ere. But I's thinkin' you could be the light. I don' ask for protectin', even though tha' would be nice, or for bein' a guide, as much as I need tha' too. If you could offer us jus' hope, it would be all I could ask for."

Because her voice carried in prayer, Aladari left out any mention of Morwen or their current situation. Surely the Goddess knew already, and just to draw her attention would be enough.

Aladari had never been good at ending prayers. Generally, she ended with a sacrifice, or a "Morwen bless", but that hardly seemed appropriate here. Unsure but not uncomfortable, Aladari merely added, "Thank you," to both the Goddess and Samuel.

Word Count424
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Let Them Pray

Postby Samuel Longwell on April 14th, 2017, 11:29 am

Samuel Others


Al seemed to follow Samuel's instructions fairly well, he noticed her breathing start to slow and some tension in her body seemed to dissipate. Her words almost danced as she prayed, a stark comparison to the simple plodding march of the knight's supplication. Once her prayer had finished he sat quietly for a few more chimes before opening his eyes and releasing her hand. He smiled reassuringly at the young woman, then gestured to the room around them.

“When I'm feeling low, coming here has always been the best solution for me.” Samuel said. “The air feels still, kind of heavy. I can't really explain it but there's a peace here that I have never found anywhere else. Sitting in these pews, meditating and praying. I would have been utterly lost without this place. So this temple will always be special to me, the area of calm in the bustling city.”

The knight turned to face forwards, staring up at the stained glass windows of the temple. He traced the stonework with his eyes, thoughts far away in a different time. Never again would Samuel hear Danny's bright laughter, or play him at cards till late in the evening. The memories of their friendship were, as usual, bitter-sweet. A small smile played upon his lips, but there was a deep sadness in his eyes. Better these memories than those of their last moments together.

He glanced over at Al, he was glad she had calmed down now. But panicking like she had done earlier could get her killed, she needed to be able to act quickly and carefully even under pressure. The knight wanted to help. If she was willing, he thought he knew what could do the trick.

“I could teach you to meditate if you want lass?” Samuel suggested. “It can sometimes help to take a step back from the world around you and collect your thoughts. I find it helps me to think more clearly, and get control of my emotions. Maybe that's something that would help in a time like this.”
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on May 5th, 2017, 10:59 pm

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21st Winter 516

She knew she shouldn't. Every chime she spent here, every word she spoke was another incrimination. But she was so starved for friendly contact that she couldn't say no.

Of course, she reasoned, it's in the interest of safety anyway. She had already revealed herself to this room, so if anyone had intentions to kill her or turn her in, they already had the means. What she needed to focus on now was hiding from any newcomers and hope for the best.

Trying to hide the accent in her words, she made her best effort to mimic his pronunciation of the words. If she could sound like a Syliran, there would be less doubt all around. She repeated a conjunction of his words slowly, acting like an Echo to Narcissus.

"I think control of my emotions would help in a time like this." The words sounded awkward on her tongue, pronounced so sharp and crisply, but there was less Vani in them than in her usual slang. Making a silent promise to herself to work on the accent, Aladari moved on.

"I don' know much abouts meditation." She confessed. "My head is so busy. I can't 'ear myself think, specially not stop thinkin'."

Aladari put her hands in her lap quietly, growing self-conscious of her own lack of discipline and control. "Is it really somethin' you kin teach? How to think?"

OOCSorry for such a short post. I couldn't think of much else to add here, and it's been so long I don't want to wait any longer.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Let Them Pray

Postby Samuel Longwell on May 9th, 2017, 4:58 pm

Samuel Others

OOCNo problem at all! Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what to write.

Samuel listened as Al tried to copy his accent, repeating his words back to him slowly. If she managed to perfect it then it would be easier for her to blend in within the city. But that would have to wait, he had agreed to help her with meditation and so that's what he would do. Or at least he would do his best.

“Aye, I can teach you a bit.” Samuel said. “I've done it before, a squire was having some serious anger problems. I think it helped, I saw her a few days ago and it seemed like there had been some improvement.” The knight shrugged, he could not be sure that the improvement had been down to him but he hoped so. Like many people, the knight liked to believe that his actions had made a positive impact on the world.

