Closed [Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Both Dovey and Dra-Vaerin get caught up in the chaos of the dock riots.

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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Vaerin on April 11th, 2017, 2:32 pm

((OOC: It's okay! :) I was bogged down with a mid semester paper until like yesterday night.))

It had seemed as though his companion had also put the pieces together in regards to the unidentified voice. Well, at least what Dra-Vaerin thought was the answer to the question of who it belonged to. It was just as plausible that there was another unfolding story similar to their own within the hellish scenery of the fleeing crowd. In his mind, it would have been preferable for it to be someone else. Which he tried not to think about too hard. It would have been terrible to know that someone else was being pursued in such a terrible manner. But at least it most likely would have been someone that did not have to worry as much about their life. He and this woman would only have had to concern themselves with getting to safety. No, the two of them had to flee and avoid some gargantuan man that had decided to take some perceived matter into his own hands.

In this moment the young widow found himself questioning why he had decided that this outside world was his true calling. He could have stayed in the confines of Kalinor. It may not have been any easier on his emotions, but at least the only thing he would have been concerned with was how to reach such a level in his preferred craft that no-one else in Kalinor could have questioned his competence. Instead of the seemingly endless list of anxiety-inducing possibilities he needed to think about. Whilst he was a well-behaved individual all of the time, the knowledge that he could easily be killed for a misunderstanding without any question added another level of complexity that was foreign to him. Perhaps he could have even become famed within his city. Most likely not though. Still, it was a grand fantasy to have.

"Is that the man from earlier?"

Those loudly whispered words snaked themselves into the depths of his ear like a frigid stream of water, pouring through to the lengths of his fingers and toes. He turned his head a fraction of the way to meet her gaze, and maybe catch a glimpse of the surrounding faces. Nothing stood out at him though.

"It is a distinct possibility..." He responded, a shiver coursed its way down his spine. A direct result of the concern he was feeling.

Barely a beat in their conversation passed before the young woman asked him to exchange positions so that he could try and spot the man while she led. Dra-Vaerin did not need to think about it for very long before adjusting himself to be behind the woman. It had been evident that the woman was struggling to keep herself balanced in the same way he was. Dra-Vaerin with some uncharacteristically acidic observation noted that she definitely possessed no grace whatsoever - once again something he would regret thinking when the stinging heat of the day wore off and his nerves settled. Therefore it did not take a genius to come to the logical conclusion that the one that was more maneuverable in these circumstances should be the one to take a more active approach in scanning their surroundings.

"I shall." His affirmation carried with it an almost comical seriousness to it. Not that Dra-Vaerin set out to be humorous in this instance. It was that his tone was more akin to one that a person would expect from a man being sent out on a sacrificial mission, thus martyring themselves; rather than someone agreeing to keep an eye out for a stranger in a crowd.

However, under the new arrangements, it was now Dra-Vaerin that felt like the left-footed clod. As they proceeded, it became almost evident immediately that the job that was expected of him would be more complex that originally anticipated. The act of moving through such a packed space, while eyeing the crowd for a particular point of reference constantly made keeping track of where his feet were difficult. Where once he had been able to weave and mould his body in such a way to pass through a tight gap with ease. The same actions were much clumsier now, nowhere near as refined as what they usually were. Where he had been the guiding light, now he had to rely much more heavily on his grasp of the woman's wrist, and at times his free hand on her upper arm so he did not fall. He had to also keep in mind the position of his nails, lest he accidentally dig too hard into the woman's arm. While he managed to correct himself fairly quickly after a blunder, the fact that they had happened embarrassed him. He was a much better dancer than this!

Distinguishing the rush of faces that shot by, or were trying to jam themselves into the alleyway was another challenge. Even in spite of the size of the man, it did not make him an easier mark to spot. Had he just appeared taller to the young man due to the terror of the situation? It was a possibility.

A couple similar to them caught his attention momentarily. The woman seemed a few years older than the two of them, and the man had a similar complexion to Dra-Vaerin's own companion. There was fear in the woman's eyes, he could see it from even at the distance they were from him. She was struggling to keep ahold of him as they were barraged by oncoming strangers. They were yelling at each other: yet Dra-Vaerin could not make out what they were saying. Then he looked to the left to see a calloused looking man in his middle years sturdily moving through the crowd with the immutable force of a heavy rock in a turbulent current.

And then something caught his attention in between the two points of interest. A gaze that sent the same chills down his spine. A gaze that felt like it was filled with hate. He thought maybe he recognised the face for a moment. But before he could focus his sight on this oddity, it vanished. Like a wisp of smoke from the camp fire into a cold winter's night. Merely a suggestion of something terrible.

It caused Dra-Vaerin's brow to furrow as he quickly turned his head back around to look at where the woman that he was linked to was going. As well as to correct himself before a foreign set of feet tripped him up. After this correction, he turned his head back around to try and find that glowering set of eyes that seemed to stand out amongst the sea of eyes surrounding them. Yet he did not see anything. Nor had there been another clearly audible shout that may or may not have been directed at them.

"I..." he started before trailing off, switching back into his mother tongue temporarily out of nervousness, "Viratas hear my prayer, please do not let it be him."

Fearing that perhaps this change of language would spook his companion into abandoning him altogether, he decided to quickly translate for the woman.

"Sorry, I was praying to my god not to encounter that man again. I hope that does not offend you."

