Completed Terrible, Terrible News

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

Terrible, Terrible News

Postby Nephti on February 27th, 2017, 9:29 pm

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2nd Winter 516


There was a slip of paper that had been pushed under the door.

It wasn’t a particularly special looking piece of paper, slightly crumpled, folded over at an awkward angle, and a little yellow. It was however, the start of something, and it was the most important notice the girl had ever read.

It was, of course, the first thing the girl leapt on, when she spotted it sticking through the door. She had never, ever had anything pushed under the door, not from friends, not from strangers. Not from gods either. Settling onto the warm covers of the bed, she tucked her feet under her, her hair behind her ear and gently pulled the sheet open. As if this was just a fairytale, from an innocent world. Her eyes met the paper. And she read.

Her hands trembled when she had finished, and the girl read again, not sure whether she had understood it properly, with her poor Common.

After the second time, it was her whole body that trembled, and she read it again, not sure whether to believe it.

By the third, she knew she couldn’t believe it. Priskil had never agreed to this. Priskil couldn’t have. Priskil wouldn’t have. No. No-no-nonononono. With a furious movement, she pressed the paper beneath her hands, watching the words distort as she crushed it into a tight ball, before throwing it across the room and watching it hit a wall and fall to the ground. There it lay, words she couldn’t comprehend, reduced to nothingness.

In the next few ticks, she had run over to it, scooped it up, pressed it flat against the ground and read it a final time. She said each word aloud, letting them fall off her lips as if they was poison. Because what else were they?

They were crazy. The gods were crazy. All of them. Bala and Tavasi and Sivah. Morwen. Priskil. All the rest. What if it was their people being hunted? They never would have accepted then. Most of them wouldn’t have accepted now. Or so she had believed. She didn’t know what to believe any more.

Leaving the paper a crumpled mess on the ground, she moved back to her bed, pressing her head against the pillow and pulling her covers over her. Like when she was little, hiding from the monsters that she now saw everywhere, protected and in a whole new world with a blanket as a barrier.

She cried there, just a little, before she let herself bring her fist up, let herself pry it open, let herself feel Priskil’s light on her.

Priskil had never accepted this. She didn’t understand why the other gods had claimed it, but she knew the slaughter of every one of Morwen’s child would never be something the goddess would have accepted. She knew it through her logic, she knew it with her brain and her mind. She knew it as well as she knew the goddess. More than that, she could feel it - in her heart, and in her mark. Priskil would never agree.

Then a more important question fell on her mind: would Ionu?

Winter didn’t exist in Alvadas. Surely Morwen’s disappearance wouldn’t matter to him. But he was so unpredictable. She couldn’t guess - she could only know what she hoped for. Yet the seasons had claimed they all agreed. Did that mean to some extent the god of Alvadas had?

The girl began to panic, wrapping herself in the covers even tighter. If they could do this to Morwen, they could do it to anyone. To Priskil and to her. She wanted to tell herself that Priskil would never abandon her, but she doubted that the Vantha had been expecting Morwen to disappear either. And she knew if Priskil left she’d support her anyway she could, because she must have left for a reason.

It took her half a bell to calm herself to the point where she felt ready to leave her room. She couldn’t just let this happen. She had to find the Vantha, find out whether Ionu would protect them, and find the best way to help them. Morwen, maybe, she deserved to be punished. But the Vantha had done nothing wrong. They needed hope more than anything.

Everyone did.
Last edited by Nephti on October 9th, 2017, 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Terrible, Terrible News

Postby Nephti on October 9th, 2017, 8:31 pm

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It was almost chaos when she entered the busy street, watching a crowd flock somewhere. Her quick feet followed, followed blindly. There was a hushed murmur through the air, words on their lips echoing the events that were happening. Vantha. Morwen. Slaughter. But she had no idea what they thought of it.

She found herself in a large courtyard, part of a crowd that watched four figures, only one which she recognised. The chilling seamstress, beside what she finally realised were the three priests and priestesses from the other seasons. She could barely hear them over the noise of the crowd, but what snippets she heard, she didn’t like.

It was Ionu’s will to support them.

Ionu had betrayed the Vantha.

The girl rushed out, just managing to stop herself from speaking up. It was too early, and she didn’t want to get hurt.  

She was terrified.

Hands bundled around each other, fingers twisted between sweaty fingers, she tried to stop everything from shaking. Her cloak suddenly felt comforting across her shoulders, and the girl pulled it across her, trying to blend into the crowd.

