Open [The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Nya and Trevor meet by firelight on swing beach.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Nya Winters on July 24th, 2017, 3:54 am

Timestamp: 10th of Summer, 517 AV


The Talderian Forest Cat was incredibly restless. The class today at the Panacea had awoken something in her... a thirst for knowledge she'd long left buried in the husk of what she'd become. A burning desire to better herself made itself known, rearing its ugly head and causing her to start to think beyond the moment and to actually plan for tomorrow. It was akin to when she'd started her wilderness survival training and had began to feel like a cat again, verses a broken thing just recovering from her ordeal in Ravok.

Syka had been incredibly good to Nya. She wasn't sure if it was fate, chance, or Zulrav's winds that had brought her here. But she did know that she was going to stay. She was slowly healing. Strength was returning to her ruined body and her skin actually glowed with health on her diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and raw meat. Even with her parents growing up, she'd always been hungry. Here she got full at times, though sometimes what filled her up wasn't actual food. Sometimes it was knowledge or even rest. Sometimes she suspected it was the incredible good weather and the pale stone beaches.

Wandering, Nya ended up down on Swing Beach with an armload of firewood. Her lessons from Randal had given her the knowledge on how to start a good bonfire and keep it going. There was a pit of partially burned wood already in the center of the beach. She added a pile to the margin of the fire pit and gathered a load of tinder by taking her dagger and shredding one of the pieces of driftwood into fine shavings. The she used her flint and steel to strike up an ember and get the shavings burning. The moment she did, heat flared through her hands and they glowed. She tried to shake her hands to dispel the slight glow and more sparks flew off her fingers unhindered. Nya snorted, curious, and added kindling to the fire shaking more sparks onto it. The little fire never fluttered, flared, or sputtered. Instead it took off as if someone had poured a bottle of rum over it. Nya quickly added big chunks of driftwood and sat back, curled slightly on one hip, and studied her hands. The glow faded away slowly, but she knew she'd seen it there. It was nothing like reimancy and nothing like anything she'd ever seen. A breeze tossed her hair and Nya turned to the creature. "What is this? Have you seen it?" The breeze laughed at her, tying a long strand of brindled hair into a knot before it answered in a happy voice.

"Firestarter. Everyone's becoming one. Something is awoken here. Something that belongs to HIM..." The fire flared as the breeze circled around the flames excitedlyn. "Him? Zulrav?" Nya asked, her eyes tracking the breeze. The breeze danced for Nya, laughing, and swirled around. "No, HIM that burns brightest." Nya had no idea what that meant and before she could ask further, the breeze fluttered away.... gone into the quickly falling night.

The Kelvic sat longer, quiet, letting the fire coat the front of her with heat and turn her brindled hair flaming orange in the flickering firelight. She glanced up at the stars slowly popping into view, and then looked around remembering how Randal had told her never to stare into the fire. She did anyhow, feeling safe in the firelight and wishing the breeze would return to talk to her. There were other creatures there, small wisps and larger zephyrs, but nothing that wanted to talk. She missed talking... missed company. It had felt so good listening to Jansen today, learning.

Nya wanted more.

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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Trevor Hightly on July 25th, 2017, 1:03 am

The last of the evening's light caressed the Suvan Sea off of Syka's beach line, granting the waters one last soft and sparkling touch as a goodbye. The heavens teetered from the blue of day and fell off into the black and whites of a warm night. The last bit of the day's life slipped away; the sun would never again shine on a 10th of Summer in the year of 517 A.V. for that date had come and it had gone, it's appointed time now passed into the beyond of the recent past.

Trevor's thin form carried him first along the Cobbled Pathway and then off of it. The man's brown boots slipped from the hard and packed earth of the pathway and to the shifting and moist sands that carried on underfoot all along the length of the swing beach.

When Trevor had first stepped upon the trail that stretched the length of the settlement of Syka the stars had not yet begun to twinkle into existence and the sky had been painted with the vivid oranges, and the deep yellows, and the warm reds of a most beautiful sunset; now that he had reached the swing beach his body had begun to relax after being stretched during the man's moderately long walk. With his body calm and the warm heat of the jungle night wrapping around him, Trevor could not help but feel as if he was resting in motion, and with having spent the entire day learning lessons that he enjoyed at the Panacea he truly felt calm and contented with his life.

Trevor's nineteen years had led him down quite the journey. The man reflected that sometimes his days had been joyful -- the late, hug-filled nights with Elana came to mind. And, somewhat more somberly, he also acknowledged that there had been those moments where his time on Mizahar had not been as easy on his soul; as his mind dared to drift to those darker and past days, a dull mark in the shape of a single singing swallow seemed to almost burn, from where it sat embossed into the flesh of his chest, and to remind Trevor that it would be his silent and unspeaking, but ever-present companion for the rest of his days -- it was his lacun mark, a symbol that was in equal measures a blessing and a curse and that declared for all that looked upon its silver depths that he had loved and that he had also lost.

