Down Into the Dirt [Open]

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Laktan Vladmir on November 2nd, 2009, 6:35 am

"You're welcome." Laktan said. The silence of the evening was bringing everything into a very sharp focus. From the slight jingle of the nomad's clothes brought on by the went to the tightening grasp of the little beast's fingers intertwined with his. He looked from his visitor to Nya and back up again, and with a muttered 'good-evening' closed the door.

Once inside he looked from Nya to the door and then motioned over towards what served as his dining room. The ceilings were extremely tall for a building of this size, mostly to accommodate an Akalak's height. After a quick foray into the bedroom Laktan motioned towards a very large stack of furs, pillows, and cushions that were piled into a corner. Surrounding these assorted seating mats were a small assortment of small tables.

"Come, sit. I'd say in whatever form you please but I'm afraid I don't know how to speak with beasts." Laktan said as he placed himself upon a large cushion.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Nya Winters on November 2nd, 2009, 7:13 am

Nya watched the warrior hand the woman tea and the woman herself get on her way. It was an awkward moment, to say the least, one that left Nya wondering why the Akalak was rather cold to a woman that seemed frail and in need. She couldn't help but compare him to Abashai who would most likely go out of his way to invite the woman in and see to her comfort and warmth. But Laktan seemed to be more reserved than that, and somewhat distrustful. There was perhaps a history there, a story that the Kelvic could later gently ask him about if he was in the mindset to speak of such things.

Truth be told she was a little unsettled by someone who pinpointed her origins and casually treated her as if she was nothing uncommon or to be concerned about. Laktan didn't exactly show her the deference of furniture, but in his own way it was as if she was as normal to him. And that was a strange sensation. It caused her to trail the warrior into his own home and glance around, keeping in his shadow a bit curious. Fascinated might be a better term, though to the kelvic it made no difference. Because of the way he'd acted towards her so far, she made herself at home immediately, prowling the extent of the inside of his home, taking in the scents there and observing the potential dangers. She rubbed her jawline against the bedroom door frame where she watched what he did there for a moment before prowling that space, then made herself at home on the pile of furs with a casual feline sprawl.

Nya was actually purring as she did so. There was no tension, no awkwardness, and the warrior seemed to welcome her as if it was natural for him to do so. "I like the tall ceilings." She said suddenly, approving of them. It wasn't that she was tall, but it made the space more open, easier for her not to feel confined. "It is okay. I am comfortable this way. The other form my bondmate has suggested would be better to only allow to roam in the wilds here, for the people do not understand such things. Sometimes, though, when I am asleep I loose my shape. It does not happen that often anymore though. I have practiced holding it, even when my cat itches to run free." Nya said softly, at ease with the dark skinned man. Kelvics were apt to loose their shape when they were still juveniles, so such things only pointed out Nya's physical age was relatively young.

"Your people must keep many of my kind. It feels... good to be here and not be always hiding. Thank you." She said politely, leaning down to nuzzle the furs with her nose, taking in their scent and checking the quality of how they were cured. There was no fault in them, and she could indeed identify several of the animals that used to wear them, cat included, though in truth it didn't bother her overly much. Cats that got caught were stupid cats, ones that didn't deserve survival.

"So why do you grow such a beautiful garden in a city of stone?"
She asked, curious to hear what he had to say about his habits.
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Nya Winters
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Laktan Vladmir on November 2nd, 2009, 12:23 pm

A small sigh escaped Laktan's mouth as he relaxed back upon the satin cushion. For nothing more than a beast, if a highly intelligent one at that, she asked some very in depth questions. He considered Nya for a moment before reaching out and scratching the spot upon her head that would be right between her ears had she been a cat. He had discerned that was her animal form; what form of cat he was unaware of but he knew a cat when he saw one. The gods had a strange way of delivering the right people to you at the right time. Laktan, a cold and calculating warrior, was reclining in his own home scratching a cat in human form. Women almost never graced the inside of his own, and animals never. Sometimes the gods really did just have a sick and twisted sense of humor.

"Plants, like animals, breed and crossbreed. Many a new species has been created through the crossbreeding of different flower and plants. My species, over time, has bred with almost every species and still have not found a way to produce female Akalak offspring." Laktan paused for a moment for a gasp that never came; she simply stared at him with a slightly cocked head and a look of interest in her eyes.