With that, all he could do was hope he was not abandoned at this moment when safety was becoming ever closer. Either by Viratas, or this woman. Perhaps he had just been jumping at phantoms.
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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Dovey on May 3rd, 2017, 3:30 am

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(OOC: Again, I'm sorry to be so late! Life's been hectic lately, but I'll do my best to reply within a more consistent time window in future. Cheers!)

Dovey set one shoulder forward and her eyes determinedly ahead, nevertheless shivering slightly as she felt the thin-fingered grip of the Widow shift on her wrist. This was almost surreal; the clamor of the crowd around her was weirdly similar to dead silence, as she could glean no meaning from the sound; besides, she was guiding a spider-person through a mob while fleeing from a mysterious enemy who might or might not actually be following them. Her mind simply could not normalize the situation, could not fit it into what she knew of the world, and so she felt as if she had been plucked from the ordinary world and thrust into some warped facsimile of reality.

Not that she pondered all this; she had no time to analyze the cause of her creeping sense of unreality. Her eyes must scan the cobbled road before them, nearly invisible as it was beneath hurried feet. Her hearing had to be sharp as well, and she should be paying attention to the feel of the stone beneath the thin soles of her boots, exploring the safety of each step in the moment before her foot was firm on the ground and she was committed to the motion. She let her shoulder act as a wedge, extending it forward into the narrower gaps on their route, using it to open up space between the people ahead without outright shoving them out of her way.

She had an easier time keeping her balance now she was the one to set the pace; whereas before she'd had to follow the slender Widow on his agile course, now she was able to put her stockier build to work for her, using her sturdy frame to prise open gaps large enough to move through comfortably. They were maybe just a mite slower than before, but she for one felt a fair sight steadier even as the stress of having to find a safe route settled once again about her shoulders. But they were further down the alley now, and although it might be an illusion, she thought she could feel a pattern forming in the way they moved. Forward, step, step, then between two strangers or around someone's back, then there would be a hint of openness again and she would have a moment in which to sight the next gap to widen and push through. At any rate she thought she was catching a strange sort of unsteady balance, even in the middle of this chaos.

Perhaps, though, that wasn't true for the Widow behind her. She could feel his hand locked tight around her wrist, and occasionally his arm would nearly jerk out of her grasp as she pressed forward while he stumbled, or hung back to find his balance, or some such thing. That shouldn't have been satisfying, she supposed, and yet it was; his grace, however typical it was for a creature such as himself, had left her feeling awkward and ungainly. It was nice to know it wasn't only she who had trouble following another's lead in this crowd.

But then, the Widow had a harder task than hers had been, she remembered. He was watching behind them for that stranger, the one who had tried to separate them, perhaps the one who had shouted out behind them so shortly ago. She thought she ought to ask him if he'd seen any pursuer, but before she could twist her head awkwardly around to address her companion, he faltered a little once more before speaking himself.

"I..."

His voice trailed hesitantly off, and Dovey felt prickling on the back of her neck. Had he spotted something? But then the Widow spoke again, and now his voice was altered, the consonants more rounded, the tone sibilant, soft...

It's his language, she realized, with a little shudder she could not quite suppress. It's the language of the spiders.

Perhaps it was simply Dovey's already-existing discomfort with the Widow, playing tricks on her mind; still, this strange tongue sounded wrong. There was something insidious about it, as though it were alien and attempting to appear familiar - it almost, she realized with a twinge in her gut, it almost sounded seductive -

Unconsciously she had drawn a little away from him, spooked by the reminder that this was no ordinary creature whose arm she held; still, she did not let go, and a moment later he had switched back to the comfortingly familiar common tongue.

"Sorry, I was praying to my god not to encounter that man again. I hope that does not offend you."

"Of course not," Dovey said instantly. Licked her lips, took a settling breath. Reaffirmed her grip on his arm. Stupid, she said to herself, though the insult was half-hearted. Crowd's more danger than he is right now. Keep your head on. There was no reason to panic, just because a man felt the need to say a prayer.

Although... why, now she thought of it, should he choose this moment to be praying? What was it he had been going to say in common, before he switched to his spidery-tongue? She lifted her eyes from the cobbles, throwing a glance back to the slender figure behind her. "Is there a reason you're more worried now than earlier?" she asked, attempting to keep her tone steady. "See - anything?" She didn't want to be too direct; she was afraid, superstitiously she knew, that if she named the threat she would call it down on their heads. The Widow would know what she meant.

Meantime, she had to keep picking them a path. She thought - she hoped - they were nearer now to the end of the alley than they were to their starting point. Still the crowd was chaotic, and if she didn't pay attention to where her feet went, they'd soon have bigger troubles than this elusive pursuer. She turned her eyes down to the road.


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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Vaerin on May 14th, 2017, 3:26 pm

((OOC: Don't worry about it all! I hope things are at a calmer pace for you now :) Sorry about my own delay.
Finals are around the corner.))

The violet eyes of young Dra-Vaerin darted madly from side to side, barely taking pause to observe the world around him. He usually was so composed and rational under pressure. After all, that was a skill that was highly prized amongst his kin. Yet, all that swam through his thoughts was images of his own gruesome end. Ever since arriving here it seemed that something much more lethal than the cold gazes of the Symenestra followed his trail. The prejudice here was much more sinister in feeling. Though maybe because it was an entirely different experience to his other life.

Whilst it was impossible for him to focus on it clearly, he knew that back in Kalinor he was under the protection of his mother and the man she had married. The outrage that would stir from those two over him being harmed or killed kept him relatively safe. Disliked and scorned, but protected from most harm. Here, the rats had more perceived value than him to the local populace. Or so it felt. Even just holding this woman's arm had him being pursued like a criminal convicted of murder.

