Open Under Leth's Light

Kynier tries to rendezvous in the woods.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Under Leth's Light

Postby Kynier on May 24th, 2018, 11:19 pm

Timestamp: 24th of Spring 518 AV


In the safety of his own home Kynier peeled back the bandage of his left arm. The cut near his elbow had turned into a large scab and looked to have been healing well, though it itched something fierce. The other cut, through the meatier portion of his forearm, was not healing as quickly. Less blood had seeped through the stitching which he was optimistic about. Stepping over to his wash basin he gently rinsed the wound with water. From how much less it stung to expose it to water helped to fortify the optimistism of its condition.

Sitting back down a the table, he dried off the wound before picking up the open tincture of Belltor. Kynier carefully dripped a few drops along the stitching with a little wince each time. He closed the vial of Belltor and pulled over his map of Sunberth. While the Belltor was being absorbed by his skin he studied the map for a few chimes. A few notes had been scribbled on indicating possible territorial claims the gangs had made. Kynier wondered if there was a faster way of finding out more, without attempting to sign on with a gang. He had scraps of information about the Sun's Birth and the Daggerhand, but still nothing on the Night Eyes.

Once Kynier wrapped his arm with a clean bandage it was just past the 19th bell. Syna would be at rest before the next bell. Kynier quickly emptied his wash basin, filled his waterskin, and attached his short sword. Then he concealed two daggers, one in his boot and the other on his back. Tonight was the night he hoped to meet Kelski again. He was filled with excitement and anxiety at the thought of seeing her. What it was about her that brought forth these emotions eluded him. Perhaps it was less about her and more about meeting someone that wouldn't slit his throat.

"Unless you intend to use her, or take her flesh for your own, you should abandon this attachment."

"What would you know about attachments?" Kynier said irritably to the empty room. He packed a balanced ration into a sack to take with him as well as another empty sack. The last, which also happened to be the first, time he saw Kelski they talked until Syna's rise. He didn't want to get hungry like he did then. Finally he took his metal pick, just incase. Once he had everything he felt he needed Kynier looked over the map one last time to pick his route tonight. Easiest way was through the Riverside district.

Kynier locked the flimsy door to his home and made his way northwest from the Slums. The park was outside the opposite end of town. He estimated he would get there about a bell after Syna's rest. On the way Kynier went into the commons to find Baker's Butchery and Bakeshop. Inside he looked at the selection of meats available. The less processed meats in particular. Kynier decided on a pound of venison sausage, which cost him two gold mizzas. He placed it in the empty sack that he brought with him.

Once outside again Kynier looked up at the sky. He could faintly see Leth looming overhead in Syna's faint light. Leth wasn't nearly full but would probably provide decent sight in the dark. Kynier walked for nearly a bell northwest. He kept close to western edge of the river. After a few buildings past the Simpering Seacow he was outside the city. He stopped for a moment to take in the view.

The old mines were scattered across the northern hills. Abandoned structures too stubborn to collapse, but too dangerouns to use. Towards the bottom of the hills the forest began with the river cutting through it. Kynier continued on along the river into the woods. He hadn't left the city in so long that the smell of trees was almost strange he took a few deep breaths out of nostalgia. After that, he treaded cautiously.

Without the mass of people it was possible to come across wildlife. Kynier had no familiarity of the predators outside of the city. Perhaps out here wasn't such a good idea, he thought. But he wanted somewhere secluded, where someone coming across them would be unlikely. It seems he certainly picked the right place for that.

Kynier stopped when he wasn't quite a mile into the woods. He turned to a tree and brought forth his djed to create a liquid res on his fingertips. On the northface of the bark he started making a glyph. It wasn't complex at all. He was making it as a landmark should he get lost. Instead of carving into the tree with a blade he would be able to see the glyph in the dead of night with his Auristic training. The glyph translated to "South". After he finished it he decided to mark a few more. Once he was done he stood in a small circle of trees marked with the four primary directions.

Darkness settled quickly. The tree canopy was resistant to Leth's light. Once Kynier finished his glyphing he went to the water's edge. Across the way he could see traces of the park through the trees. This would be a good place. Kynier turned around and looked at the trees closest to the water. He picked one with a few low hanging yet thick branches. Kynier stood beneath one and jumped as high as he could. His hands slid a little on the bark before his grip settled. With some effort he hoisted himself up onto the branch and straddled it. He set his back against he trunk and tried to get comfortable. Then he waited and listened for anything's approach.
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kelski on May 25th, 2018, 11:39 pm

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The Kelvic knew that she’d agreed to meet Kynier at the Riverside Isle Park tonight. They hadn’t set a true time which was a good thing since Kelski had no idea when she’d be able to get away. She’d meet him though, even if she had to go through a great deal to get it done. The truth was her mind had been on him off and on almost steadily since she met him. He was a mage… and had been open to her. He was smart and driven, things she saw in herself as well. She was drawn to him and wondered about him. He was a mystery and someone she wanted to spend time with. Despite those facts, she constantly called herself a fool. Humans betrayed Kelvics. They used them. Everyone wanted something from everyone else. She was curious to see what Kynier wanted from her. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do when she found out it was something awful, but a part of her wanted to take a chance.