"I left my home almost sixty years ago to travel through the world and master my botany as well as my skills as a warrior. For half a century I have searched and searched for an answer to my species' dilemma. Only our kind's passion for discipline prevents us from falling into a spiral of cultural debauchery that would destroy us, but it's only matter of time. We live to almost half a century but our kind is still dying quickly. I garden so that I may work out a way through which our kind can actually produce female children. The gods cannot have cursed us so, it must be possible." Laktan said, his voice slowly becoming strained as he neared the end of his speech. Every year at home he had watched his family and other Akalaks dying one by one, and he knew that he was the only one to be born in nearly ten years. His was a dying race.

With a toothy grin he looked back down at Nya and patted her head knowingly. "Your kind has long served ours well as bondmates and breeders. I wish to break that cycle. I am wary of women because amongst most they see nothing more than a well muscled oddity that is well worth bedding. They do not see that I am older than most of their grandparents. They do not see that bearing my child would increase the complications from childbirth three fold. They see only what they want to see. So I travel, I study, and I garden, and one day if the gods smile upon me I shall set your kind free, at least amongst my people." Laktan sighed, a great weight from his chest had been lifted. It had been literally years since he had spoken more than a few words to someone. He did not regret it, only that one could only go so far alone. Reaching behind his back he removed the lakan with its sheath and placed it upon a small-table.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Nya Winters on November 2nd, 2009, 5:51 pm

Nya listened carefully, and closed her eyes with a purr as the Akalak's hand found her hair. She thought about what he said about his race and nodded, though she was slightly confused. The akalak had no females? How did they survive if there were no women to carry their children. Laktan answered that question as well. They used other races, especially Kelvics. And though the Akalak showed very little emotion, she could sense how distraught - how disturbed - he must be in order to leave his home and search the world.

"I know only one other male that looks like you, and he is a good strong honorable man as well. I do not think your race would spiral... if I understand debauchery right.. into darkness. You seem far too strong for that. Niall does as well. It is good to be around strong men because they think clearly and know their purpose. Weak men house jealousy, laziness, and bitter misunderstanding. They are good for nothing but food. You are good for far more - converstation, knowledge, and to serve. My people are the children of Marcus Kelvic, and he created us to serve. It makes us feel complete to do so. I was so lost until I bonded. And though I know my bondmate has little experience with Kelvics and does not use me as he prehaps could - and it makes me sad - it is good that your people have a need that mine can fill. That servitude is who we are - it makes us very happy. And I imagine the kelvics among your people are honored to give you sons. " Nya said softly, her voice firm and more human now. Laktan could easily tell someone had spent a great deal of time making her think, making her be human, rather than the beast she actually was. Kelvics mirrored what they were around. If she was around brutal cruel people, she'd be brutal and cruel herself. Instead, she was a thinker, quiet and contemplative with a mischievous streak that leaked out because for all that the Kelvics could be perfect mimics if pushed, they were still what they were deep inside.

She leaned over and butted her head against his shoulder. She did not rub her jawline across his form, leaving her scent, because there was nothing of this akalak she claimed as her own. But she did listen to his words and nodded.

"Women, especially humans, cannot help but want to seek protection. They do not have tooth and fangs to protect them, warrior. Most do not understand that if a male can learn to fight, so can a female, because men have made them lazy and protected them. It spoils them. And I've had my first heat so I know what it is to feel like they do so often. I am just glad it happens so rarely. With humans, it is often not so. Women embarrass me sometimes the way they act with the Knights here. They want protection, but to love one is to love someone who will most likely die. And then they are sad because they have never understood that it will happen to their mates. The world is dangerous. If it is not something like me... a Talderian Forest Cat... it's a man that has fallen to Rhysol or Yshul."
The kelvic said, shifting so she was sprawled thoughtfully on her own section of furs.

"Your kind live a long long time. I think it would be hard to see those who do not, like myself, live and die so briefly. You should be glad to use the kelvics when they are willing. I would think of it as leaving a piece of myself behind to keep those I wish to protect company. You should not worry about liberating the kelvics. I imagine they like where they are just fine. I know if my bondmate ever asked me to give him a child, I would be honored to do so. But he does not like skin, it makes him very uncomfortable, so I think that will not be something that is between us. He holds secrets too close to his heart and sometimes I think when you do such things, it means the past poisons the future."
Nya said softly and reached down to run her tongue across the back of her hand and then used the wet surface to rub at one cheek, scrubbing at either an itch or an imagined piece of dirt.