It was an odd mix of fear, anxiety, and disappointment that was percolated amongst the adrenaline that coursed through his body. The fear, and anxiety had a very obvious causation that he did not need to process anymore analytically than the immediate situation demanded. They were most likely being pursued and risked either being trampled or getting confused for looters. Yet, if Dra-Vaerin were to reflect upon the disappointment its causation was easily discernable. Even despite all his preparation, and well-intentioned plans: nothing was going even remotely like he expected it to. So many years researching the outside world...yet so many more spent on shaping himself into a creature of such delicately refined social mannerisms. All of which were designed to obfuscate both his deeply-held personal grief, and make him instantly appreciable as a pinnacle of deportment. It all felt like it was for nothing. All those starry-eyed dreams that seemed as if they could be real felt utterly foolish. He was a failure. An utter, useless, wretched failure.

But he could not let his self pity distract him now. There would be time for that should he survive this ordeal. He needed to help the two of them get to safety. He tried his best to refocus his gaze, to actively calm himself down and bring both his body and mind back to a more workable condition. He owed it to the both of them.

Yet, that did not last for very long, as once more he could feel the woman's grasp on him weaken at exactly the same time his speech slipped back into Symnos. Rather than that send him into a depressive spiral, he felt a rage bloom from deep inside his core. It felt more than just an attack on him, and his perceived nature because of the way he looked: it was if she were attacking everything about his culture. That more than anything was unforgivable in the young man's eyes. Anything else he would have been willing to let wash over him: but to have his way of life slighted like that ired him greatly.

Of course, after his explanation, she re-established the firmer connection to him and affirmed it as being an acceptable thing to do. Which even in his irate state was appreciated an action he appreciated. As he was close to nearly tripping due to the misplaced foot of the man that briefly clipped his shoulder as the crowd jostled its way through the small alley.

In a rare moment since their joining each other, the woman turned briefly to face him when speaking to him. He may have almost been appreciative of the gesture had he not misconstrued her first question. Was this woman so ignorant enough to ask such a moronic question?! What possible reason did the Symenestra halfling have to be more concerned about some man twice the size of him chasing after him? In a city where his kind were so clearly disdained no less!

Dra-Vaerin's annoyance at the woman, that had up until that point been fleeting, nearly let itself loose in a display of fury unlike any that he had never displayed before. He was going to preach at her until he was blue in the face - a feat which the unfamiliar would assume would not take too much exertion given the pallor of his complexion - about the trials he faced as a Dra. In fact, his mouth was already open, forming the first transitory shape to assist in forming the words of his opening argument. However, this was quickly halted by her clarifying question. As if she were trying to avoid drawing the attention of the whims of fate, she referred to their source of strife in an intentionally vague way.

Dra-Vaerin reluctantly shut his mouth for a moment, turning his head behind him to try and scope out the man while he reorganised his thoughts. In this few second long conversation diverter, he took a deep breath and chided himself for getting so worked up over nothing.

"Not decisively...I thought perhaps I did..." He responded as measuredly as he could, a slightly more labile intonation evident in his voice. Perhaps this intonation reflected the remnants of the anger that nearly let itself loose upon the woman.

It seemed that they edged ever closer to the end of the alley, and for that Dra-Vaerin could not be more thankful. How he yearned to be able to scale the walls with no issue. If only he were full blooded, he could have escaped with no difficulty. Well, in all fairness he probably would have never been in this situation if he were full blooded.

He turned around, and once more felt that he saw something from the corner of his eye. Yes, it felt like that penetrating gaze from earlier. But just like before, as soon as his eyes focused in on the direction which he felt it coming from: nothing. How was this possible? Surely there was no magic conceivable that would allow for such a thing to be done. Perhaps he just was not paying enough attention...

Furrowing his brow, the young man hesitantly kept one foot moving in front of the other while gazing through the sea of faces. Yet, every cursory and in depth scan had the same result. There was no indication of the man behind them. He was jumping at ghosts. He had to have been. Thankfully the woman seemed to have mastered some sort of pattern he could not concentrate on in moving through the crowd, because he surely would have fallen on his face when he made a realisation.

He had been so concerned with the notion of the man being behind them, he had not fully paid attention to the throng of people before the two of them. It seemed implausible that this man had somehow managed to bypass them...but he was a singluar individual. He was not being weighed down by the clumsy and ungainly movements of another trying to navigate the crowd.

A wave of dread crashed against the man's sparrow-like frame. He turned his head and started facing forward. A precursory glance revealed nothing. Yet the closer the two got to the exit of the alley, the more a looming feeling of dread weighed upon Dra-Vaerin's shoulders.

And then suddenly he felt he saw a familiar silhouette to the far right, and about six people in front of them. Determined not to lose his mark once more, Dra-Vaerin's eyes bored into every last detail that he could make out through the frenetic scenery surrounding him.

Yes, the height matched, what he remembered of the man's clothing also matched. But he couldn't make out his eyes. And then, like the gods had decided that fate was a cruel mistress, the man turned around. That horrible gaze nearly made contact with Dra-Vaerin. However, he just managed to duck behind the head of a passerby. It seemed that he avoided detection for the moment. However, it did seem that this stranger did notice his companion for a moment before refocusing on making his way through the crowd. And of course he would reach the exit of the alley before they could. This did not bode well. It made Dra-Vaerin very uncomfortable. Though, at least the wider street meant that there was more room for both of them to flee. He had to keep the desire to panic at bay. Especially in this moment. It would not serve him well to lose his head like he had been doing so much recently. Yet it was always easier to say those kinds of things outside the heat of the moment. His composure was calm enough at the moment, but he doubted it would hold.