Trevor's blue eyes twinkled, as in the distance a fire began to burn against the night sky. The bonfire was truly a beautiful thing; it sparkled with all the colors of the most beautiful flames that any could ever imagine and cast its very much alive, flickering light upon the many rope swings that hung from the equally as numbered trees that rose up around its flames. Something primal within Trevor drew him to the blaze, something that was rooted somewhere within himself and that was curious and struck with the deepest of wanderlusts -- it was a feeling that could, and had been at times, almost extinguished by the hardships of life, but that had always during those times held on to the hope that it would thrive in some distant and future day and that now was once more beginning to burn with a modest vigor within Trevor's healing heart.

The sand of the beach crunched under Trevor's brown boots as he crossed the sands; the man was not doing anything to hide his approach, as he was venturing to visit his chosen destination with only the most goodly of intentions. And as he reached the outer outskirts of where Nya's growing bonfire was casting its ring of glow, Trevor noticed the familiar hues of green and brown that said fire illuminated within the woman's uniquely colored hair and he smiled ever so slightly.

"It's a beautiful thing, fire -- when it's warm, and contained, and in harmony with itself," Trevor commented to Nya, as he came up into her field of vision; Nya's visitor spoke in a tone that seemed like he was asking for and demanding nothing from anyone, but merely speaking into the wind and whispering into the ears of all that might be warmed by another's softly spoken musings. "With the swings, and the trees, and the warmth of the jungle all around, there could hardly be a better night for it. Don't you think?"

Seasonal Wordcount: 21,268 + 747 = 22,015
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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Nya Winters on July 26th, 2017, 3:19 am



The Talderian Forest Cat blinked as if slowly waking from a twilight dream when the shadows seem to expel a man from their very depths. She tilted her head back to study him from where she reclined with her legs tucked under her. The Kelvic was resting before the crackling blaze he spoke of. Nya was momentarily distracted by the way the shadows were slow at giving him up. The firelight licked up his features, illuminating his nose and brow first, then the high points of his cheeks and his chest. His knees came into view as he stepped forward and suddenly he too was completely bathed in the warm yellow and orange light.

His words were slow in coming but she took in what he said, pausing a moment before she answered. "You should smell what I can, Trevor." She said, testing out how his name sounded on her lips. He was the man from the class earlier, part of a happy memory for today. Nya drank in the air around them, slowly, tasting it as only a wild thing could.

"The air is drenched in life. The sea, the jungle, and even the stars seem to have their own perfume. It's so deceptively peaceful right now." She spoke slowly, her husky alto almost offensive to her because it broke the crackling music of the fire and the sway of the palms in the slowly rising night wind.

Nya continued to study him, wondering almost to herself if she'd just conjured him out of the night to satisfy her deep seated need for conversation. No real person would be roaming about at night. She tilted her head, studying him, and then added if only to herself.

"No, you must be real. If I imagined you, I would imagine you without those boots on because I've never seen a snake or a threat to bare feet here next to the water. It's only in the jungle, deep in the trees, that boots are really needed."
She reasoned slowly, her lips curving upwards as the kelvic seemed impressed she'd solved her own question of his reality.

True to her words, her own feet were bare. So too were her arms. A tank and a thin pair of cotton shorts were all that covered her. The fire kept her warm at night and the sun did its own work during the day. There was no need for anything else as long as she wasn't heading into the jungle.

"Why are you out wandering the night? You are welcome to join me, but I warn you. The fire is not acting as it should. It's prone to becoming part of oneself. My hands, they glowed for a bit when I tried to spark my flint and fire came to life without it."
The Talderian Forest Cat advised. She said nothing more in the way of explaining because she knew nothing more of the mystery.

So she kept quiet, letting him think as he would and giving him the space to decide to join her or not by the fire. If he joined her, she'd pass him the flask of coconut water she had sitting in the sand beside her. If he moved on, she'd quietly watch him go.

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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Trevor Hightly on July 26th, 2017, 11:35 pm

Trevor cracked a bit of a reserved but honest smile at Nya's actions and musings -- first at how the woman articulated her own viewpoint and then at the way that she seemed to talk to herself. The man didn't mind the last of the woman's aforementioned actions nor did he find it annoying or unsettlingly odd as some might have; he was aware that people could have all sorts of odd habits and ways of communicating, and what Nya said she had said in what seemed to be a friendly manner -- Trevor was not so judging as to allow himself to be agitated by another's mannerisms if that person came to him in a spirit of good faith.

"I wouldn't mind seeing your world, Nya -- or anyone's. If colors were like worldviews, then one man's blue might as well be another's red, but I'd like to think that it takes a splash of every color to really brighten up or to balance out a good life," Trevor replied.

As he spoke, he calmly and gently settled himself into the moist sand beside the dire kelvic -- not so close as to be rude and not so far as to be standoffish or awkward, but at an acceptably polite and friendly distance. The man happily accepted the coconut water that the woman offered him as he sat, taking a sip of the liquid and gazing into the bonfire's flame as he did so, before offering the vessel that Nya had handed him back to the brunet.