"You have not told me your name. Is it held close to your heart as well?"
She asked again, curious. "And I still do not know how plants can help your people produce females. Is there a medicine you look for? My mother knew I would be a female because she carried me high and small in her stomach. A boy, she told me, would have been larger and deeper down. Maybe you could find a plant that would change how humans carry offspring so they become different than what they were intended." Nya suggested, clearly revealing she had absolutely no knowledge of reproduction and how plants aided in such things. It wasn't surprising. Instinct drove her kind, not intelligence, though coming up with such a concept was indicative that she used her mind more than most.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Laktan Vladmir on November 2nd, 2009, 6:25 pm

Laktan listened deeply as the small creature spoke to him with the wisdom one only saw in those who had lived many years and seen many things. Kelvics really are mimics and Laktan felt himself drawn to a very rare feeling, a wanting to meet this 'bondmate' of hers. Though he was secretive he must be a very wise and thoughtful man to raise one such as Nya. He began to wonder if there really were even more to Kelvics than his people knew. It is said that they are merely beasts that are made with a vast intelligence, but to be capable of such critical thought definitely suggests of something more; a life purely of its own and possibly even a soul.

"Think you little one. We see things differently you and I, but it is still good to talk with someone once in a while. Living ten times your life time or more can become weary when you spend it all alone. As for the plants, it is not as simple as that. I fear it to be some sort of biological defect caused by our origins. Rather than looking to alter our own kind I seek to make a way to have human women or other species more amiable to our kind to give birth to Akalaks naturally. It is something about the crossbreeding, and plants breed in a much different way from animals. To be able to combine those two processes would possible answer the question that has plagued my race since its beginnings." Laktan said.

"As for my name, I sometimes forget to give it. My name is Laktan Vladmir though that is not what any Akalak would name me."
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Nya Winters on November 2nd, 2009, 6:48 pm

Nya rarely knew how lucky she truly was. Had her circumstances changed abruptly, perhaps she would realize there were differences between most of her kind and herself - and the way the world treated them. But she'd always lived with people who cared enough about her to set rules for her to live by, and those same people forced her to think in ways even normal humans probably weren't educated. Her mother was a brilliant soul, and due to her bonding with Nya's father, the kelvic stallion had grown into something formidable and mentally strong as well. If asked, Nya would have said it wasn't fate that Abashai crossed her path, because the kelvic read way too much into things to deem something sheer coincidence. To her, life was a simple set of challenges laid out and faced repeatedly, a series of lessons, a long process of thought. And she'd always had a god in her life, one that whispered to her with a hundred voices that others knew as the wind. Abashai's continued care and bonding was a prime example of that luck, though the girl didn't really understand that like another having been in a far worse situation would have.

Nya would introduce Laktan to Abashai sometime, she decided. Though she was more likely to take her bondmate strays who needed his help than well balanced level-headed people who knew what they wanted out of life. Still a strong male friend might be good for the Benshira, though he'd already made several in the city himself.

"Why are you not named like other Akalak?"
Surely there was a story there?

Nya found herself enjoying Laktan's company, and she found that she truly did like her new friend. His bluntness and forthrightness helped considerably. He clearly explained what he meant when he spoke to her, and hadn't at all been concerned at her nature, which was refreshing. Even Abashai was uncomfortable at first, though those moments were rarer and rarer now. It still felt good to be recognized, accepted, and then entrusted. Nya purred a little louder, both thinking and enjoying the moment.

"It seems to me..."
She said suddenly, thoughtful. "... that is the smartest thing to would be to fix what is broken, not try to alter others that aren't." But then again, maybe he had a good point. Humans reproduce frequently, and they seemed so easily manipulated. "I do not know enough about it, though, to say for sure. If you can use plants to do such a thing, it makes sense then." She said, a thought crossing her mind. "I... have a question. Maybe you will know, for my mother would not tell me and I worry about it sometimes." She said, shifting so she was sitting up. Nya reached into her small leather belt pouch and withdrew a small bundle of herbs. They smelled familiar to Laktan, though the percentages of each in the small bag would be hard to guess. "My mother, ever since the first time, gave me these leaves. They are dried plants that do something to my body. I eat them, putting them over food... to keep away the desire to mate, which can be strong in my kind. I am going to run out of them one of these days, and I worry if I do, I will scare my bondmate, become overly aggressive like I was during the first time, and have to be locked up again. I do not know where to get more, and my mother refused to give me more than this small bag because she said it was not good for me. Do you grow more here? And can you tell me why she would say it is dangerous? I have never been around other kelvics, only my father who is a horse, and I do not know how they... handle this. It is not something.... my bondmate will be so understanding of. I am like a child to him, I think." She said softly, though there was pain in her voice as she said that.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Laktan Vladmir on November 2nd, 2009, 10:18 pm

"Akalakenese is a very long spoken language. Our names are given to us according to our families, our given names, and even names given to us by our fathers as we pass certain rites of passage in becoming a man. As we sire more children and our children sire children we gain rank and other names are added to our own. For the purpose of simple speech in common I shorten my name. It is also a symbol..." Laktan said, a slight spark rising in his eyes as he spoke about his people.