Not wanting to draw attention to himself, he leant close to the woman,
"I see him. Just ahead of us. He is going to reach the exit before we do...what are we going to do?"
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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Dovey on May 30th, 2017, 5:15 am

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Dovey's energy was flagging, but she forced herself to keep moving through the crowd, every ounce of her attention going into the search for the next safe place to set her foot, the next small gap she could pull herself and her companion through. So the Widow's spiking fear, his shifting movements as he tried to catch sight of their shadowy pursuer, did not alert her to her companion's newfound suspicions. Only once he leaned towards her and spoke softly into her ear did her body stiffen, filled with the fear of the hunted whose predator has boxed her in.

Maybe it wasn't him. Maybe he won't wait to catch us. But such thoughts were useless; she had to assume, for safety's sake, that they were as trapped as the Widow believed. "What are we going to do?" he had asked, but she was at a loss for words.

And they could not stop, here in the middle of this crowded alley, while they searched for a solution. No, either she had to think of something quickly or they would have to go in blind - hoping for the best, praying that their strange aggressor missed seeing them. The latter was far too risky to be borne, but the former -

What could they do?

All right, Dovey, concentrate now. If they could only get to the street without being cut off, she thought they would be safe. They could separate then, assuming the crowd was thin enough at that point, and remove the distinctive sight of a small human woman and a Widow clutching at each other's arms. Perhaps they would be able to slip past the man at the head of the alley, then split up, but she didn't want to bet on such initial luck. Alternatively they could split now, but then both would be more vulnerable to the buffets of the crowd as they made their way through the end of the bottleneck. She wouldn't like to abandon her stabilizing force unless she had to.

They were half as far now from the opening of the alley. Dovey was doing her best to slow them, but she could only make so much of a reduction in pace before those behind them unbalanced the pair in shoving past. They were approaching the danger too quickly, and she didn't have time to think...

She could betray the Widow.

There was a thought; it was likely her companion their pursuer had a grudge against, not herself. If he accosted them, she could say the Widow was kidnapping her, take the burly man's arm instead, and lose herself in the streets after he got her safely out of this packed alleyway. The chance of injury was there - the man's intentions towards her might not, after all, be entirely honorable - but the risk was lower than it would be if she aligned herself with the frail-looking Widow against such an opponent. She could get safe - but petch, this whole train of thought was leaving a bad taste in her mouth. He might be a spider, but he hadn't sought to hurt her, and he'd gotten her this far. She couldn't throw him over all cold-blooded like that.

Well, only as a last resort.

But then what could she do? They had drawn still nearer to the exit of the alley while she'd been thinking - if they were going to encounter their pursuer, there could only be ticks left until they did -

but ahead of them the crowd was thinning, and in ticks as well, she realized, they could more or less safely split -

She didn't so much think of a plan as intuit one, so that she herself did not entirely understand what she intended to do, but still she leaned back toward the Widow and spoke urgently into his ear.

"When we get near him, drop my arm and get out. I'll distract him."

Best of both worlds.

Her plan was crystallizing in her mind. It was simple enough, as befit such last-chime circumstances. She would get the attention of the stranger - flirt with him or something, who cared. The Widow would leave on his own; she worried for a half-tick about that, but he was athletic, he'd be fine for the tiny distance remaining. She, meanwhile, would be escorted from the alley on the arm of a very sturdy-looking fellow. Then she'd lose him in the streets, and head home safe and sound. Easy.

All right, so trusting the aggressive stranger perhaps wasn't the least risky idea. But it was all she had.

The end of the alley loomed still closer. Dovey couldn't see much past those just in front of them, short as she was, but still she began to hope that they would not encounter the man after all. Her stomach tightened in fear-tinged anticipation when -

There he was.

He stood maybe two heads above her, his back to the near wall of the alley, crowd breaking around him like a rock in the surf. He was hard-eyed, weatherbeaten, the lines of his face sharply defined. Dovey didn't know if it was only her own fear which made him so foreboding, or some more rational insight, but something deep in her wanted desperately to get away. She drew in a slow breath and kept moving forward, not strictly toward the man but on a path which led her and the Widow closer to him, even as it also led them closer to the end of the alley.

Her eyes stayed locked on him.

Step. Step.

He moved.

This was it; he saw her, his gaze was on her, he shoved carelessly through the people between them and made his way toward her. She turned her face away momentarily, shook at the Widow's arm - "Go. Go!" - he mustn't mess this up, she mustn't be seen with him now, this man had to trust her - she hoped he hadn't spotted her companion beside her yet -

He reached her, and whether or not the Widow was still behind her, she turned her face upward to smile as brightly as she could manage into the stranger's own. "Saw you earlier - " no, don't lead with that, you idiot, earlier wasn't a pleasant encounter - " - I'm impressed how easily you handle this mob! I can barely keep my feet." She was swaying now, in fact, pressing herself into the stranger's zone of calm, where the crowd split around him. It probably seemed like flirting, so that was all right. He was fixing her with an odd look now, or was it only her nerves that made it appear odd -

O Tavasi, she found herself praying, er - Sylir? Priskil? Any of you - come on, let this work.