He said he wanted a friend. Kelski wanted one too. It wasn’t something she’d tell him though. She’d much rather show him without words if he proved to be what he appeared to be. She was afraid to hope though. But she wasn’t cowardly or so soured by Sunberth that she’d walk away without taking a chance. Kelski was brave… and tough enough to work through disappointment if it came screaming her way like an eagle diving on a mouse from the sky.

Kelski sorted through the clothing that had been left for her by the laundry and found a worn dark skirt that she could move in and a blouse that would go with it. Both items had patches in them from multiple repairs. They weren’t pretty clothing, but they were comfortable and functional, and things that would help her blend into the quickly falling darkness. She added a belt to the outfit that held her dagger and the carefully took one of her more worn dark shirts and cut it in strips. She carefully wrapped the dagger and sheath, not so they were locked together. She could still easily pull the dagger free, but separately so that the blade didn’t catch light in the dark and shine or draw notice. Wrapped in cloth it blended with the long floor-length full skirt.

Kelski left her hair long and slipped on her precious boots. She took her cloak, which was black and not too worn, and swirled it around her shoulders. For a spring evening, it was warm, and the stars were out giving light to the quickly darkening city, but it might get colder later. The Kelvic slipped into the shadows, careful to set the weight of her stride on the balls of her feet so she walked quietly, slipping from shadow to shadow as she headed in the direction of the park. She’d never actually been to the park, but then green spaces were something the Sun’s Birth had no appreciation of and avoided at all costs.
The same went with Darvin.

She’d checked on Darvin earlier before she’d left and found him entertaining in his quarters. The three ladies with him were so far gone on drugs they had no idea where they were, and consequently Darvin would be occupied for bells if not the rest of the day. That meant he wouldn’t seek her out for any sort of drugs or to escort him somewhere. Kelski hated the late-night jaunts and avoided them at all cost. Jaren, her actual master, was not at home because there was a big party across town he was attending in the gated community which meant there was no time limit on her getting back…. so long as she returned.

All she had to manage to do was make it across town, to the river, and then into the park safely. It was a task easier said than done, but Kelski had been sure to make friends with the Shadows on some of the main roads, and when she came across the ones she recognized and acknowledged, they tended to hang with her and warn her of trouble. In exchange, she told them stories of her day, talked about the projects she was working on, or even told them about Shadows elsewhere and the stories they had told her.

Kelski could be herself with the Shadows. Makath flowed off her tongue in a smooth and sultry language that almost sounded like she was whispering under her breath of beautiful things. Her footsteps were light, taking her from shadow to shadow, carrying her steadily north and angling towards the park. She got there safely, surprisingly, and threaded her way carefully through the four and a half acre woods, skipping the bridge and wading pond until she got to the bank of the river. She walked the length of the park, tracing the banks, until she found a quite place to wait for Kynier. She didn’t see him, glancing around, but then again she never looked up. Instead, she decided she’d arrived quite early and looked longingly at the still warm rapidly falling night and the water that looked inviting.

Making a quick decision, Kelski slipped off her cloak, unfastened her belt that held her dagger, and slowly pulled her boots off. She slid her long skirt off and then the blouse that had been tucked into the belt. She folded the garments neatly and tucked them beneath a tree that overhung the river. Skin touched by moonlight, the Kelvic carefully padded towards the water and waded into it slowly, trying not to splash. Naked, the moon revealed a thin but lovely body, firm high breasts, narrow hips, and muscles that had been well defined by training. The wind tossed Kelski’s hair and as she walked away from Kynier’s slightly concealed position, giving glimpses of her bare shoulders and back. The water reflected light off the small of her back, highlighting the embossed skin that glittered in the shape of Akajia’s Gnosis Mark, clearly outlining it to anyone who might be witnessing the Kelvic’s antics.

She waded deeper, emboldened, until her torso was submerged. She dipped her head in, lifted out of the water again, and began to carefully float, relaxing in what the woman obviously thought was secluded privacy. He could hear her sigh of joy from there as the river washed away the troubles of her day. Kelski floated, arms out, back arched, legs gently propelling her down the length of the shore, adjusting her position to keep her parallel with the location of her clothing in sight.

It was then, reclined, with her head up staring at the sky, that she noticed the figure in the tree on the thick branch. Moving abruptly to sit up, the Kelvic was barely able to touch the bottom as she tilted her head and narrowed her gaze. Eagle eyes caught the identification of the man in the tree almost immediately and her concern melted to warmth as she recognized him. She turned on her stomach, pushed out with her arms, and attempted to swim closer. He could tell she was an awkward swimmer, the skill being something she’d just begun to learn this season. She came closer, making no move to cover up, and stood up finally in the water. The Kelvic had no sense of shyness like a human might. She didn’t understand others might be embarrassed. After all, in her world men were quick to undress women rather than ask them to cover up. So she beckoned to Kynier.

“Would you like to join me?” She asked, splashing in the water a little, happily, feeling safe enough to do so now that she was not alone. Sea Eagles loved the water. They preferred fish above everything and were as at home on shorelines as they were in the air. The Kelvic looked hopeful, though if he declined she’d readily join him on the shore.
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kynier on May 26th, 2018, 4:20 am


For a while he waited in silence. So calm were the trees and the water that he allowed his thoughts to wander, and lost track of time. He listened to the crickets sing to the night sky as his gaze slowly took in the environment. To the southwest he could see the unending smolder of the Slag Heap paint a little red into the sky. To his surprise he found himself enjoying this place, even if he was alone.