"They glowed?" Trevor inquired in an interested and lighthearted tone, that didn't seem to argue Nya's odd claim at all, but merely seemed to indicate that the man had accepted her words at their face value.

Trevor looked into the fire once more, an amused glow that didn't come from the bonfire but from within the man's fire-lit, pale blue eyes seeming to cross his face as he appeared to ponder the flames themselves.

"Orange, and blue, and yellow, and that might even be a splash of green," Trevor identified a few of the many colors that were sparkling beautifully together within Nya's bonfire. "Who's to say? Perhaps some forgotten and sunken god's blessing has blown in from the Suvan -- or his curse."

Trevor gave Nya a look of purposefully mock concern as he mentioned a curse, with a mood of kind humor sparkling in his eyes.

"Gods, magic, monsters -- we live in a world of wonders and terrors, Nya. Things surprise me all the time, but I'm always shocked that they can in a world like this," Trevor commented. "I couldn't tell you what might be in those flames."

"But, I can tell you about my boots," the man changed the subject with his words, which were accompanied by a lighthearted chuckle. "Wearing them is a habit -- maybe here they're a useless one, but oh well. My feet are soft, anyway. I wore them out here because I wanted to enjoy my night with a sunset walk; mornings and the end of a day, I love them both. One makes promises of what is to come to you and the other is simply amazing for reflecting on if you did enough to receive the other's promises."

Trevor paused for a moment, and the humor on his face reverted back to friendliness and a sense of free-spirited calm once more.

"And you? What drew you to spark fire to a bunch of wood on an empty beach?" Trevor inquired of the woman. "If you're anything like myself then you just wanted to think and to keep a good day going for a little bit longer, but you might see the world through a different shade of color than I do."

Seasonal Wordcount: 24,735 + 629 = 25,364
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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Nya Winters on July 31st, 2017, 1:44 am


The Kelvic nodded at Trevor’s words. “There is a song…. that has words like you utter.” She said after a moment. Then she smiled and sang a line. The kelvic didn’t have a singer’s voice, but her alto wasn’t wholly unpleasant.

“Your blue might be grey. Your less might be more. Your window to the world might be your own front door. Your shiniest day might come in the middle of the night…. Yea. That’s just about right.”
The kelvic sang softly, her expression relaxed, as if she remembered something happy from a long long time ago.

“My mother used to sing that to me.” She added, then shifted to sit up a bit straighter when he joined her by the fire. She appreciated his choice of distances. Nya liked her space, but she didn’t want to shout at the stranger across the fire where she couldn’t see him blinded by the firelight. Thoughtful. That’s how she labeled him in her mind. That was one of the reasons she shared her coconut’s blood.

“Yes, they did glow. I was startled. I hadn’t even struck the flint to the steel yet.” She said, shaking her head still confused by what just happened. “I understand some mages can do such things. I even understand Reimancy but only in the ways of air. It was nothing I’ve seen before.” She admitted, not sure why she was telling him what she’d just experienced. By telling him, it made it more real and even more frightening. It didn’t make it easier to face.

Her eyes widened at his words. She wasn’t sure if he was kidding or not but she was currently the brunt of one Gods’ curse and didn’t want to be party to another. She almost growled, her lips thinning to peel back and display teeth until she caught his expression of playfulness… of humor. He was teasing. The kelvic relaxed a little. Trevor hadn’t been serious. IF he had, his eyes wouldn’t be twinkling. She studied the man further, wondering if he had ever had such experiences. Wouldn’t they have weighed him down and precluded any joking on his part? She wasn’t sure. Humans, for all her experience with them, still confused her.

“Heat. Sometimes pain. Sometimes comfort. That’s what is in the fire. Sometimes it will even save a life… your own perhaps.” She added, to answer his question as to what was in the flames. Nya sometimes was a literal person, though there was a bit of dreamer mixed in. Tonight was one of those times. The dreamer wasn’t fully awake and the Kelvic knew it.

But he spoke of his boots and that interested Nya. They were like tangible things to him, living, alive, with their own personality. He was a thoughtful man, mindful of his feet and aware of his weaknesses, though she’d never considered soft feet one of them. He liked sunrises and sunsets, not because of the colorful display in the sky Syka always enjoyed but because of something less material… the promise of what was possible. Nya didn’t want to dissuade him. But the world was full of ugly abuse. It housed pain and from one sunrise to one sunset it could tilt you on your head and make you sorry you were ever born.

In a way she hoped such things did not touch him. To her, the way his words were beautiful and described the day as so sacred, made her believe perhaps she was right.

Nya took a deep breath, glanced at all the colors Trevor pointed out, and then met his gaze with her forest green eyes. They looked black or sometimes gold in the flickering firelight. She studied him thoughtfully, thoroughly, before she replied.