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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Vaerin on June 6th, 2017, 4:20 am

How time slowed to a crawl in those tense moments. Like Tanroa had tarried the flow of time to relish in every single chime that slipped by as the two moved closer and closer to the exit, and this strange man. Maybe a more lofty part of Dra-Vaerin's sub conscious thought this to be true. It only seemed to be confirmed by the time that it took for the woman to respond with a plan. Though, he was certain in his fear riddled brain he could not have come up with a plan that would work effectively.

He would have been remiss to say that he was not worried about the possibility of the woman betraying him at the very last moment to save himself. For it was clear that she was afraid of him. Perhaps if the situation had been reversed, and he had been the human he may have feared her. But that was not his reality, and he would have to trust Viratas to protect him.

Dra-Vaerin steeled himself for the possibility of this conclusion. It was already forgone conclusion that the man had seen them. This woman may have hoped desperately that it was not true. He too would have held onto this hope had he not seen the gaze of the man. Such hope would have been utterly futile. They needed to mitigate the risk they were in right now. He needed to mitigate his risk. This woman could turn coat at any moment. They had been uneasy partners since the beginning. Mere bells in each other's company had only proven that there was no sense of camaraderie that existed beyond the desire to make it out alive. As much as he wanted to take it on faith that a stranger would have another's best interests etched into their heart: he could not rely on such idealism. Less than a season ago these very same strangers were slaughtering an entire race for merely being involved with a goddess. In his mind, the races here no longer had any right to look at the Symenestra with scorn over the Harvest. They were just as bad if not worse. The Symenestra did it to survive. What was the excuse of the races above ground?

Yes, Dra-Vaerin needed to stand on his own two feet for this one. He may not have been a warrior, but he needed to have the heart of one. If not for his own sake, for the sake of his mother. He would not abandon her like his father had. He would protect himself for her any way he could.

However, so committed to this was he, that the crisis of consciousness and morality that factored into this small woman's decision took him by surprise as she leaned in close and whispered into his ear.

"When we get near him, drop my arm and get out. I'll distract him."

His eyes widened in surprise, scanning her face for any sign that this was a lie as she pulled away. What this woman suggested was...incredible to say the least. He would have never imagined the scenario playing out like this.

"Are..are you...? He stammered, the genuinity of his surprise clear as day.

His feelings towards the woman reversed almost instantaneously because of this simple act. To her, it may have been the best of a bad situation. But to Dra-Vaerin, this was an act of selfless kindness unparalleled to any directed at him. He was not entirely sure how to finish this conversation.

"If there is no other way. I thank you. Gods protect you." There was an earnest sincerity to these words, as he sent a silent prayer to Viratas to protect her blood for such an act of selflessness.

The feeling of dread was palpable as they edged closer and closer. It was now or never for the young widow. He would have to flee, and quickly.

There he was, the crags on his face deepening as he pushed the stragglers out of his way as easy as the tide might have washed away driftwood. His hardened eyes fixated on the young woman. She uttered to him to make his escape.

Dra-Vaerin reluctantly loosened his hands from the arm of the woman, and quickly slide between two, then three, and four people to the left. They were thankfully taller than himself. He was sure the man had not seen him. He had to be sure of it. Though rather than immediately take off running, he had to be sure that the woman was going to be safe. He could not leave such kindness so simply. Not when the risk to the woman was so great. He'd remain just out of sight and just close enough so he could help if need be. For he was under the impression Ovek had a personal vendetta against anyone associated with him.

--

The man had been keeping track of the filthy widow the moment he had seen him just as the dock riot started. Their kind couldn't be trusted as far as they could be thrown. Especially around young women. He had lost a childhood friend to the silky tongue of one of these abominations before. Poor Gweneth never returned from those caves. He had been powerless to stop it from happening once. The same mistake would not be made twice. When he had seen the frail looking man latch onto the woman he knew he had to intervene. Yet it was not successful the first time. He had lost them, but Sylir damn it, he was a persistent old dog. He'd see the brain matter of the widow splashed upon the streets. Revenge for Gwen covered by the excuse of protecting this woman from the Spider. The riots offered such a convenience in this regard. There was no doubt in his mind as he set towards them, his brows curling inwards as his jaw clenched. This caused the hollows of his cheeks to grow taught like they had been in his youth.

The two had been lost to him the moment they made it into the alley. But there they were. Her beautiful eyes were unmistakable in the crowd. They reminded him of Gwen. Not so much in colour for Gwen's were a soft and glorious brown. But they shared the same sparkle for a moment. There was a similar kind of fiery passion the lit them from within. It made him all the more determined. Though, something had changed. He had seen the way she whispered into the venomous monster's ear. Why? Why would she do that as he approached them?

The creature slipped away before he got to them. What matter of..?

Then the woman clumsily flirted with him. Or at least so it seemed. It felt disingenuine. Had the timing been any different he would have felt himself the luckiest man in all of Mizahar to have a young lady take a fancy to a salty old dog like him. It was too good to be true. It always was. With that, his face fell. It all fell into place in that moment. This woman was colluding with that thing. It made the most sense. She was just as bad as that creature she guided through the street. That's why they were holding each other so closely. It had already poisoned her mind. Who knew what sinister plan they were concocting. How many other innocent maidens would be lost to those abominable things. All he knew is that it was too late to save this woman like it was too late to save Gwen. The petching Widows sullied everything they came into contact with. He didn't know what he would do just yet to this pawn. But he would strike her down all the same if she tried to stop him from getting to the Widow. He'd find a way to justify his actions - say the crowd knocked her down. Anything to stop these two from ruining more lives. He could only imagine what these two were going to do with the confusion that this crowd would start. Most likely abduct some unwitting saps that thought this charlatan in danger. That's when the widow would strike. Yes, it all made sense. Even the shine in her eyes seemed dulled and cruel.