He adjusted himself, bringing one knee close to his chest while the other leg stretched down the branch. The question that had been haunting him for days burned in his mind. Would she show? Kynier felt something drawing him to her that he never felt with anyone else. He wondered if she truly was who she presented herself to be. It made Kynier question his own identity. Was he just and aspiring thug with skills to be kept secret, or a sorcerer playing a dangerous game?

A motion caught his eye, but when he turned to look he couldn't pinpoint the source at first. A figure not far from him in dark attire stood near the water. Leaning forward a little, he stayed quiet to observe the stranger. Removing their cloak allowed long dark hair with traces of white to tumble freely around her shoulders. Kynier smiled. She came. Before he could call out to her Kelski unfastened her belt. Kynier wondered what she was doing, until she took off her long skirt. At the sight of her pale skin he felt himself begin to blush.

His heart was beating in his throat as he watched her set her clothes under the branch. Yes she was beautiful. But under moonlight by the water she looked more like a vision. Without disturbing the water greatly she waded in. Kynier's trance broke as Leth's light reflected off the water and onto her back. At this distance he didn't initially see it, the triangle and new moon of the goddess. At that his mouth fell agape. Akajia's mark was on her flesh.

When Kelski noticed him her expression made a pair of quick transitions. Kynier closed his mouth and wished he could somehow conceal his blushing cheeks. Perhaps in the dark she wouldn't notice. She stood in the water making no attempt for modesty. The playful splash of water with her invite would have sent a man of a more primitive notion wild. Kynier was not much better than that, his voice was not functioning to his will. So silently he swung both his legs over one side of the branch and hopped off.

As he walked he unclasped his cloak and hung it over an arm. Stopping by her clothes he set it down and took off his belt and weapons. Taking off his shirt the soft flow of air that was less than a breeze gave his skin a pleasant chill. His muscles tensed for an instant showing the lean acrobatic build that stretched across his broad shoulders. As he folded his shirt he tried to think of something to say, feeling a need to break the silence. Kynier's eyes switched between Kelski's gray eyes and her breasts. Finally a nervous chuckle broke through as he set his shirt down.

"I didn't imagine that we'd be doing this tonight." He crouched down to take off his boots. The bronze symbol of Akajia hung freely around his neck reflected the moonlight. Kynier had forgotten that he was wearing it. Once his boots were off he took off the symbol and set upon his cloak. "I pictured a walk through the woods." He set the sacks of food down on the clothes, hoping no animals would come for the meat. Kynier took off his trousers and walked to the water. He did not plunk his foot in clumsily but made gliding steps as she had done, to avoid unnecessary noise.

Once he was waist deep he paused to look at his bandage. Getting wet would cause quite a setback to the healing process, and the drag could rip the wound open again. Holding the injury close to his chest and his other hand above it he tried to calm his mind. The image of Kelki's naked body made it difficult, but he managed to push through and find his way to his Djed. Creating a gaseous res that emanated from his right hand Kynier guided it around the bandage on all sides. The haze slowly condensed around the cloth as Kynier's hand drifted back and forth across the surface. In his mind he weaved a barrier against water to keep the bandage dry. After a chime he finished and tested the barrier by dipping it in the water and retracting it. Except for where he was bandaged his arm felt wet and cold when exposed to the air.

"That will keep it from harm for a time," he said with an assuring tone. Kynier lowered himself into the water and allowed himself to drift out a little. He couldn't remember the last time he was in a body of water larger than a wash basin. His limbs thrashed more than waved to propel him deeper. Kynier tilted his head back until the water covered his hairline. The muted sounds of the water made him smile, close his eyes, and sigh in relaxation. Through the water he could sense Kelski swimming. He opened his eyes to look at her. How her wet hair matted to her head and fanned out in the water behind her, gave him the sense that she preferred the water to land.

Although he had many questions he didn't ask any of them. Instead he wanted to enjoy the moment and swim. Occasionally he gaze a cautionary glance to the shore, keeping their things within view as well as making sure nothing came up unawares. Between the glances he swam with quick flailing movements with Kelski. He only got close enough to touch her if they both reached out with an arm. Despite the urges he felt he kept a respectable yet comfortable distance from her. He did not know how long they swam. Kynier was immersed in the pleasure of swimming and unexplainably laughing with Kelski. But after a time muscles he was unaccustomed to using began to tire. At that time he would float more instead of swim.

"It's been so long since I went swimming, I can't properly remember," he said quietly so his voice wouldn't carry. Floating on his back he looked up at the stars. His mind returned to the questions that he had, but it didn't feel right to ask them at this moment. "Is it true that Kelvics can turn into an animal?" He rotated in the water to look at her eyes again. "I've never met one before."
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kelski on May 27th, 2018, 2:55 pm

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Kelski was pleased beyond measure that Kynier decided to join her swimming. She stood in the water and watched him undress boldly, not bothered at all by all his skin showing. She simply wasn’t shy or modest. No Kelvics really were. The only thing she wore was her heavy collar… its lock preventing her from taking it off. Kelski nodded as he explained he’d thought they’d walk in the woods rather than do something as unusual as swimming. They could still walk in the woods if Kynier wanted. Kelski wouldn’t begrudge any stolen time in the wilds. She was just reluctant to leave the water just yet… before she’d had her fill of the river.

