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 February 17th, 2017, 3:12 am

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21st Winter 516

Aladari bowed her head under her hood and folded her hands toght against her chest, curling in on herself. It was her first time out of the clearing since she had left Syliras proper, and her anxiety was higher than ever.

She had taken preperatory measures, of course. Her hair had been carefully concealed in her hood, and her eyes had been hyperdialted by Beodan's tincture to hide as much of the color as possible, but it never felt like enough, even in such a traditionally welcoming place.

The church was nothing terribly grand, though it felt incredible compared to what Aladari was used to. She liked that the seats felt worn; it was as if many others were sitting with her, even though she was nearly alone. She liked that the room was quiet, as it made her thoughts ever louder. She even liked the way the drafts blew through the rafters up high. It all made the place feel like a home, albeit someone else's.

Aladari breathed deeply a few times. She took the air in deep and held it, stretching her lungs to a comfortable size, before sighing out. It made her feel closer to the earth, in tune with the cycles of natute, which then made her feel closer to her Goddess.

Although today, the normally warm comfort was gone, she had not expected her Goddess to listen today anyway, with all that was going on. So Aladari began her prayer anyway.

"My Goddess, Mo-" She stopped, cutting off the name in her mouth. Her eyes scanned the room, but no one turned. Cautiously, she started again, avoiding the comforting Vani tongue.

"My Goddess and Mother. I do nah know where you are or what you've done, but I'm sure you know times have been troublin' for yer chi'dren. I am sure they are troublin' to you as well. I won't ask anythin' of you 'cept safety, an' I'll get you anythin' in return. Just, please, keep me safe."

Word Count333
Last edited by Aladari Coolwater on June 14th, 2017, 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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 February 17th, 2017, 6:19 pm

Samuel Thoughts Others


Samuel slipped quietly into the temple, not wishing to disturb those already in prayer. The soft murmuring washed over him as he slipped into a pew and settled himself down. The wood creaked slightly under his weight The knight's eyes roamed around the room, once again admiring the elegant beauty of the room. In Syliras most rooms were built to save space, it being at a premium in the crowded city. However the temple, with its high ceilings and broad pews, bucked the trend. Samuel often considered it his favourite location in the city, it was a place he could truly relax and unwind. As such he always made a point of removing his armour before he visited the temple, it just felt right.

Almost unconsciously his gaze fell upon a hunched figure wrapped up in a cloak a few rows in front of him. The knight could faintly make out a feminine voice from that direction but, not wanting to pry, he did not try to eavesdrop. A person's prayers are their own after all. Samuel knew he would feel awkward if he suspected someone was listening to him praying.

Closing his eyes, Samuel focused on his breathing. He breathed in slowly, filling his lungs with oxygen before slowly exhaling. The knight's feeling of calm increased as he repeated the cycle, each breath taking longer to complete than the last. The peace of the temple always made it easier for him to meditate, so Samuel gently eased into a state of quiet introspection. Once he had sat for a few chimes, he began to pray.

“May my faith always remain strong,” he whispered, “and keep my heart pure. Yahal, use me to protect the weak,” The knight's voice trailed off, thoughts drifting to the posters that had been plastered around the city. Morwen's children were probably the most in need of protecting, but acting in such a way would be to put yourself in opposition to several powerful gods.

The unease that Samuel felt about the whole situation brought him out of his meditative state and his brows drew together slightly. The next few moments were spent trying to regain his sense of calm, but with little success.
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on February 24th, 2017, 3:37 pm

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21st Winter 516

In the quiet temple, the soft sound of footsteps were easily detectable. Instinctively, Aladari's head swiveled toward the sound.

A man had entered the temple. He was not young by any stretch of the imagination, but he looked strong and wise. A Knight. She decided. They always looked as if they had lived well beyond their years. The sight of a Knight was a source of conflict for Aladari. She had heard stories of the Knights in her childhood, and the inherent goodness of their hearts, but at the same time, she knew it was they who hunted her.

Not wanting to draw attention, Aladari simply turned her head away again. But she couldn't help but hear his words drift across the silence. Yahal. Protect the weak.