"Save it wench. I see right through you," He growled, a crazed fire in his eye, "What are you two planning?"
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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Dovey on June 13th, 2017, 12:22 pm

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Petch, Dovey swore silently, bitterly. It isn't going to work!

The stranger had spent several long and agonizing ticks scrutinizing her through squinted, suspicious eyes. During those ticks Dovey's nerves had been stretched to breaking point, her own gaze fixed, desperately cheerful, on her dubious new acquaintance's face. Come on, she had found herself thinking, answer - just answer, you petcher, don't leave me in this. She had anticipated relief in certainty, even if the answer she received went against her plans.

She'd been wrong; having the answer was worse.

Involuntarily she shrank away from the stranger, shoulders moving protectively forward, chest sinking lower. She'd worried, true, but she hadn't - couldn't have anticipated this furnace in his eyes. Perhaps he had been wondering what to make of her, during those few suspenseful ticks when he had given her such a strange, squint-eyed look - well, he had come to a conclusion all right, and by the way he growled now into her face, she doubted his condemnation would be lifted easily. "Save it wench," he nearly spat. "I see right through you. What are you two planning?"

Dovey pressed backwards, feeling the brush of loose cloaks and dresses against her spine. She could run, into the crowd - but no, the man would easily catch her. Petch, this plan hadn't been well thought out! All right, so she'd had about three ticks to decide what to do, but honestly, what had she thought would happen if the man decided to dislike her? Now he had some idea of a conspiracy in his head, some deception he probably imagined she and the Widow had concocted; this would be a lovely time for a backup plan, but of course, she had left herself without one. As it was she had no choice but to try and talk the stranger down, and she didn't fancy her chances at that.

Nevertheless, she had to make the attempt. "Listen, gentlesir," she began, her voice a tad unsteady. "If you mean the Widow you saw me with earlier, we aren't - "

"I said save it!" the stranger snarled. "I saw you whispering with that creature. I saw you send it away." A grizzled hand shot out, closing tightly around her upper arm. "Tell me where it's gone."

Dovey hesitated, wondering desperately what to say; she didn't know where the Widow would have gone after he left the crowd, but how could she convince her assailant to believe that? "I - " she began, then faltered, breath catching.

Dira take it.

She'd thought to make herself safe by this plan. Safe! As if life would ever work itself out so well. She'd tried to compromise, to ensure both her own and her erstwhile companion's wellbeing, and now she was paying for that choice. The man's eyes were pitiless, hot with anger, his glare refusing to soften even as she felt her expression tinged by her fear. He meant to do her harm, she was sure of it, or at the least he wasn't averse to the prospect. Petch, what kind of petching stupid risk had she stumbled into, just to compromise for the safety of a petching Widow she'd met this same day? What an idiot she was.

The stranger sighed, a short, sharp, impatient sound. "I haven't hurt you yet, you know," he began, sounding marginally calmer now than he had when he first challenged Dovey. "But if you don't tell me where that creature is..."

"He left the alley!" The words burst from Dovey's lips. "He's gone into the city proper. Listen, we're not planning anything, we were just trying to - "

The man snorted dismissively, cutting her off with the sound. His grip on her arm tightened. "Where is it headed?"

"I don't know!" She turned her head to stare outward into the mob, gaze flickering desperately from face to face. Didn't anyone see her here, see what was happening? If she could only catch a friendly eye...

But the crowd streamed on, parting smoothly around the pair of them, each individual too preoccupied with their own safety to notice the small woman's plight. In the corner of her eye, Dovey saw her captor's lower lip curl. "What?" he said, his tone startling her with its sheer bitterness. "Looking for easier prey to feed to that spider?"

Dovey's head swung round again, her nostrils flaring as she looked him angrily in the eye. Gods, what she wouldn't give to punch this self-righteous, bullying fool straight in the teeth and get away clean - but what with his height, and his strength, and petite little her coming up to his chest and with next to no ability in a fight...

Shyke, she'd probably break her fist on his face. And much as she wanted to tell him exactly what she thought of him, she really shouldn't do that either - no sense provoking the man even further. So she restrained her tongue, infuriating as it was, and contented herself with stiffness. "No, sir," she said coldly. "I'm no traitor."

The man actually laughed, a harsh sound with no humor in it.

"And," Dovey continued, her voice brittle, "I ask you to let me go. I'm sure the knights will be coming soon to break up this riot."

"The knights." The man sounded derisive, but Dovey thought she heard a note of worry in his voice as well. Had she managed to get through to him? She allowed herself to hope for a moment that under the threat of the law, he would choose to let her go - but she had no such luck. Instead, the man turned, into the flow of the crowd, and began to stride forward. Dovey was pulled along beside him, bumping into passersby, pulling futilely at her arm in an effort to free it from his grasp. "You say it's left the alley," the man said. "Well, it can't have gone far. We're going to find it one way or another."


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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Vaerin on June 16th, 2017, 2:36 pm

He watched from a distance in anticipation as the man approached the woman and the two began to speak. The man's facial expression was not immediately discernable as anything other as intense.