The sandy mud at her feet gripped her toes as she waited for Kynier to finish and join her. The river was refreshing against her skin as it lazily traveled by. There was no strong current here at this Park or off this little island beach. In fact, the whole location was truly lovely. Kelski was quite taken with it in a charmed sort of way.

She studied Kynier boldly as he undressed. He had a nice form, streamlined and lacking the soft spots of flesh lazy men tended to have around their middles above their sex. Truthfully, he was handsome and well built, but not like the bulky brutes some of the gangs surrounded themselves with. She wondered if being a mage kept him lean. She’d known magic took its toll, though she wasn’t sure what that toll was exactly but it didn’t show in his form. He moved nicely too, smoother and silkier than most humans. He wasn’t animalistic, but something else… something light footed and confident. Kelski liked that about him.

Kelski’s breath caught in her throat when she saw his pendant. She’d recognize the Night Lady’s symbol anywhere. The sight of it made her pensive, thoughtful, and seemed to put so much in clarity for her why she was drawn to this man and why she wanted his company. The Kelvic moved smoothly to join Kynier when he slipped into the water and tilted her head to watch curiously as he cast the shield over his deep wound. The Kelvic reached out and trailed light fingers over the other arm, the one that had the light wounds, checking to see if those had completely sealed. They looked good. But he was right to worry about the other one.

She said little, offering him a slight smile. The pendant was still a surprise and it kept her mind busy. Was he a child of Akajia? Was he a Nightstalker? She felt no quickening of a gnosis mark that she’d felt before when she’d ran across other Nightstalkers. So he was something else… but something of The Night Lady. Kelski’s mind whirled.

The Kelvic nodded when he was finished and slipped with him into deeper water, padding around quietly, letting the water hold her up. She swam happy awkward circles around Kynier as he got used to the water, dipped his head in, and acclimated. He could tell she wasn’t a skilled swimmer… her motions more ones of joy than any real experience. But she watched the shore as carefully as he did and had a sort of infectious joy that swirled around him. Kelski was genuinely happy to see him and was holding back giving him space because she didn’t want to scare him off.

It was only when Kynier started to float, calmly enjoying the night that Kelski moved closer. She waited for his arms to reach out, forming a relaxed T, that she did something she’d never considered doing before. Floating close to him, she reached out as well. Gentle fingers cupped around his good arm just below his elbow and lightly gripped his forearm. She didn’t hold onto it, but rather let her hand slide down until her fingers and thumbs lightly gripped his wrist, locking them together. If he closed his hand, she’d be gripped equally by him. Back arched, her hair fanned out in the water around her like a sulfurous flame, Kelski stared at the sky and smiled contentedly. It was so nice…. this intimate closeness cradled in river water with Ajakjia’s presence all around them.

When she finally spoke, her voice was soft, barely carrying above the water, but easy for him to hear since she was so close.

“I’m glad you came swimming today, Kynier. I’ve thought about you often and was looking forward to seeing you today.” The admission was said with the bluntness of someone without an agenda and by someone not used to playing the games of society where too eager or too interested spelled weakness. Kelski kept her wrist lightly locked against his, so the two of them floated together within easy speaking distance. Her eyes trailed to the sky, loving the stars playing peak-a-boo out between the bands of clouds swirling above.

When Kynier lifted his head to meet her gaze she watched him curiously. His face was full of questions. She didn’t mind answering them. “It is and it isn’t.” She said softly, looking thoughtful. Kelski trailed her free hand up her stomach, rubbed a breast, scratched her jawline, and then brushed her hair out of her eyes. She was incredibly relaxed, and her posture showed it. “We are not human, not like you are even though we look it. We are not animals, even though we sometimes look it. We are something else, and something of both. This form, this body, is one of my appearances, but its not who I am. When I grow wings, that is another of my appearances, but it is not who I am. I am something more. When not collared, I can slip between them easily being either as needed. My winged form is an eagle… a sea eagle. And because of that I love to fly… and be near the water. In my human form my eyesight is incredibly sharp. I can see far more than humans can. In my eagle form, I can clearly think as well as I can as a human… we don’t turn animal. We have animal habits and human habits in both places but we are something different.” She added, drawing her hand back down to her stomach to play at one of the piercings in her navel before stretching her arm back out and adjusting her drift to keep a better eye on their clothing on the shore.

“But I am empty inside…. not complete. I need something more. I don’t know what it is… but I look for it often. I think it is the bond. When we bond, we open ourselves up to be more. Other Kelvics have talked to me about it. What they say is confusing.” She added, kicking up a toe out of the water and spreading droplets from the river like rain. She smiled, did it again, and then glanced at him.

“I saw your pendant.” It wasn’t a question exactly, but her face was full of query. It was obvious she wanted him to talk about it. Kelski had an expressive face when relaxed. He could tell she wanted to ask him about it but wasn’t sure how to broach the subject without offending him. Kelski relaxed her grip on his wrist, readjusted her position in the water, then clasp his wrist gently but tightly again. Relaxed and floating in the water, her body was clearly lit by Leth gracing the sky almost full.