“I didn’t want to think. I didn’t want to be alone. My head will not shut down at night sometimes and wild thoughts unbeckoned and unwanted roll across the landscape of my mind. When I do sleep I dream of things dark and scary but I forget to feel afraid. I think they have scared me so long I have grown numb to them and that in itself is frightening too. I do not sleep because of the dreams. I call them dreams but they are memories in truth. I long for morning to come quickly and for a new day to start so I can pile on more memories, lighter than the ones behind me, so that someday I will not dream so darkly. Maybe the new ones will chase out the old ones, you see? I spent a year in Ravok, in a cell beneath the citadel of the Blacksun, at the mercy of priests of the lord of chaos.” She would not name Rhysol. Nya was too afraid it would draw his attention. “I was being punished for tearing down one of his newly built temples outside of Syliras, in the wild where no such thing should be.” Nya said simply, then she swallowed and broke her gaze off to scan the quickly falling darkness.

“The Priest I killed cursed me before I took his life. His curse didn’t end with his death. I thought perhaps it would.”
Nya said, taking a deep breath and reaching up to clutch a strand of her hair. She yanked at it, twisting it around her hand, her eyes wide and slightly feral.

Then she spoke again, her words hesitant, as if it were something she hadn’t spoken of in a long long time. “Before that, I had only been shortly born newly made into the world, and I found out a terrible truth. In the past, long before the Valterrian, I was someone else, someone bored and spoiled and lazy who played with magic like a child would play with toys. I made great and powerful things and set them loose in the world were no such things should exist. I decided when I learned this that I would set out and retrieve them… destroy them if possible… but Ravok interrupted that. Ravok took everything from me that I hadn’t realized I had. I came here… to regroup. I came here to recover my health, my strength, and my fearlessness of before. “ Nya answered, knowing he might not understand and he might think her crazy. But she was telling the truth.

She released her lock of hair and smoothed a hand through her uncombed mane. “So I sparked this fire longing for company. Someone who would talk to me. So I could dwell outside my head for a while and maybe share its warmth and light with another who didn’t have such dark things inside them.” The Kelvic said, shifting so she was setting leaning on her left hip now with her left arm bracing her body as she recurled her legs under her.

“Tell me a joy in your past. Tell me of light in your life, not darkness, then tell me if you would why you came here… I came for a Pearl that lazy bored and spoiled woman hid. I didn’t know the place was such a treasure in and of itself. I hope you see that too… whatever brought you here.” Nya finished then sat back and watched Trevor try to absorb all she’d said.

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Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Trevor Hightly on July 31st, 2017, 1:48 pm

The song that Nya sang spoke to Trevor's heart. The kelvic's voice filled his ears and pleased his spirit.

"It's a pretty song," Trevor said. "I'll have to remember it."

He listened as Nya went on about the flames, explaining her odd experience when she had lit the fire. Despite his earlier laid back attitude, Trevor's eyes did swirl with a bit of surprise as Nya explained her past, her present, and her understanding of magic.

The more the kelvic spoke, however, the more the face of the man she was speaking to settled back into a look of quiet and respectful contemplation. Here was another person sharing her story -- it was plain on Trevor's face that he was considering her words carefully and valuing and respecting the fact that she had chosen to express them.

By the time Nya had explained her past life and her reason for coming to Syka, Trevor's blue irises were focused calmly and respectfully on the woman once more, allowing her to share her thoughts with an unjudging and decent listener.

And when the woman asked for him to share a joy of his, Trevor smiled politely and paused.

"A joy, Nya? I could tell you of my past friends, or of the departing and warming heat of the first sunset that I watched on this coastline," Trevor spoke in a tone that said he had heard everything that the woman had said to him and that he was now thinking thoughtfully and carefully about his response to her, but that he was also speaking truthfully and without too much worry about anything -- in the moment by the fire, he was calm and he was kind.

Trevor glanced away from Nya for a heartbeat.

"I could tell you about my best friend, or of the last few wonderful days that I had with her," Trevor said.

"There was a time with Elana that always makes me laugh. We were shopping, you see. There was this shopkeeper -- I don't even remember what Elana was trying to buy from him, but the man was being so difficult about the whole thing. Maybe it was just his personality and her's, but I don't think he liked Elana all that much," Trevor began to tell his story. "Him and her ended up in an argument. Again, I can't recall the words that were said between them, but I do remember that by the end of all of them that I and Elana ended of practically banned from that man's shop."

A gentle light of compassion glowed in Trevor's eyes and he looked into the flames of the bonfire.

"I don't mean to sadden you, Nya; you asked for a joy and it was freely given. Me and Elana used to laugh at her fuss with that merchant -- we used to think that it was so silly looking back," Trevor explained. "But the thing is, Elana ended up finding something else that day that she treasured much more than whatever it was that the merchant was being so stubborn about the price of -- and she kept that thing for the longest time after, adoring it and loving it."

The firelight crackled and a stray ray of its bright intensity flashed off of the bird-shaped pin that held on to Trevor's shirt.