For the briefest of moments it almost seemed as if the hastily constructed plan would work in both their favour. Dra-Vaerin almost had enough time to feel satisfied with the way things turned out. Even if they had not gotten along at the time, they would be able to go their separate ways safely knowing they had been able to work together. He would have been able to think about how to get himself to safety and perhaps alert the Knights if they were not already knowledgeable about the events currently transpiring. Which, they almost would have certainly had to have been. The noises behind them and closer to the epicentre of the riot were unholy. He may have even seen smoke pluming. What was going back on at the docks?

However, that was not to be. For even from this distance, the young Widow could see the near-deranged look into the man's eyes. Though he could not make out exactly what was being said over the other din that assaulted his eardrums, he had a good idea. It was very evident that their conversation had soured greatly. Indeed, Dra-Vaerin thought it somewhat of a marvel that this behemoth did not burst a blood vessel in his neck from how much it was protruding whilst he spoke or yelled. Of course. How could it have been any other way? Had this petching dock ever brought him anything but anxiety? What Dra-Vaerin could not have expected was the ferocity in the way that this mountain of a man grabbed onto the much smaller woman's upper arm. His companion's face was awash with fear and anger. Clearly she had not expected this outcome either. Truthfully how could either of them? It was apparent he was the source of the man's ire. Not her. Yet it was always a futile exercise trying to fully understand the reasons behind other's actions. Especially if they had seemed to have lost their sanity.

Which brought Dra-Vaerin to his own moral dilemma. This woman clearly had no love for the Dra-Vaerin or his kin. He was now in a position of safety. He was free to make his own way back. That was the terms of the woman's plan after all. He was not beholden to her. It wasn't his fault the man reacted poorly to her. In fact, he would objectively be in more danger by trying to help her now. Clearly the man had murderous intent for him, and maybe her. Viratas always rewarded those that were selective and intelligent in when to spill their own blood in protecting others. This man clearly wanted to make Dra-Vaerin bleed, and she was not his kin nor shown respect for them. It would be simpler to walk away unharmed. After all, surely someone would save her. The humans looked after their own the same way his kind protected theirs. With exceptions. You're always doomed to be nothing in either world, Dra.

Yes, he could just as simply follow their plan. He almost might have.

But something stopped him. What exactly did this would elude him for many moons, maybe even seasons. Yet it was so visceral. Something deeply weaved into the tapestry of his muscles, organs, and even his blood called to him as he nearly gave into the easy path. The kind act she had shown him by sparing him from the wrath of this man. This was the other side of Viratas and the Viratassa that spoke to him. That was what stopped him. She, whether out of the goodness of her own heart or not had protected him. In the overarching scheme of the cosmos, of Mizahar, she had acknowledged their connection through blood. She spared his from being shed. He could not - nor would not break that connection that had been realised through such an act. It would have been an affront to the very code of the Viratassa. That was why he could not walk away. His actions would reflect better on him if he chose to show bravery and do all he could to protect her.

How he would go about it was unclear. He would not be making a rash plan like her. Dra-Vaerin did realise that even now he did not have much time to think out a fully realised plan though. It was something that would be hasty. But hopefully better thought out than the one that led his companion into such a situation. After all, his people were apparently known for their ingenuity in matters of intrigue. He couldn't let them down now.

He had to put some distance between them though, for it was clear that this man meant to find him. What he would do with the both of them if Vaerin did not have a plan formulated was unimaginable. He managed to spring through a rapidly narrowing gap that existed between two people just to his right. This was done in unison to the man beginning to push through the throng. Another few people ran through the alley, nearly knocking him over in the process. He managed to correct himself by hyperextending a leg and locking the other knee into place in a braced position.

"Where are you Widow?! I know you're here!" The man bellowed, loud enough for Vaerin to hear. This was not good. Nothing was coming to his mind. He could not see anything in the surrounding area that would be helpful either.

Bursting into a run seemed like the safest bet to get a distance between them. He continued on his current trajectory to the right of the alley. This would lead him close to one of the main streets near the docks. It was not the busiest of main thoroughfares in Syliras. Usually, there was at least one or two Knights stationed here. Yes, getting the Knights was a feasible idea. There surely would be no questions asked when they saw this brute manhandling a clearly unwilling woman like this. Dra-Vaerin would stretch the truth a bit to make this man seem even viler than he was. He was sure the woman would back up this fabrication without any prompting, after all, it would keep her safe from this man for a long time.

He needed to get to the Knights first though.

However, before he knew what was happening, a speeding thief knocked square into him. Sending the two tumbling to the ground, his loot spilling out in front of Vaerin. Five long stemmed carrots, and a coin purse marked with the symbol of one of the trading ships with what seemed to be at least sixteen gold mizas. Rather than stop to pick them up, the thief ran. Clearly more concerned with getting thrown in prison that getting away with their ill-gotten goods.That must have meant some Knights were closing in. Dra-Vaerin winced in pain, rolling onto his front, trying to avoid being trampled by two more people that ran past.

Then it struck him. He could also set this man up as a thief to boot if he managed to slip some of this stolen fare, it would draw the attention of the guards that must be nearby. He was not aware of it either, but it was fortuitous that he was knocked to the ground. Just as he began to run, the man thought he had spotted the widow. Forcing his captive onwards in that direction, he felt that he must have been mistaken when a lack of visual sight of the thin creature threw into question what he had seen.