She was thin, painfully so, which made her breasts look bigger and her collar bones and ribs stand out. The Kelvic looked young, and he could see light glint off additional piercings in the form of silver rings that hung through her nipples, navel, and at the apex of her thighs. Someone had also driven silver bars through her pectoral muscles, so more metal glimmered beneath her neck and above her right breast. She caught him looking at them and ran a hand over the bars beneath her collarbone. “They didn’t hurt. My owner wanted to test the loyalty of one of his new recruits. The man was soft about doing unsavory things.. so he made him ‘decorate me’ to toughen him up. He… it hurt him to do them more than I think it hurt me. But my Master was pleased. I don’t like them. They fall to the ground when I shift, so if I shifted with them I would have a hard and painful time putting them back in when I changed my feathers for skin. My guard gave me something that set my head to floating so they didn’t hurt going in and I didn’t mind him doing it. I barely remember any of it. But they are another way to control me.” She said softly, her free hand roaming up her throat to touch her collar. Kelski offered him an almost apologetic smile and glanced down at her body.

She had the strongest urge to appear perfect to him… for him. And she didn’t know why. The thought startled her and she turned to study him again, gauging his reaction. She never ever cared what Jaren or even what Darvin thought of her. When she wasn’t with them doing what they wanted, she never gave them a single thought. And yet… Kynier had been on her mind almost continuously.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kynier on May 28th, 2018, 4:49 am



At the feel of her touch Kynier felt excitement course through her body. How gentle Kelski’s fingers were as they caressed his skin until clasping his wrist. It made his heart flutter and Kynier struggled find a balanced breathing pattern. The sudden change from relaxation to excitement resulted in long shallow breaths. He did reciprocate the gesture, circling his grip around her thin wrist. It did please him to hear how Kelski had been thinking about him. Partially because his thoughts of her had been similar. Also because... well... it was nice to be thought of. He didn’t say anything because the smirk on his face probably said enough.

He listened intently as she described what being Kelvic was. It sounded complex and difficult for her to describe. To be half of one and half of the other, but not completely separate in either form. A sea eagle. Kynier could see it more as he looked at her more closely. The way her eyes moved as well as her shoulders. How Kelski had walked back at the temple too when he really thought about it. Kelski moved and acted with the grace of a predator. Yet as she described the missing piece to herself Kynier felt like he knew what she meant. The “bond” sounded like an enhanced version of the human desire for connection. For him, it was more of a sense of belonging, whether it was somewhere, or to someone, he could only guess which would fill that void.

Kelski was the first to be bold and address the situation they were both obviously questioning. Akajia. Though her dark lips didn’t form a question he could see that several had been primed behind those moonlit eyes. Kynier made a soft thoughtful grunt. “There probably isn’t a term for what I am, in that regard,” he said softly. “Before the caravan was attacked, there was an Akalak mercenary, Fritren that I found intriguing. It was he that first told me of the goddess and her dominance of darkness and shadows. Apart from him I’ve never knowingly found another believer, or been to a temple of hers.” Kynier turned his gaze up to Leth to admire its soft glow. “I have never felt her presence, and don’t know what it is she wants of me. Yet I still direct any prayers I have to her. No other gods have ever provided something for me either, but She is the one I feel closer too.”

Kynier turned his hazel eyes back to hers. “I don’t know what you did to receive her mark upon your flesh. Though I find myself envious.” Unexpectedly he found himself looking at her piercings. With all her flesh bare Kynier could see there were so many more than he expected. The silver glimmer of light next to her pale skin added a mythic quality to her then. Kelski followed his gaze and fidgeted with the bar through her pectoral. As she spoke he felt sad for her. The other night his Auristic sight showed her aura being disrupted, but he wouldn’t have guessed that. Her slavery wasn’t just physical, it was suppressing her spirit in a way he couldn’t truly understand.

Hatred for Jaren formed, and the desire to find a way for him to suffer the way he made Kelski suffer. But here, now, there wasn’t anything he could do about it. Kynier released his grip on her wrist but kept his fingers on her skin. There was nothing he could do to disguise the sadness in his eyes, nor were there any words he could think of to say. Instead Kynier released his grip on her and lowered his hand further to take hold of hers with a gentle, but encouraging, squeeze.

Slavery may not have been able to dampen her will. But seeing how thin she was, her ribs so prominent against her skin, as well all the piercings that were damaging her spirit day by day. Kelski fought on however she could it seemed. Though a compromise to have that ability to fight, Darvin’s drugs, could end up killing her at any time. But Kynier felt a sting of sadness when he realized that if this continued, she would die. Slavery was going to kill her.

A boldness overtook him. Kynier ceased floating and drew closer to the Kelvic, being mindful not to strike her with his flailing attempts to stay afloat. “What can...” he began, but was cut short by a sound. A pained cry seemed to echo from the woods and over the water that he could just barely hear. She most likely had heard it as well. Kynier looked off to the shore and saw nothing. No fires, torches, or movements among the trees. The eeriness of the noise had set his nerves on end and he couldn’t shake the feeling. Kynier looked back to Kelski with a gaze he had worn every day since coming to Sunberth. The look of someone expecting trouble. “Come on,” he whispered.