Yahal was not a name she had heard- at least not in her memory- but the knight said it with such reverence and faith that she almost felt his power. She imagined the God as a massive figure, with a thick beard and a bold, fatherly grin, not unlike the knight who praised him. He was not gentle like Morwen, nor was he as close to his followers, but his love was just as great. In these times, Aladari knew she needed all the love she could get, so with a great shuddering breath she turned to face the knight in full.

"You say 'Yahal'?" She asked. Her thick Sunberthian drawl luckily masked most of her native Vani accent. It was the first time she'd ever been thankful for the ugly sound of it, and she made a mental note to be more appreciative of her traveled-ness.

"I hope y'don' mind if I ask, but who is 'e? Is 'e jus' for tha knights?"

Word Count294
"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 Samuel Longwell on February 27th, 2017, 9:29 pm

Samuel Thoughts Others


Samuel opened his eyes at the question, slightly surprised that his prayer had been interrupted. He looked at the young woman who had turned to face him, taking in her appearance. The knight couldn't see much of her hair, but a few dark strands poked out from underneath her hood. Most striking about her appearance were her unusually large pupils. Samuel couldn't make out the colour of her irises in the shadow of her hood, but they were noticeably lighter than the pupils. The knight smiled as the woman asked about Yahal being just for the knights. He was always happy to talk about his religious beliefs.

“Yahal is the god of faith and purity,” Samuel explained, “and he's most certainly not just for the knights. He's a truly good god, Yahal cares about the weak and defenceless. Something that is sorely needed, even in the city of peace. Sacrificing your selfish desires to help those who need it is something that Yahal really loves. While it's true that most knights do respect him, plenty of other people worship him. There's an entire race that lives in the desert that worships him I think.”

The knight realised he had been rambling on, so he paused for a moment. He had guessed from her slightly stumbling speech that Common was not her first language. He hoped that she had followed his description of his god. Perhaps he should ask her about which gods she worshipped.

“So lass,” Samuel said, “who are you here to pray to?” Of course the knight did not know that the young woman might have reasons to conceal such information. He was genuinely interested in other people's religions. He had met a few different people in the temple, worshipping a variety of deities, but he was always happy to find out about new gods and goddesses.
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on February 28th, 2017, 3:49 pm

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21st Winter 516

Though the man spoke quickly, and a few of his words were beyond her vocabulary (purity?), Aladari felt she understood the concept. Yahal was a truly good God, he had said. She liked that idea- a God who had no dark core, no ulterior motives- especially if he was a God for the weak. Aladari smiled, nodding as he spoke to indicate interest. She could've listened to him all day, if he had simply kept talking.

Instead, he had to ask that question.

Aladari felt her blood run cold in her veins. He had seemed so nice, and he had spoke of protecting the weak, but perhaps it was a ruse. Perhaps it was a trap, as he waited for her to reveal herself and condemn her for her Goddess' crimes. No, she couldn't trust so quickly. But as she opened her mouth with every intention of saying "Laviku", she found herself saying "Morwen" instead.

Gods damn it all!

Her lip quivered faintly. She was certain he would take her down now, and she had no way of fighting back. She did, however, have time to plead, and pleade she did.

"Please, Sir. Ya cain't tell anyone. I jus'...I needed a tick 'lone wit Her. I was gonna ask wha' was goin' on, but there's nothin' out there. You gotta understand, I got nothin' to do wit it. I 'ave no control over Her."

Breathless, Aladari paused to gulp some air. Knowing that she was revealed now, and that there was nothing more she could do, Aladari slid off her hood. It felt good to feel the cool air on the skin of her face, but she couldn't enjoy it, even if it might be the last time she felt such a breeze. Out of habit or faith, she couldn't tell, but she squeezed the Gnosis on her left shoulder through the cloak all the same.

"Please. The Vantha, we've nah done nothin' wrong. Is nah my fault. You gotta trus' me."