“We're going to start the same way as we did before we prayed.” Samuel told her. “Deep breaths, slow and steady. Let the quiet of this holy place seep into your thoughts. When you have all that noise in your thoughts, you cannot focus on what's important. I know from experience that fear, anger, and hatred can make it very difficult for me to make the right choices.” The knight paused, a brief flicker of pain crossing his expression. “Once you've done that, you want to focus on something, maybe something you want to achieve, maybe a belief, maybe a god. I put my trust in Yahal, so I find that focusing on him helps me block out everything else. You ready to begin?”

Then the knight started to quiet himself, ignoring the soft murmuring of those in prayer elsewhere in the temple. He breathed in for four ticks, then out for six. He counted each tick out, the repetition was calming. Letting out a deep sigh, and quieting his breath, Samuel started to listen to the other sounds of his body. The gentle thumping of his heart attracted his attention. More a feeling than a sound, each beat vibrated gently through him. Then he zoned it out, hoping to find the quiet within himself.
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on June 5th, 2017, 4:26 am

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21st Winter 516

It was refreshing to have such straightforward directions. Nothing had been black and white for as long as she could remember, but his guidance was clear. She closed her eyes and let his words sink in where they usually washed over, and touch her where she usually pushed the away.

"I know from experience," He said, "That fear, anger, and hatred can make it very difficult for me to make the right choices."

Oh, yes. She had plenty of each of those. Aladari nodded at him slowly in understanding. She held fear for her family, her entire race, and mostly, selfishly, her own life. Anger boiled toward Morwen, who abandoned her after so long without warning, and towards the other seasons, who criminalized her for something forced upon her. And of course, hatred. Hatred existed for everyone who looked at her a second time, for those who drove her out of Sunberth where she thought she wanted to live, and for those who simply didn't help. Each of these emotions surfaced in turn, and though it took her time, she was eventually able to push each one away. They were not gone; in fact, they were likely permanent feelings, or they would be there for a few years at least. However, to have them out of her mind, just for a moment, was so utterly peaceful that she let out a sigh at the quiet. They were gone for now and that was enough, even if they had to come back later.

Though she must have heard his words (for she comprehended them) she did not hear him speak so deep in her own mind. Instead, behind her closed eyes, she felt herself draw focus towards something. It was fuzzy at first, for everything she thought of had some negative aspect to it. Finally, she settled on a single mental image, and watched the image play in her mind's eye.

It was a lake. The lake sat calm at first, but as she began to breathe deeply in and out, she saw that the waves on the lake moved in synch with her air. She heard the water licking the stones on the edge, and the satisfying bloop of something small breaking the surface. Aladari could not see anyone, but around her, she felt the calm reassurance of the divine.

She could not stay under long, but when she surfaced, it still took a moment for her negative feelings to come back. For a brief tick, she was able to bask in a sort of afterglow, just watching the church. Once she felt full consciousness come over her, she turned back to look at Samuel. She had no idea how long it had been, but he was still breathing gently and deeply. She tried to match the depths of his breaths, but she found her lungs aching before long, so she abandoned the idea. Instead, she placed her hands on her knees, looking down at them and through them.

"Thank you." She whispered. "I think...you have help me. Very much."
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Let Them Pray

Postby Samuel Longwell on June 6th, 2017, 10:57 pm

Samuel Others


The knight rested in the silence, managing in that moment to shut out the confusion and the pain that pressed against him. His breathing rose and fell, even and smooth. He found a rare peace that had eluded him for a long time. His mouth turned up slightly at the corners, but the major transformation was in the way the lines that usually crossed his face faded. His features portrayed what was going on within. Truly calm and relaxed. He prayed silently to Yahal, thanking him for his presence in his life. Thanking him for not abandoning the knight, even when he wasn't worthy of the god's attention.