Water was not his element. As he tried to swim silently his noise would dip below the surface. Kynier struggled to keep his gasps for air silent as he swam back to the shore. Eventually he found a rhythm that he was comfortable with of two heavy strokes with his arms followed by a kick of his legs to bob up enough to breath. He only set his feet down when the water was just below waist height. Then he slowly walked out of the water in a crouch to keep his form small. Upon dry land he was crouched as slow as he could be while making long, waddling but silent strides to their clothes. First thing he grabbed was his short sword. While scanning the trees he silently unsheathed it before sticking the tip hard in the ground. Keeping his blade within reach he dressed himself as quickly as he could.

Once he was done he pulled his blade from the ground and slowly rose to his full height. Still he had seen nothing, and no other sounds had been made. The crickets had stopped singing and the wind seemed to be holding its breath. The sheer silence was discomforting. With a look to Kelski he wished he could’ve asked to help her obtain her freedom. That the moments they’d been sharing could’ve continued. But now it would have to wait. The long shadows of the woods stood before them. He thought of making his fire, but that would give their location away to whatever was out there. Another option would be to move along the river’s edge. But if they were attacked they could easily be cornered.

“Do not wait for danger, Kynier. Learn from her how to become a predator.”

To his own surprise, he was in agreement. “We should find out what that was,” he whispered over his shoulder. “Before whatever it is finds us first.”
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kelski on May 29th, 2018, 4:25 am

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Kelski was opening up on a level she hadn’t experienced before. It was such an unusual situation she wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. She’d had acquaintances before but not true friends. And she’d certainly found it rare when she actually wanted to spend time with someone. Later, after this night, she’d have time to reflect and maybe grow concerned. But for right now, she was happy, relaxed, and all her problems seemed fairly far away.

Their talk of Akajia made her grow pensive. “I did not do much. I just wanted answers to a question I had and grew bold enough to leave the comfort of what I knew to find those answers. She marked me when I found them and I think in part how I responded to those answers. I plucked a man’s eyes out and ate them.” She said with a smile that might indicate she was kidding. It was a sheepish playful smile, one that wasn’t anywhere near the edge of serious.

“If you serve Her, she will mark you too I suspect. Her Nightstalkers are important to Her.” Kelski said, looking thoughtful. “She might have even placed me in your path for a reason.” They were quiet then. The Kelvic had no idea what Kynier was thinking or feeling. His face was closed to her in the dark and at the angle they were at, floating and enjoying the cool of the water. She was somewhat surprised when he turned in the water, paddled over to her, and started to speak.

Her attention was drawn immediately to the woods and not on him. She missed what he said if he said anything. And then he was heading towards the shore with an urgent whisper for her to come. She followed, her sharp eyes scanning the shoreline. She saw nothing, but the shadows and darkness of the forest provided a barrier to her eyesight. There was no movement which she could have picked up, even if there wasn’t any detail behind it… that told her whatever was going on was in the woods deeper, under the cover of the foliage.

Kelski went into full predator mode as they quietly but quickly waded ashore. Kynier went directly to the clothing pile, which to Kelski seemed reasonable. Humans were so shy. But she wouldn’t have bothered to dress, and didn’t…. grabbing only her dagger and continuing ahead of him leaving him to cover his body. Clothing meant less than anything to her, and if anything her nudity would be a distraction to anyone she found in the woods which would perhaps give her a chance to get the advantage.

The Kelvic kept low, her dagger gripped in her right hand, left hand leading as she took long slow steps across the ground in a half crouch – almost slinking – as she moved in a smooth continuous almost sinuous motion. Her sharp eyes penetrated the vegetation of the Park and before long she spotted the sound. The cry made sense. Violence. There was always violence in Sunberth. The scent of fresh blood assaulted her senses and she wrinkled her nose, wondering how far something had to bleed out for the blood smell to be that thick.

Kynier’s words were spoken to empty air. Kelski was already gone, ahead, scouting and protecting. She wouldn’t be hard to follow or for him to join since she was hold up, beckoning him to be quiet, at the edge of a relatively close clearing.

Five teenage boys surrounded a sixth. They had him tied to a tree and had stripped him from the waist up. One of them, or maybe all of them, and gutted him and were watching his entrails slip from his visceral cavity and trail down his legs. The boy was twitching, his blackened eyes and beaten face staring at the site of his insides cascading down his thighs. His mouth was bound in a gag. The boys were hurling insults and watching him die with such joy in their eyes…. Such vindictive joy… that Kelski was immediately reminded of how dangerous humans were and how savage they could be.

The leader, a bit taller teen, poked the bound boy in the chest. “You’ll never betray us again. Stealing from your own? Stealing food nonetheless? You lose your stomach as a penalty… “ It was then that Kelski saw the mass that indeed looked like a human stomach dumped at the bound boys feet.

The Kelvic glanced over her shoulder at Kynier as he approached. She raised a questioning eyebrow and then stepped close to him. Her lips were near his ears, voice almost breathless. “Trouble. I would not get involved. We should move from here. If they see us, we’ll have to fight them all and they are very dangerous. All humans are.” She said, more than willing to slink away, dress, and relocate.