Dra-Vaerin nearly picked up the easily identifiable coin purse and one of the carrots, before lifting himself up before he was trampled by any more incoming individuals. He kept himself hunched over, so as not to be easily visible by the man as he began to circle back in the opposite direction. Whilst he wanted to get behind the man and slip the contraband into his pockets, he knew that option was likely to backfire for him. If he was subtle enough, perhaps it would go completely unnoticed. Still no signs of the Knights though. Which is what put him off of the idea. Though, maybe if he were to lead this man to this spot, it would still be possible to frame him. Perhaps he would have to hope the crowd would fend off this burly attacker instead of the Knights?

Though Dra-Vaerin thought to himself, maybe the simple act of biting this man would be enough to scare him off of this woman. Or perhaps there was a third option he had yet to think of himself. He just only hoped that the woman was not too scared, and if she had seen him, realised that he was in the middle of trying to help her and kept his presence a secret.
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[Dovey] On the Edge of Rioting

Postby Dovey on June 26th, 2017, 9:04 am

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"Where are you Widow?!" Dovey's captor roared, and she shrank away as much as she was able from the explosion of sound. She was breathing quick and shallow, adrenaline shooting through her body, trying desperately to think of some escape from the situation while distracted every half a chime by her own fears about what might happen to her. This man could have no hope that the Widow would give himself up - his hatred must simply be intense enough to spill over into impulsive, furious shouting. And he thought she and the Widow had been colluding together...

Involuntarily she shuddered.

The man gave her no chance to stop and get either her breath or her wits. He dragged her through the crowd, pushing people aside with one hand while still clutching her roughly to him with the other. She thought again about yanking her way free, but she feared provoking her captor to violence - although he might well still harm her whatever she did -

The man's head snapped to the right, and without preamble he set out to cut diagonally through the throng; his narrowed eyes fixed themselves firmly on something in the area now ahead of them. Dovey stumbled, nearly falling, at the sudden change in direction, but the man held her up, never slowing as he made his way toward his mysterious new objective.

Could he have spotted the Widow? Guiltily, Dovey found herself hoping he had, though surely her former companion had escaped to safety by this point. He had no reason to continue lurking in this chaotic crowd. Corroborating her doubts, the man stopped short after only a few steps; when Dovey glanced cautiously at his face he was scanning the crowd with a scowl. After a moment, he grimaced darkly and resumed their former course, Whatever he'd thought he had seen, it was evidently gone.

But the incident had helped to clear Dovey's mind. The Widow had fled, and as fueled with anger as this man might be, she doubted all his determination would be enough to track his quarry through the winding stone streets of Syliras. That left her as his only available target, and she did not like to think what he might do if he took his fury out on her. She had to escape.

But she couldn't fight him, as she'd realized when he first took her captive. She wouldn't stand a chance against this muscled behemoth. And she'd never manage to talk her way out either at this juncture. So that left - what? If she could distract him somehow, get him to let go of her arm and look away, she could run from the alley and lose herself in the streets. He might be able to shove past people, but she was so short that if she could get a few people between them she would be totally hidden from sight. But what could possibly distract him to the extent that he would actually release her arm? No, this plan simply wasn't realistic. She needed to think of something else.

Maybe she could get the help of others in the crowd? She was wary of trusting another stranger - after all, that was exactly what had gotten her into trouble in the first place - but she had the sense it would be difficult to put herself into a worse situation than this one. She had been trying to catch the eyes of passersby earlier, but she had had no success; perhaps, though, if she shouted, she might draw enough attention to warrant the risk of angering her captor.

But the goal, she reminded herself, was not to draw attention to herself but to find a rescuer. She knew she for one wouldn't put her own safety in danger to help someone else in such a position - she would sympathize, of course, but she wouldn't actually risk stepping in. Most people would probably behave the same way - who wanted to get themselves hurt for a stranger? A knight would be different, with their armor and their weapons and their public spirit, but the Knights weren't here that she could see - petch it all, what was she supposed to do?

They had rounded the corner while she'd been thinking, moving into the wider street which was a part of the city proper. The crowd spilled out of the alley and instantly thinned, dispersing in both directions as well as across the more generous breadth of the road. She was clear of the riot, just as she'd wanted when she approached this man, yet the danger she was in had only increased. The irony stung.

Come on, though, surely there was a knight or two somewhere around here? Someone must have reported the riot by now, and they had to want to arrest those participating - how long could it take them to arrive? She glanced impatiently about, but though the crowd was tamer now she was still surrounded mostly by those taller than her, and she could see little in the distance. For all she knew the Knights were here already, arresting people, yet her height was hiding her from them and they from her. She couldn't count on finding one; she had to enact a plan, no matter how ill thought out it was. She didn't have time to waste.

There was a man passing now within a few feet of them whose muscles looked as though they had seen some use. Dovey took a quick breath, gathering her resolve. Her captor didn't seem to suspect anything. Now - she spun outward, turning to face the passerby, straining against the iron grip on her arm. "Oi!" she shouted at the same time. "Help, I'm being kidnapped - "

She was yanked painfully backwards, a hand closing across her mouth. "Don't you dare," her captor growled into her ear. "I'm not petching around, girl. You try snaring anyone with that horse shyke again, you'll regret it."

Panic stirred in Dovey's belly, despite her efforts to subdue it. With the man's huge hand across her face she couldn't see how the fellow she'd called out to had reacted - but surely if he were coming for her, her captor would be readying himself for a fight rather than taking the time to threaten Dovey. She could only assume her efforts had failed.

She was still trapped.


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