Word Count335
"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 Samuel Longwell on March 2nd, 2017, 9:50 pm

Samuel Thoughts Others


Samuel stared, mouth slightly ajar. The young woman was a Vantha? And she'd just admitted it to him, a knight? Samuel glanced around the room, but the others in the room were paying them no attention. The knight listened, slightly in shock, as the imploring words tumbled from her mouth. If possible, he became even more surprised when the woman pulled her hood down and her hair fell down around her shoulders. The shimmering locks caught his attention, her hair really was gorgeous. Just like the poster had said about the Vantha. Shaking himself, he finally came to his senses. Leaning forward he grabbed the hood and threw it back over her hair roughly.

“Keep your voice down,” he hissed frantically, “are you trying to get yourself captured? I'm not going to hurt you. Calm down and breathe.” Samuel circled round the pews and sat down beside the girl. He took a deep breath, wondering what he should do. Turning her over to the priests of the seasons wasn't an acceptable option, that much he knew. Turning to the Vantha, he continued more softly.

“You can trust me. If I was an enemy you would already be in custody. I don't blame you for what your goddess has done, that would be true stupidity. But for Yahal's sake don't mention her or your race again until this all blows over.” With these words Samuel faltered. The assumption that the problems for the Vantha would fade was a silly one, but he couldn't worry about the future. The present moment, as it so often is, was far more pressing.

“Do you have a safe place to stay?” the knight asked. “If you do, don't tell me where it is. I don't want to have to lie if possible.” Samuel paused for a moment, then introduced himself. “I'm Samuel by the way.”
Last edited by Samuel Longwell on March 10th, 2017, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Samuel Longwell
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on March 8th, 2017, 9:30 pm

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21st Winter 516

"I'm not going yo hurt you. Calm down and breathe."

The words hardly registered in her frantic mind. She simply continued to let her lip wobble and tears well. Slowly, though, as he spoke, his words began to sink in.

“You can trust me. If I was an enemy you would already be in custody. I don't blame you for what your goddess has done, that would be true stupidity. But for Yahal's sake don't mention her or your race again until this all blows over.”

Aladari nodded to show her understanding.

"Do you have a place to stay? If you do, don't tell me where it is. I don't want to have to lie, if possible."

"Aye." She blubbered. "I...I'm safe for now."

He paused, then seemed to relax a little bit as he began to introduce himself. "Samuel," She said softly, repeating the name for her own benefit, "I am..."

Aladari paused. If the Knight didn't want to lie, it would likely be best not to give him a real name, but she couldn't think of anything on the spot. Aladari chewed her lip.

"I'm Al." She decided. It was a personal nickname- the name her father had called her- but it was the only thing she could think of that she could remember in the moment.

I can't remember the last time anyone called me Al...

She could see on his face that he didn't quite believe that she was safe, either now or later. His concern, combined with a fatherly appearance and the use of the name "Al" made her feel very young indeed.

Suddenly, she doubted if she could really take care of herself all alone. There were so many things she didn't know how to do. She couldn't ride a horse. She couldn't put up a tent, start a fire without a flint, or set up traps. She didn't know how to get books from the library, or get a loan, or own the business she had always dreamed of. How would she learn, with no one to learn from? She was so alone in Syliras. And now, without her Goddess...

"My Goddess was my Ma." She told Samuel. "I jus' don' know wha' ta do wit'out her. I'm...lost. How do I know wha's to do? Who to follow?"

Word Count385
Last edited by Aladari Coolwater on March 26th, 2017, 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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
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Let Them Pray

Postby Samuel Longwell on March 10th, 2017, 7:12 pm

Samuel Others


Samuel sighed with relief as Al started to calm down, her panic had put her in serious danger. Her expression slowly moved from terrified to uncertain, but her face remained streaked with tears. The knight struggled to work out what she was thinking, but clearly they weren't particularly pleasant as her expression shifted once more. In fact, the way Samuel would describe the way she looked would be crestfallen. The reason for this became clear with Al's next words. Samuel grimaced, the girl's faith had been shaken and seemed to be having some kind of identity crisis because of it.