If Kynier wanted to get involved though… Kelski knew she’d stay with him and defend him. It was like a powerful instinct in her was driving her to do so. She was just glad she didn’t recognize any of the teens, and they didn’t seem particularly well armed. Certainly, none of them had swords. They had daggers though, and plenty of them…
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kynier on May 29th, 2018, 1:32 pm


He watched the Kelvic stop for her dagger and continue straight to the woods. It was mildly surprising to him to see a female so boldly move around without clothing. Once he was dressed he took long quick strides until he reached the trees. From there he continued in a crouch and placed his feet as carefully as he could while still trying to catch up to Kelski.

It was difficult to see under the tree canopy. Kynier had his short sword in his hand but walked with his other out to avoid walking into a trunk he couldn't see. After a hundred feet in, perhaps two, he could see a glimmer of light ahead. Weaving through the woods he noticed Kelski's pale form crouched low. She was beckoning him to approach, quietly. Kynier slowed his pace for the remaining distance. It was there that he began to smell something, foul. And the sounds of laughter were drifting towards him.

When he was next to Kelski the odor had worsened, making him catch his breath in his throat. They were just beyond the edge of a clearing occupied by teenagers. Kynier watched in disgust at the display. The dying boy was trying to wail in agony but couldn't be heard through the gag or the revelry of his tormentors. Moving past the initial shock of the scene Kynier started looking at the details. They were just boys with daggers with no visible tattoos. There was no indication of gang affiliation, but they themselves sounded like they were part of a tightly knit group.

Kelski was right. They couldn't afford to linger for long. And the boys would likely attack on sight. They would kill Kynier, but spare Kelski for a short time for their own amusement if they won any such confrontation. He knew that withdrawing was the best course of action. Yet as he watched the blood and entrails ooze from the dying boy his hatred grew. This was the spirit of Sunberth. Instead of a quick and cleen kill they brought agony to one of their own. If this was how they treated a former comrade, what would they do to a stranger?

Kynier wasn't able to do it. To just leave the atrocity behind. He had come to Sunberth to try and make a difference. If this sort of behavior was left unchecked then it would escalate in the city. He looked to Kelski. She wanted to leave, though her eyes were as sharp as steel he could see the uncertainty that lined their edges. She had one dagger and no protection. Kynier gave the scene another very quick overview. The boys had two torch bearers, and the leader was carving his victims skin for further amusement.

Kynier pulled out the concealed dagger from his boot and held it out to Kelski, hilt first. "I'll make a distraction. Then you bury this blade in the back of that torch bearer," he said indicating the closer one with his back to them. "If done correctly, we can halve their number before they realize what's happening." He was confident she could get the kill, or at least seriously maim him. He had seen how good she was with a dagger.

He placed his free hand on Kelski's bare shoulder and gave it an assuring squeeze. Then he turned to skulk around the clearing. He reversed his grip so that the blade rested against his arm as he moved. Taking long soft steps he tried to avoid stepping on anything that would give away his location. The laughter was fading away as the spectacle seemed to be concluding. Kynier moved around to be twenty feet behind the tree that the victim was tied to. He pulled his cloak around him and crouched low as he used the tree's shadows to hide his approach.

The adolecents with the torches were further from the victim than the others. Giving the tree a nice long pair of shadows. Once Kynier was an arm's length from the base he stood up straight against the tree and examined the rope. It had been wrapped around the tree several times. Kynier ran his hand over it to find the top length. Heart racing he started cutting the rope with the tip of his blade. Each time a strand was cut through he paused to see if it had the desired effect.

"Looks like he's about dead," he heard. Kynier was loosing confidence in his plan as a third section was cut through.
"What're we doing with the body?" Kynier sliced a fourth strand. Nothing.
"Just leave it. Something will clean it up." The next length he cut had the desired effect. The dead weight on the other side of the tree was too much to hold and fell with a heavy thump.

"What on..." There was Kelski's distraction. Kynier paused for a second and a half so that the Kelvic's efforts would become his distraction. Then he ran out from behind the tree in a low crouch to circle around the opposite side of the Kelski, behind the boys. But his steps were no longer soft and the boy turned to see Kynier just before his blade ran him through. As the boy's body pressed against his Kynier could hear a surprised sob. Being physically bigger allowed Kynier to take a couple steps and push the boy off balance.

Remembering how a blade could get stuck in a body, Kynier gripped the hilt with both hands and waited to pull. The momentum from his charge made the body fall. Kynier nearly lost his grip but managed to hold the blade at a good angle. Blood welled up from his torso quickly as he slid off the edge. He looked up at the torch bearer in front of him and launched himself from his position. In his haste the teenage drew his dagger but with a poor grip. Kynier swung wildly and the boy stepped back. Pressing the attack Kynier rotated his wrist and cut at the same angle in the opposite direction. The boy didn't have his footing and was flustered, allowing the cut to land.