The Akalak people are often viewed as very proud or arrogant As a race that lives over four times longer than most can ever hope they have a tendency to view everything in a much slower light. When time itself takes on a new meaning and there is no rush to do anything besides reproduce. Focus is something that is honed to a fine point, attention to detail is a fact of life in a society like that. Discipline and devotion to the society are valued almost above all else.

"It's also a symbol to all others of my kind that I have abandoned my family name, and therefor my people and my family. As one of the few young it was considered my job to remain at home; I was to train, protect my people, and reproduce. The latter was to be my main concern, but they did not care how I accomplished this goal, only that I did. I left on my quest, and abandoned my family. One day I will return to be scorned, but with my I will have the solution for my race. An answer for the curse the god's gave us." Laktan spoke slowly, the emotions building up behind his bright eyes. His speech sped up as it came to a crescendo and he stopped himself just short of raising his voice.

"Excuse me, I forget myself. As I have said it is so rare that I have the opportunity to talk to someone." Laktan looked out his one window into the garden and noticed the quickly descending sun, "and I suppose that it is almost time for rest. You should probably be..."

His words cut off by the sound of his door cracking and splintering as it caved in. Through the hole that was once his door stepped three men with heads wrapped and chainmaille armor covering most of their bodies. They stood confident, but at the same time hesitantly, and did not draw blades They took a look around the living room and the obvious leader of the three turned and looked at Laktan and Nya. Laktan stood slowly, powerful grace making him seem to move in an almost snake-like movement. He drew the Lakan as he stood and turned to face the intruders.

"Who are you, cowards that would break into a man's home in the night? You come here covered in armor and hide your faces from me. Speak, and prepare yourselves to meet whatever miserable god you pray to." Laktan called out, and slowly stepped in front of Nya. He knew from her own words what she was, and previous experience with her kind, but fighting men encased in metal with swords is different from killing rabbits in the garden.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Nya Winters on November 3rd, 2009, 5:29 pm

Nya nodded, listening thoughtfully. Laktan's explanation about names made sense, and she could see people doing that. But it made her wonder exactly how long his real name was. Nya stretched, purred, and then turned her head to study the Akalak. She knew nothing of how his race was viewed or why they spoke so little to outsiders.

"It is okay. I do not mind talking with you. But I do not think your people would scorn you when there are so few of them like you say. And I believe you can find an answer to the problem.. for certain." He didn't reply to her question, which meant it was not appropriate. That was slightly embarrassing to Nya since she figured in the context they were speaking, it would be acceptable. So as he glanced outside, she rose, quietly began to thank him for the converstation, and made ready to leave. Only, she didn't get far. She could smell the men in the yard a moment before they came through the door. If it had been Abashai, she'd have not let the man step in front of her. She would have protected him with everything she had. But she didn't know these men, not really, nor did she know what their fight was about. She let the Akalak step in front of her, moving backwards. Every instinct told her to shift her shape, but she knew the consequences of it. A Talderian Forest Cat in Syliras would not be tolerated, and it would make life very hard - for herself, for Abashai, and even for Laktan.

So she backed up, wide-eyed, and wary of the weapons. She hated weapons. Men were too cowardly to fight with only their bare weak hands, it seemed.

The leader spoke, laughing. "The commander said there was a black-hearted Akalak here that bragged he was too good to spar with our us." His words were a bit slurred. Nya sniffed the air, and could smell the alchohol on his breath. "So we thought we'd come down and see why hes too good to do more than 'think on it' when hes asked to help out with some training. If we aren't trained, we aren't able to keep the city safe that YOU enjoy living in." The man said, echoed on both sides by the chorus of the other two. They advanced as a squad into the room together, neatly flanking the Akalak.

"Nice weapon." Another said. "You honestly think that pig-sticker is going to do much against swords? The Commander was crazy with what he said about your skill." The man said, twisting a smile slightly. The other ones eyes fell to Nya. He grinned slightly and gestured to the girl as she backed up slowly into the far corner. "Looks like he was about to have himself a little fun. Don't worry though Lady..." He slurred the word lady, making it sound like an ugly term. "When we're done with your black date here, we'll take care of you right and proper." All three laughed, and the fight was on.

The leader brought his sword up in an guarded katta and then moved forward, engaging Laktan while the other two drew weapons and began to flank him on either side.