Where could she go? These people… they were all crazy!

Her feet stumbled around in circles. Her breathing was heavy, and she tried to steady herself, but it was hard to focus. A few times, she almost fainted, catching herself on strangers, then pushing herself away sharply, terrified at what was happening. These people, they were evil. Pure evil. How could they accept this? How could they accept this?

Disgusted, she toppled down the streets. Ionu would take her to where she needed to go. Where she was wasn’t surrounded by filth. Where she could speak her mind, and no one would hurt her.

But he hated her too.

His temple rose up before her. It was there in its grandeur, all fully visible. Nephti let her eyes touch the spires, the tiny windows, the mossy, ivy covered walls, taking it all in. Then she wanted to throw up. This was the home of those who commended the Vantha attack. The home of people who had decided to read Ionu’s will as for it all.

Spinning on her heels, she tried to run away, but the temple rose up behind her too.

He wanted her to go in.

So she did.

And she hated every moment of it.

There were many in prayer. The times that had come - the Vantha genocide, the lack of winter, everything - were more than enough to spark them all to visit their god. Some muttered out loud, sitting or standing on benches. Others played music, sang, drew, danced. There were candles burning everywhere, left as tribute. Other gifts too.

A small family brushed past her.

“Let Ionu bless you. He’ll bring us Winter, I’m sure of it,” the father muttered to her, and she recoiled as he continued with his children. So he supported this.

Or maybe he just wanted Winter.

Nephti slumped at the back, watching the people praying. They were of all ages and genders and walks of life. They weren’t murderers. Maybe most didn’t agree with it, either. But it was the will of the gods, and all they wanted was normality, even in a city like Alvadas.

Who was she to judge them, send them to Hai for all they had thought in a moment of desperation?

Who was she to know what the gods thought, and to disagree with them?
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Terrible, Terrible News

Postby Nephti on October 9th, 2017, 8:32 pm

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She pressed her head into her hands, letting the followers of Ionu shift around her and leave the girl in peace.

Then there was a hand on her shoulder and a string of soft words.

“Are you alright?”

Him. Of course he would be here. Ionu was his god as much as Priskil was her own. He would be out there, hunting Vantha, scorning those who supported them. And he had to approach her.

“No,” she spat out, not even looking up at the white haired boy, “No, of course I’m not alright!”

“What’s wrong?” She could feel him move to sit on the bench beside her. What’s wrong? What’s wrong? He knew what was wrong. It was the only thing that had happened the whole day. The only thing that had happened that season that mattered. “Listen, do you want to talk about it? You can talk to me.”

Finally turning to face him, the girl shot him an angry look. It was all she could muster without breaking again, turning away so he wouldn’t see her expression as it cracked like glass.

“I know it sounds terrible, but you’ve heard what Morwen’s leaving us will do…” he began, before realising that she wouldn’t care and wouldn’t listen. The Eypharian tensed as he reached out again, shifting out of his reach. “Nephti, please. Maybe… it’s worth it. A few Vantha, so we can have winter. So the rest of the world doesn’t have to suffer.”

“You only think that because Ionu said it to you,” she snarled back, crossing her arms firmly to hold herself steady, “You only think that… You can’t actually think killing them is right?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think. I trust the gods - I trust Ionu - to make the best decision for everyone. Don’t you trust Priskil?”

“Priskil never agreed.” Her voice was a light hiss, inaudible except by the two of them. “I know she didn’t.”

“Don’t do anything rash.”

At this, she spun, face burning with rage, and just looked at him. Her eyes said it all, before she couldn’t face him again.

“I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“Then do not let the Vantha get hurt.”

He slumped back, leaning against her. She didn’t move, feeling his breathing and his heat through her back. It was hard, forceful, but not as strong as her own heart, it didn’t kill him like it hurt her. Why couldn’t he support her, rather than these other gods? Why wasn’t he there for her, not for Ionu?

“I… It’s not right. It’s not fair.”

“It’s for the best.” The greater good, were the words on his lips, but they were the very words that would hurt her the most. Because how could you compare one good to another? How could you choose between the suffering of some to the murder of innocents?

“Go away. I don’t want to see you.” Not like this. Not with him supporting the slaughter like this. “Go away.”

“Nephti, we need you too. Everyone’s lost winter, not just the Vantha. Help everyone too - because then you won’t get hurt.”

“Go away!” Her voice echoed through the temple and the groups of Ionu worshippers stared at them, watching the girl push him away from her. In a hurry, she pushed herself up, trying to get away from him, from the temple, from everything.