"You sound sad -- and maybe scared, or perhaps just scarred by what you've seen. I can understand that and I can understand the pain of sleepless nights -- and a fear of the creeping darkness that will stalk a sad soul, seeming almost gone in one moment, and then returning whenever you close your eyes," Trevor's words held the weight of someone who had experienced that which he was speaking of. "It can feel as if the dark is going to consume you, to feed upon your hope and peace forever and maybe even without end -- and that maybe that's just something that you could never bear for eternity without end."

"Nya, I'm not going to talk from a place of wisdom -- I'm just a man and it sounds like you've seen so much more than I have, anyway. But I can share my own experience, just like you've shared your's," Trevor spoke carefully, clearly trying to avoid sounding pompous or like a lecturer. "That darkness that hunts you and prowls your dreams, I'm not so sure it's an enemy of your's -- it might just be you. Yes, you may have never known it before the events that you are now forced to relieve when you close your eyes, but those moments may merely be what revealed it. The darkness is a part of you now, as surely as the hope and the light is. But that doesn't have to be a scary thing. You once lived without the darkness I'm willing to bet; if we were lucky, we all at one time lived with only the lightness and the natural instincts of childhood and youth. During that youth, in a way, your hope may have shrouded the thing that now haunts you -- not the memories themselves, but the consuming fear that comes with them. And now the thing that haunts you may very well be what shrouds your hope."

Trevor reached out and ran his fingers through the heat that billowed off of the bonfire.

"But I like to think, at least, that just as our hope could hide the darkness, so too does our darkness hide the hope -- not killing it, but just shrouding it. They're both there, waiting to be balanced, and waiting to be accepted by your mind... and your heart," Trevor spoke, his words softly echoing off into the night air.

"I don't think man was made just to be happy. We're a mixture of good and bad, angry and loving, content and greedy," Trevor paused, a spark of an idea appearing in his eyes as he did.

"You know, the akalaks have a darker and brighter soul -- they have two souls that they're born with; growing up in Riverfall I saw that in them sometimes, although most of them are fairly balanced people despite it. Still, I'd say that every soul -- no matter its goodness or innocence -- has a dark and a bright side," Trevor mused. "We might not all have two persons inside us, but people definitely have our good and bad parts. And that bad, well, maybe it's not all that bad to learn it and to live with it -- just like the Akalaks do with their twin spirits. You may not ever like that it lives in you, but you can at least learn the nature of the pain and the lessons it may have to teach you."

Seasonal Wordcount: 1,117 + 25,743 = 26,860

OOC: Ha, I didn't get your song reference at first, Nya! But when I did I had a good chuckle -- it's a great song. :)
Last edited by Trevor Hightly on August 4th, 2017, 3:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Eamon on August 1st, 2017, 2:39 am

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Image
10th of Summer, 517 AV

oocHope you don't mind that I jumped in! Feel free to send Eamon packing

It was after the twilight time of the day and Syna had relinquished control of the world to her lover Leth. It was the time of day when Eamon came alive, in more ways than one. When moonlight embraced the shore of Syka, he changed, for the better, although all change was better than stagnation in his mind. He'd uprooted his life, and moved here, after all, for that very reason, the pursuit of change. It was one of Leth’s domains, and while Eamon was a blank slate in many ways -- by choice, as not having much of a foundation made it easier to transform -- his faith in his God remained the same regardless of where he went or who he became, like one unwavering star in the constantly drifting cosmos. So far, the decision to come to Syka felt like a good one. It was too soon to tell what his future here would turn out to be, but regardless of what it was it would probably prove to be quite exciting. He craved that thrill, as an escape from a past that haunted him despite his every attempt to leave it behind him and reinvent himself, as he did every time life got too hard to bear.

It was too beautiful a night to dwell on such matters, though, and Eamon did his best to bask in the light from the heavens. It was simply a pleasure to be greeted by Leth; it sustained the Ethaefal as well, in a way he didn't quite understand but accepted as a matter of course. For once it wasn't raining. While the frequent downpours wasn't unpleasant, especially to one used to the harsh ocean storms, if Eamon could change one aspect of Syka it would be that. He frankly didn't know why it rained all the time, nor did he know where all the water went. Despite all his best efforts, everything he owned was slowly but surely becoming damp in a combination of rain and sweat. Still, although the rain put a bit of a damper on the place, the weather in Syka was excellent, with balmy temperatures most days.

The living conditions were another matter entirely. People were barely scraping by and Eamon was glad he didn't have to eat as much as some as long as he could absorb moonlight. Resources of all kinds were stretched thin and people had to rely on what they could produce with their own hands and ingenuity. It was a savage land, but beautiful with its dangers in its own way. It was also remarkable to Eamon how everyone here banded together in the face of survival. He definitely wouldn't have made it even this short amount of time without support, although he was careful not to rely too much on the kindness of strangers. If he couldn't pull his own weight or contribute his fair share, he'd be cast out, alone, like a ship blown from its moorings with no one aboard.