Nya didn't think it remotely looked like a fair fight, but she'd watch for a moment, withholding a response until she could judge if Laktan was truly in trouble or not. Even though she was trained in Ry'vata, it wouldn't do much against swords anyhow - not in the small confines of the room.
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Nya Winters
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Laktan Vladmir on November 4th, 2009, 5:20 pm

Laktan stood still like a rock and let his opponents surround him. His figure and the way he held himself kept the foolish Knights from paying any attention to Nya at all; that was his objective in the first place. While the knights chose to run their mouths Laktan was observing their stances, and though they had proved to be very poor at close quarters combat they held themselves with the confidence gained through many hours at the practice yard. The Masters at the fortress may indeed be lacking in skilled hand-to-hand instructors but one thing could be said about the Knights; they know their sword-work.

"You," Laktan said turning to firmly face the first Knight, "Will do no such thing." And with these final words he moved, and he did so like a viper. The Knights were not slow, but they were very obviously not combat veterans. They did not strike as one unit, but instead they all assumed the stance that was comfotable and familiar to them. The first raised his blade high, taking a Falcon stance against his oncoming blade. The Lakan was a hook-like blade and only needed to extend a few inches from Laktan's hand to find its mark. Its hook allowed him to shred through Chainmaille armor; the point hooked onto the links and would pull out or puncture through the rings.

The first Knight cried out in rage and surprise as he swung his longsword in a swift downward arc towards Laktan's chest. The blade met the Lakan in a sound of shearing metal as the smaller dagger slid down the blade. At the moment the dagger met the hilt of the longblade, Laktan spun around with his blade still hooked onto the hilt of the Knight's longblade. The other two Knights cried out in surprise; both had swung at the same time the first had, but their blades were now descending onto the first Knight, rather than Laktan. The first screamed out in pain as the blades both scored his back. With a swift turn and a powerful kick the armored chest of the young Knight which through him into his two companions and a stream of curses spouted from their mouths.

"Now, unless you three really think your honor is worth you lives..." Laktan said, motioning towards the door. The trio looked at themselves, then at Laktan, and then bolt for the door.
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Re: Down Into the Dirt [Open]

Postby Nya Winters on November 4th, 2009, 7:17 pm

Three men, all of which were armed with longswords, shouldn't so easily have been frightened away by a mere dagger. But it was clever what Laktan had done, redirecting their attacks and keeping them broken apart rather than acting together. It was obvious the young knights had been drinking, were not acting as a unit, and had thought Laktan... no assumed... he was no threat. Nya thought for a moment that someone should have a word with their superiors. The Syliran Knights she met had been polite, devoted, and wholeheartedly dedicated to the safety and security of the city. They didn't act like these young men, though Nya supposed it might be that they weren't actual knights yet and that was why they acted like they did.

When the swords started swinging the forest cat had backed up against the wall, making herself flat and non-threatening. It wasn't as if she was a coward, for she was anything but, and yet the fight had undertones of something else that Laktan seemed fully aware of. He was a virtual stranger, and revealing her wilderform in his defense - especially if he seemed to be holding his own - was on par to the highest stupidity she could create.

Nya knew the rules. And she wanted to stay in Syliras for a time, because Syliras seemed to keep Abashai happy and fulfilled. It was also close to the wilderness she'd claimed as her own, so as things were now, she had somewhat the best of both worlds. Abashai couldn't live in the wilds with her full time, nor could she manage to make it in the city full time. To fight these men, especially if they were Syliran Knights, could risk it all. So she pressed against the wall and waited, hoping the Akalak was a good fighter, and promising herself she'd only jump in if the Dark-skinned man needed help or she had no other choice in terms of her own self defense.

When they ran, she had to freeze even harder. Quivering, she watched the trio exit the way they'd come, staggering over the fallen door and then spilling onto the garden - trampling some of the Akalak's valuable plants. Nya longed to give chase. It was the hardest thing yet she'd had to wait through. Every instinct screamed at her to pursue, knock them down, take their throats.

Instead, she quietly scanned the Akalak for injuries, and moved to his doorway to reach down and easily pick up the fallen wooden slab. She studied either side, looking at the hinges and wondering if it could be fixed. "I know nothing about carpentry, but it was wrong of them to break your door and then threaten your life. Can you fix this? And are you going to report them?" She asked, sniffing at the air again. "They were drunk, I think, and smelled like the Rearing Stallion." Nya said, certain of it now, as she stood there holding the door for Laktan's inspection.
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Nya Winters
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Posts: 748
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