“Nephti!” But she wasn’t listening. She had to give people hope, even if she lacked it herself. And he had been right, of course. It seemed that he was always right, even when he was wrong. The Vantha needed hope, of course. But so did everyone else, and Priskil wasn’t going to choose between them as if one group was more important. So Nephti couldn’t either.

It was just that one option was a lot easier and safer than the other. And somehow, doing that, felt wrong, as if she was taking the easy way out. But it wasn’t, and she had to tell herself that.
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Terrible, Terrible News

Postby Nephti on October 9th, 2017, 8:32 pm

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“People of Alvadas!” the girl called out, standing on a large stone near the bell tower that served the temple. As it slowly started to fade, deciding it was about time to disappear, the girl had mustered up her courage to give the others courage.

Even if she spoke for Priskil, it didn’t feel strange to do it in front of Ionu’s temple. She spoke for him, too. To his people.

“People of Alvadas!” her voice rang out again, the girl forcing out volume in a hope to attract some listeners. Once at least one person had stopped to listen, she started again, knowing a speech had the power to stop passers-by at any point.

“Morwen has left us. Winter has not come. The Vantha-” she hadn’t meant to mention the Vantha. It was a difficult topic, one best avoided if she didn’t want to get her head on a hit list any time soon. “But we have no Winter. What that matter? To us? We are of Alvadas! We laugh at seasons. We need no Winter!”

Her mind thought back. When was it? “Remember Spring. You remember Spring? We have ice! Everywhere! Like Winter come then. And now we have snow, in Alvadas-Avanthal. We have Summer too, in Alvadas-desert. We have all the seasons, so who care about Winter?”

Maybe if they didn’t care, they’d leave the Vantha alone.

A laugh came from a listener. “Don’t mean she can just leave her job like that. What about everyone else? Outside? We ain’t in a bubble, pretty girl. Whole world out there. That affects us too. Just ‘cuz all you know is this city and its craziness doesn’t mean we don’t have to care about what happens just beyond there.”

Her face grew red, with anger and irritation and embarrassment, at the fact that she hadn’t cared. Because she had to care. There were plenty out there.

Plenty who didn’t need Winter either. Maybe it would be strange, harder than usual. But they could live. She knew they could.

Her arms rose, letting the cloak across them fall back, so all six were in view. With the sudden sight of the extra arms, a few more people stopped to listen, including the person who had yelled out at her. “I been outside wall. Alvadas is not my first home.” She wasn’t well travelled - she could never call herself that. But Alvadas was never her bubble. “I know it hard for them too. They don’t have our illusions. They not have Winter anyway.”

Her voice clogged up. Speaking like this - it was raw and passionate, but hard, with a lack of grasp on language and no structure and no idea what to say next.

“I come from desert. My old home. We have no Winter. Never. It is always warm and sunny and like Summer. People live there! No one is dead. It is rich and powerful and beautiful - without Winter. So we can live without Winter. We learn. We work together. There no reason to worry.”

There couldn’t be. Worry was pointless. If they spent all their time worrying, they wouldn’t have the time to actually do something. “So we prepare. We make food. Things against bad things with no Winter. We grow strong - and we have strength! No reason to be crazy, to worry. We have hope, and Priskil join with Ionu to help!”

Was she verging on peace to much? She was definitely on a watch list now.

But in this moment, the girl couldn’t care.

“We have hope, and all will be good.”

For herself, for the Alvads, and for the Vantha.
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Terrible, Terrible News

Postby Maro on November 9th, 2017, 4:47 am

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Nephti


Skills

+Investigation +1
+Land Navigation +1
+Linguistics +3
+Observation +2
+Persuasion +1
+Rhetoric +2
+Socialization +1








Lores

-A Note Under the Door: An unpleasant surprise
-Vantha: Hunted in the Winter of 516 AV
-The Question: How many deities truly support hunting the Vantha?
-Alvadas' Streets: Trust Ionu to guide you
-Everyone needs hope, not just the persecuted
-A speech can draw attention at any moment
-Being Eypherian draws people's interest

Notes :
This was a great thread and, of all the ones I read, the best response to the hunting of the Vantha. I'm excited to see where you will take Nephti and her dedication to Priskil, and I can't wait to see you get your second mark. Please make sure to edit your request to 'graded' in the queue. I will always feel new to grading, so if you think I've missed anything or would like some lore rephrased, just send me a quick PM to let me know.
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