Most people slept as much as possible, as the occasionally brutal conditions required a long and full days work almost everyday, although gatherings after sunset weren't completely unheard of. Still, Eamon had been wandering through the dunes with no one else around, sand between his bare toes, not expecting to encounter another soul. So it was with a great deal of surprise that he could see a brightness breaking up the almost uniform darkness in the distance. Intrigued by who would be out on the beach with a bonfire at this late hour, Eamon picked his way through the sometimes treacherous footing, curiosity eating at him and spurring him on.

He could hear faint strains of a song as he grew near, a woman’s alto, which was untrained but nice enough. It faded quickly, and he was too far away to make out words. Two shapes resolved themselves into figures, a man and a woman. There was familiarity between the two of them, not like that of lovers or even friends, but of two people who had recently discovered the pleasure of one another’s company, a comfortable and companionable distance between them. They made a pretty picture, there by the fire, water, air and earth, all the elements convincing into a greater whole. He was reluctant to intrude, but seeing as there was no way to hide himself in the night. Though it was soft and gentle, his skin and horns appeared to glow, especially under the moon. So he may as well stop by and see if three was company or a crowd. If his presence was unwelcome he'd simply move on again.

As he got close enough to start to feel the heat from the fire, which danced merrily in the night with hints of color beyond the usual red, orange, and yellow dancing in his eyes, Eamon got a better look at the two strangers. The man was shorter than Eamon in both his forms, being or only average height for a human. The man was slim, almost worrisomely so although Eamon’s own frame in this guise and the other wasn't muscled or strong either. The other man wasn't handsome, despite his square face and strong jaw; his features were too thin and delicate for that. Eamon would almost describe the other man as pretty, especially with his blue eyes and reddish hair, although it was nothing compared to the otherworldly beauty that Eamon currently displayed.

The woman had her own beauty, although it was a more feral one, born from the grace he could see in her posture even now. Her hair was oddly colored, striped almost, and her eyes were startlingly green as they reflected the firelight. Unlike the other man, who was almost average, or Eamon, who surely stuck out like a sore thumb in these surroundings, she seemed to fit with her surroundings best. The Ethaefal slowed to a stop, unsure how to greet them or how they'd react. He'd caught the very tail end of the other man’s words, and while Eamon knew a little something about light, darkness, and the feeling of living two lives, without the context he didn’t wish to make assumptions about the topic of the conversation.

He hated having to be the first to speak, as it meant that he didn’t know what sort of people these were. Hopefully, they were friendly, as most folks around Syka were. He considered a dozen introductions, before settling on the simplest he could think of, but one that felt true in his heart. “Well met by moonlight.” After all, the moon touched them all, and it was only a part of Leth’s blessing. “I was going for a stroll, and your fire called to me in the darkness, like a moth.” He nodded in greeting, his horns giving his head a heavy weight. “My name is Eamon and I am new around these parts.” He risked a smile, trying to be as charming as possible.

“You two seemed quite cozy and I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” It hadn’t been that sort of companionship, he’d thought, but as he was just learning the basics of Syka, he didn’t want to make assumptions about anything. “I can go, if you’d prefer each other’s presence and not mine. It’s no trouble to continue on my way.” It would be a lonely walk though, and Eamon was suddenly struck with the urge to just sit and chat for a while. Still, he held himself back, not wanting to impose where he might not be wanted. Only if he was invited would he sink to an easy seat to the ground below, to see what these two strangers sitting in the night might possibly discussing that couldn’t wait until the daylight hours, when Leth departed, leaving Eamon bereft and in the skin of a Svefra.

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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Nya Winters on August 15th, 2017, 1:10 am



Nya hadn’t meant to be so open with the man. But she was slowly finding out he was easy to talk too. And oh how she needed it; the company, the interaction with another living thing. And so she asked him to share something of himself with her… a simple joy. It felt right to ask such a thing on a night like tonight. The fire crackled steadily chasing away shadows and bad memories that tended to haunt her. It left empty places inside where she longed to fill with laughter, joy, and the reminders of why people actually lived.

The man seemed to meet her gaze then pause, as if searching. He spoke briefly of a sunset on this coast and that was something she understood for she too remembered her first painted sky. Syka had incredible sunrises and sunsets. They were, she often thought, celebrations welcoming the day and the night with riots of color that stepped in and took the place of a written or spoken language of the sky. But he didn’t want to elaborate on that experience. Perhaps it was because he understood that everyone was breathless for the most part the first time they saw Syka’s blood red or purple sky.

Instead he picked friendship, which was something significant to Nya, who had so very few friends. She leaned forward, curious, listening like a wild thing did… with her whole body focused on him and the words that he spoke. Trevor was a good storyteller, even though he might not have realized that’s what he was doing. His words created a vivid picture for the Kelvic and in that instant she felt that she was Elana’s friend, not Trevor. And because he said so, the disagreement with the shopkeeper and what it was over wasn’t important. Only the faceless woman that caused Trevor’s features to light with joy and laughter was. Interactions with humans were difficult on so many levels. The Kelvic was glad that even other humans found such things challenging at times. And she was glad the memory was something he held close and used to remind him of happiness and joy.