But the feeling could only last so long. An itch on his leg drew his attention, drawing a grimace from Samuel as he scratched it. His breathing did not change pace, he still felt relatively calm, but the deep sense of peace that been there a moment before vanished. The lines returned and once more Samuel wore his usual face. The face worn by loss and heartache. The face that look like it belonged to a man far older than Samuel's three decades.

Al's whisper turned his head. Samuel smiled, he was glad that he had managed to help. Helping others was the reason he had always wanted to be a knight after all. It felt good to make a difference in someone's life without requiring violence. Sometimes violence was necessary, but he always enjoyed the moments when he was not just the iron fist of the law.

“You're welcome lass,” Samuel said, “maybe someday you can help someone who needs it. Make this a better place one step at a time.” The knight glanced at the door as two knights strolled in. He knew they would also have read the poster and wasn't sure how they would react to Al's presence. Better not to take any chances. “It was very nice to meet you Al, but a couple of my comrades just walked in. I should go and speak to them.” He gave the girl a pointed look. “I hope we meet again someday.”

He stood up and walked over to the knights who had entered. He started up a conversation with them, holding their attention so that the young Vantha could slip out unnoticed if she so wanted.
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 2nd, 2017, 8:49 pm

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21st Winter 516

It almost hurt to see him go, despite online being aquainted for a few chimes. He gave off such warm vibes, and offered so much to her for nothing. Still, she knew he could not stay; neither could she. It was too dangerous right now. So when he stood to speak to his comrades, Aladari merely pulled her hood down farther over her head and moved to the outside walkway of the room.

She waited a tick, as if hoping for a further acknowledgement, but was unsurprised when none came. She tipped her head in Samuel's direction in respect, then turned her back so that the Knights wouldn't see her face.

Even with the soft sound of her feet echoing and the obvious rush of her walk, the knights were distracted enough that her exit was conaidered inconspicuous. Outside the doors, she paused again, listening for the sounds of concerned or panicked voices. Relief washed over her as none sounded.

"Thanks again, Samuel. We will meet again." She whispered to herself. And with that, she scurried off into the flow of people, back to her home and solitude.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 3rd, 2017, 4:35 am

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Name:Aladari Coolwater

XP Award:
  • Observation +2
  • Socialization +4
  • Meditation +3
  • Disguise +1
  • Philosophy +1
  • Prayer +2
  • Stealth +1
Lore:
  • Syliras Location: The Temple of All Gods
  • Yahal: God of Faith and Purity
  • Yahal: Protects the Weak
  • Priskil: Goddess of Hope
  • Group Prayer is More Powerful
  • Meditation: Becoming Aware of Oneself
  • Gods Must Know All
  • Philosophy: Focus on the Present
  • Disguise: Faking an Accent
  • Disguise: Copying Others
  • Meditation: Slow, Deep Breaths
  • Meditation: Blocking Out Outside Senses
  • Meditation: Focus on a Belief or Feeling
  • Meditation: Using Mental Imagery
  • Stealth: Easier With a Distraction

Name:Samuel Longwell

XP Award:
  • Leadership +3
  • Socialization +4
  • Observation +2
  • Persuasion +1
  • Teaching +3
  • Prayer +2
  • Philosophy +2
  • Meditation +2
Lore:
  • Location: The Temple of All Gods
  • Subterfuge: Lying is Easier if You Don't Know the Truth
  • Persuasion: Convincing Someone to Calm Down
  • Vantha: Unfairly Persecuted
  • Prayer Can be Winding or Steady
  • Teaching: Demonstrate Methods
  • Philosophy: Better to Hold On to Good Memories Than the Last
  • Philosophy: Non-violent Solutions are Better
  • Tactics: Distract for a Getaway

Penalties/Rewards :
Shield Points: +2 for helping a people of the city

Comments :
Don't forget to edit your request to reflect its graded status. If you have any questions or feel I forgot something, please contact either me or your local ST.

"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: 467
Words: 252688
Joined roleplay: March 8th, 2016, 3:26 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Human, Vantha
Character sheet
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Medals: 3
Donor (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)
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