The knight was at a loss for words, he had no idea how to comfort someone who felt abandoned by their god. He had leaned on Yahal throughout his adult life, even more so since Danny died. In fact, Samuel believed that he would have left the knighthood if he hadn't trusted in Yahal's strength. He had come close enough to a breakdown as it was, the thought of going through it without his faith made the knight shudder. Looking back at Al, Samuel realised that he hadn't answered her question.

“Yahal teaches that we need to have faith in ourselves.” Samuel said, brows drawing together as he thought about what to say next. “We all have the choice, and the responsibility, to do the right thing, no matter who you worship.”

With these words, Samuel fell quiet for a few chimes. Then he remembered a conversation he'd with squire Faircroft about the younger man's patron deity. Perhaps Al would appreciate the suggestion. Yahal could very well be well suited to her, but Samuel felt that the girl needed something very specific right now.

“I have a heard a little of Priskil,” Samuel said, “she is the goddess of hope. I think that's probably something you could do with right now. I don't know much about her but perhaps she is someone you could turn to?” For what else could a Vantha do but hope in these times.
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Samuel Longwell
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Let Them Pray

Postby Aladari Coolwater on March 26th, 2017, 4:54 am

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21st Winter 516

Aladari took a few deep breaths, finding herself slowly but surely calmed by the rhythmic speech patterns. There were soft words, gentle and quiet, followed by the heavy silence of thought in which she gathered herself.

He was right. She had a choice; she had many choices, in fact. The one she needed to make right now, though, was what to do with her life. She could linger here, languishing under the weight of her Goddess' sins, or she could pick herself up and move on. Though she couldn't leave Morwen behind entirely, the thought that someday Morwen may catch up with her eased her mind. She was only leaving Morwen for now. She would be back. Until then, she would have hope.

"Priskil?" She asked curiously through a faint sniffle. "I think hope is somethin' good for me righ' now. Yeah, Priskil. But, uh..." Aladari rubbed her hands together nervously. "I ain't talked to a new Goddess ever a'fore. I don' know wha' ta do. Maybe you could talk to her wit' me?"

Tentatively, Aladari held out a hand to Samuel. She had seen it done, although she had never participated in group prayer before. Perhaps it was more powerful, she thought, with more people pouring in their faith at once. Perhaps the Goddess would hear them more clearly together.

"Pray wit' me?" She asked. "Jus' this once."

Word Counter229
"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
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Let Them Pray

Postby Samuel Longwell on March 27th, 2017, 8:14 pm

Samuel Others


Samuel was glad to see Al beginning to truly calm down at last. Her breathing slowed and the tears stopped cascading down her cheeks, the knight's words seemed to have had the desired effect. He was glad, and it reminded him that battle was not the only way that he could help others. Samuel silently thanked Yahal for his guidance, then turned his head to the young woman as she began to speak.

The knight nodded slowly, then took her hand as she reached out. His hand dwarfed Al's, Samuel had a hand span to match his height. Her hand was calloused, perhaps not as much as the knight's but it seemed that her occupation required some heavy work. Samuel wondered when he had last held someone's hand, probably not since before the day Danny died. He grimaced, it would do him no good to think about that now.

“I think it's good to clear your thoughts before praying.” Samuel said. “So keep your breathing slow and even. Focus on the sounds of your body, then let them fade out too. I'll start us off, you join in when you're ready.” He squeezed her hand gently then began to follow his own instructions.

Closing his eyes, the knight drew a deep breath in through his nose then let it out again. His body relaxed as he counted his breaths. Five... Six... Seven... Once he felt he was ready, the knight began to pray. The words came out as a whisper, so that only the woman beside him could hear what he said.

“Lady Priskil...” he began, then broke off as he realised he didn't know what he wanted to say. Taking a moment to decide, Samuel then began anew. “Lady Priskil, we ask for your hope in these dark times. We could both do with some more of it. And please help out Al, she needs your guidance.” It was a simple prayer, but the knight hoped that the Goddess had listened anyway. He then waited in silence for Al to take her turn at praying.
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Samuel Longwell
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