Life was like that. One road became blocked and a dozen more opened up. It wasn’t just about the item, not really, but it was about how one dealt with walls and how doors were often created out of nothing. She noted his bird pin in the firelight and would have opened her mouth to say something, to tell him how she appreciated his story because it reminded her that good things could come out of trouble, things that one could look back on and laugh.

But then Trevors eyes locked with hers for a moment and he spoke further… about her sadness and yes fear. He was right about that. The Kelvic would not look into polished glass or still water. The reflection staring back at her was always something horrible, hideous, and something that haunted her dreams. The face staring back reflected the trauma she’d suffered both inside and out at the hands of the Blacksun, as if it had leaked out of her pores and transformed her features into something twisted in pain and suffering, and as dark as her heart had been locked so many levels below the ground and away from the sun.

Nya shuddered visibly, wondering how Trevor knew.

But then he spoke further… of her sleepless nights and the fear and creeping darkness that did indeed stalk her soul. She was a broken thing barely on the mend, fighting her way back from someplace distant and isolated. It didn’t show on her outside, not unless someone looked at her bare flesh and saw the hideous scarring over her heart and abdomen, both places where she’d died by the hands of someone who had loved her.

Nya blinked back tears at the weight of Trevors words.

He said the darkness might be her. It might just be her in a way she’d never known. Nya wanted to scream a denial, to shake her head and assure him it was not, but she sat frozen, listening because some small part of her nagged that he might be right. His words terrified her more than any of the lasting memories of the dungeons of the Blacksun. They played to that moment in time that she sometimes got stuck in a feedback loop in.

She was chained naked to the floor, her neck held firmly by an iron collar so tightly cinched to the ground that she could do nothing but kneel on the cold, her head twisted sideways and her cheek pressed into the stone. She was curled up as much as the secured position let her. There was no room to move, certainly not her body because long before the guards had deemed her dangerous. But she could move her eyes. And she could see beyond her situation to the next cell over that was as open as her own. She’d watched her husband and bondmate, one cell over, speaking with the priestess who stalked around him. He was restrained at the neck as well, but standing proudly upright, his warriors’ form tense even with his lethal hands bound behind his back. They were breaking him, but in a somewhat different way from what they’d broken Nya. Her’s had been fast, furious, and completely physical. His spiral downward was more of the mind.

Nya could barely follow the priestesses’ words. The woman spoke of someone defeated, broken, and useless being sold the next day. The woman had laughed at what she called a weak soul, a broken body, and something he had to shed to move on.

The Forest Cat hadn’t understood. Surely the woman hadn’t been talking about herself? She was protecting her human half neatly. Nya had been weak, half starved, and her body had been abused past most breaking points. But she was still whole, in all the ways that counted, because she’d fractured somewhat into The Cat and The Woman, one protecting the other depending on what tortures the Blacksun had laid out. The Cat was on guard now though. Nya the woman had retreated deep into herself and had let the cat take control, to protect her because her fragile human mind could no longer protect herself alone.

Thus laid out, she growled lightly as the man who was in charge of breaking her rested his booted foot on her cheek that wasn’t pressed to the floor. “I think the show is about over, bitch.” The man growled. He too was a Kelvic. One trusted and high up in the dark organization. He’d proven to her over and over again he was bigger, stronger and more dominant. He’d so thoroughly done so that she paid him no mind anymore, regardless of what he did to her. Sometimes he was physical, but that hadn’t worked out so well. Regardless of how many times he abused her he hadn’t caught her with child for the breeding program as he was ordered too, not even when he stopped starving and beating her on a regular basis. Two Talderian Kelvics… it was more than the Blacksun could leave alone without attempting a program. Their justification was Morwen did it in Avanthal. Nya had heard the talk more than once even though the cat herself didn’t know either name. Why couldn’t the followers of Rhysol learn the secrets as well? But the man failed. Over and over he failed, even through her heat cycles which he induced artificially. He took out his failures as a dominant male in his prime on her. And this was the last one, planned thoroughly along with the priestess in the next cell.

Nya would go to the auction block tomorrow and the Priestess would have her weapon in Abashai. The man, his eyes glittering with some unseen emotion, turned then and looked at her. He really looked at her and looked deeply. In all the times her keeper had hit her or done worse, he’d never looked. And in a way Nya had been thankful because the cells had only bars between them no walls and in a way it had given her privacy. But now he looked long and deep before he tore his eyes away and nodded to the Priestess. His words were soft…. and she still remembered them… “As you Will.” And in that moment she felt the horrible final wrenching of her Kelvic bond to the man severing. She felt the Chevas Mark on her neck below her ear burn and vanish as a Lacun Mark appeared on her breast.

In her mind she screamed at the memory… screamed and screamed and screamed because that was the moment she knew her bondmate and husband had given up on any hope of their freedom and had instead turned his back on her. A Rhysol Mark, the moment she’d started screaming, appeared on the man’s bare arm driving her to scream louder, harder, though in reality the only noise she was capable of making was hoarse huffs. Her keeper had laughed, unfastened her collar from the hook in the floor and had dragged her away, through her open cell door, and up back into the world where she would be sold at auction as a slave.


Nya snapped back to the present. Trevor was saying that as much as hope could hide in the darkness, that their darkness could hide hope. She tilted her head at that, shivering deeply because of both the memories and at the words that were so appropriate to her situation.

He spoke of the Akalaks too. She hadn’t known they had two souls. Nya took Trevor’s word for it, namely because she’d heard stranger things and knew them to be true. In a lot of ways Kelvics had two souls as well, perhaps not two separate ones, but two distinct sides of one coin.

Nya chuckled slightly. She held up her hand, gently, and without truly interrupting him and shook her head. “You say you don’t speak from a place of wisdom, Trevor. But you are perhaps one of the wisest people I have met in a long time. You have given me a lot to think about. I think you might be more right than you realize. It’s just hard, sometimes, to balance the darkness and light and find a place to exist between them without letting one or both consume you.” She said softly, almost to herself. Nya met his eyes then, blinking in the brightness of the firelight, and he could tell she had more to say, much more. But she withheld the words and asked instead….

“Are you sure you are not a poet? There are heavy weighty words in your speech. When I was a kitten, my mother would make me spend hours in her tower library and I would read poetry. You speak like they write. Your words force my mind to work in ways it has been resisting. The sun and the sound of the ocean on the sand relaxes such things and makes it sleepy except at night. You wake my mind up and make me want to use it again.” She said softly, almost chastising him for what she wasn’t sure. Drifting through life and letting oneself be cast adrift on some internal sea of fear was in many ways easier than living life and actively traversing that fear.

“I’d really very much like to be your friend if you need one. I have… I have not made very many. But I would be… grateful to call you one.” She said softly, letting the words she spoke crackling like the bonfire itself was. Nya ducked her head, not sure how to offer friendship or to go about making a new friend. Humans were so hard. He might not need one or want one and if that was the truth she’d respect his wishes fully. Others seemed to form links and merge up into packs naturally. She doubted they ever asked another person if they wanted to be friends. Such things, for his kind, came naturally maybe even organically. But for her it was harder. She’d been broken so many times and was so unsure of even where to place her feet at times in moving forward. Offering was better than wondering, even if it merited a rejection for their differences.

Trevor was someone she wanted to hunt for. And she knew without consciously deciding that she’d leave fresh meat for him when she discovered where he lived. Forest Cats showed their appreciation that way, sharing food and territory. She’d do both, Nya decided, whether he wanted to be her friend or not.

Nya let the words hang in the air until footsteps sounded and a scent coiled around her out of the darkness. A man… no not a man but something else… stepped from the darkness and into the firelight taking her by surprise. She’d been so focused on Trevor and his words that she hadn’t been paying attention to the things surrounding them. The man could have been a beast, a predator, and she tensed up and almost flashed her teeth before she reined in the urge.

The man… who was not a man… did not die that moment. He said two things that calmed Nya’s fears. He introduced himself and he recognized he was interrupting. And while she could tell he wanted to stay, he offered to leave all the same. Nya simply blinked at him a moment, taking in the horns and the ethereal look about the creature then slowly and subtly looked at Trevor as if to take her clues from him.

“You are not human.”
She said after a moment, hoping her words would be enough to prompt him to explain exactly what he was even though she left the question unspoken. “I am Nya and this is Trevor. You are welcome by this fire. I built it to attract company… like moths but better… creatures that could speak. You are welcome to sit if you’d like. We … “ She struggled for words then, what to tell him, because the weight of the conversation and indeed her memories had been a great deal just moments before, to heavy perhaps to explain. "We… took a class today that we met in. The healer here teaches basic healing sometimes so that if you get hurt in the jungle without a healer around you can care a bit for yourself or others you might be with.” She explained, feeling inadequate suddenly, like she was about to move into the awkwardness most Kelvics felt among strangers.

“I have coconut blood if you are thirsty.” Nya could not bring herself to call Coconut Milk actual milk. She was a cat and there was nothing more delicious than cows or goats milk. The water in a coconut was nothing like that at all. The kelvic held up the water skin and offered it to the stranger, hoping it would ease the awkwardness of the moment.

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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
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Location: Syka
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[The Heat Is On] Bonfire Memories

Postby Nya Winters on January 21st, 2018, 4:58 am

Grading

Nya

WS: +1, Observation +4, Socialization +4, Psychology +2, Singing +1, Rhetoric +1, Hostessing +1

Lore: WS: Building a Bonfire On The Beach, Trevor: Wisest Person Nya’s Met In A While

Trevor and Eamon, I’ll gladly grade if you return.



User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
Words: 780068
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Trailblazer (1) Never Say Die (1)
Donor (1) 2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)


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