The boy cried out as the blade cut across his chest. Kynier pulled the hilt to his hip and stepped forward with a thrust. The cold iron punctured the boy's sternum and shocked eyes gazed down at the hilt. Kynier pushed on the hilt to topple the kid and allowed the short sword to fall from his grip. As he turned to face the others he reached around his back and drew his assassin's dagger. He was breathing heavy from fatigue and adrenaline. The pungent stench of death hung in the air with no breeze to disperse it. Kynier paused to assess the situation.
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kelski on May 31st, 2018, 3:39 am

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So that’s how it was going to be? The Kelvic would have far preferred sneaking off and letting the youth do what they wanted. It wasn’t that she was afraid of them. It was just that she knew from personal experience that young men were incredibly dangerous, especially youth that had nothing else to do with their time. Kelski was surprised when Kynier handed her a second weapon complete with instructions on what to do with it. She eyed the dagger and then the boy with the torch. Nodding, she tested the weight of his dagger in her hand, reversed the blade and waited for his signal. Her wet hair was damp down her back, and her skin was still dripping with water which caused the Kelvic to start shivering. She hadn’t thought the no-clothing thing through and should have actually taken time to dress when Kynier did if for nothing else than to keep warm in the quickly deepening night.

She gave him a nod of understanding, focused her attention on the youths, and waited for his signal. Her shivering increased, and she swore silently under her breath. Kynier’s tactics were sound and the plan was a good one, but by the time he got around and approached to where he was going to distract, Kelski’s teeth were chattering. When the body pitched forward off the tree, Kelski was ready. Unfortunately, her trembling due to the cold was now fairly violent and the dagger went wide, burying itself in the front shoulder of another thug. The torch bearer whirled around after freezing a moment to try and understand why his buddy had cried out. The second youth had Kynier’s spare dagger buried in his shoulder in a somewhat harmless location. He was bleeding profusely but it wasn’t life threatening.

Kelski cursed between chattering teeth and moved.

The forest floor was rough on her bare feet, things poking into her soles and the brush scrapping her skin as she pushed her way through the underbrush. Busting out into the clearing with the boys and Kynier, the Kelvic could have cut her losses and run, but she wasn’t willing to leave Kynier to them and to an uncertain fate.

The mage had already cut one down and was working on the Torch Bearer, so Kelski ignored the youth and disregarded the hurt one. He was gripping the dagger stunned and trying to pull it out of the meat of his shoulder. That would keep him distracted for a moment longer. One dead, the torch bearer engaged, and one trying to pull a dagger out.. there were two other boys fresh to the fight. Kelski ducked around Kynier and the torch bearer, avoided the wounded boy, and got between the other two and Kynier.

It wasn’t the type of fight she liked. Darvin had taught her to strike hard, fast, and surprise them. Facing the two boys and keeping herself between them and the ones Kynier was dealing with was dangerous. She had no where on her body to conceal a weapon and surprise attack. She had to fight fair and outright, which was not the style she was taught.

Kelski advanced, her guard arm out, and her dagger gripped in her standard favorite grip. She moved fast, cutting swiftly, using her nudity to distract because it was the only thing she had. One of the boys rushed forward quickly, and waiting, Kelski sidestepped and cut him deep as his bull rush took him past. Her dagger was sharp and her thrust deep, so she opened his visceral cavity wide open beneath the cheap linen of his shirt. The youth screamed, distracting the other one that was right beside him, and gave Kelski a chance to swipe at him. She missed, he dodged, and brought his own weapon into play slashing.

They parried and dodged circling each other, trading slashes and dodges. Kelski got more cuts on the bottom of her feet from sticker bushes and fallen branches. There were unseen stones in the soil too, causing her to limp before long. She took a cut on her forearm and the man loosened a hank of her hair, liberating it from her swirling mass.

In desperation, she reversed her grip on her dagger, stepped back and threw it at him. He wasn’t expecting it, and it was definitely breaking one of Darvin’s rules about throwing away ones’ weapon. But the blade lodged deep in the boy’s throat and caused him to gurgle. He staggered, went down, and Kelski pounced, grabbing the dagger and liberating it from the youth’s neck, reversing it in her grip, and slashing his throat.

She danced back, assessed the situation, and saw that the boy with the cut across his stomach had fled. There were two dead, and Kynier was fighting with the other. One fled…. where was the fifth?
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kynier on May 31st, 2018, 12:21 pm


As Kelski hurled her last dagger Kynier's vision panned around. Three were now dead or dying and the other two seemed to have vanished, including the leader. Kynier moved to be behind Kelski as she recovered the dagger and cut the boy's throat for good measure. He turned his back to watch the rear. But the night was silent with exception to his breathing and something else. Peering over his shoulder he saw that Kelski was shivering and her teeth chattered.

Kynier cursed under his breath. Though she had chosen to take no clothing he should have been more mindful it. Even without a breeze the night air was a cold kiss on his skin. Unless she dressed, and quickly, the exposure would prove more deadly than a teen wielding daggers. They seemed to have been routed though. Both torches still burned on the ground and he saw no movement outside of the clearing.

"I think they've gone," he stated. Kynier returned his dagger to the sheath on his back and went to retrieve his short sword. Setting a foot on the chest he gripped the hilt and pulled with his legs and back. With a squelching noise the blade came free. Kynier cleaned it off on the boy's leg and sheathed it. He picked up the torch from the ground and brought it back to Kelski with him, his eyes scanning the woods as he moved. Letting his guard down would be a mistake. It was easy to hide in the woods. And if the last two adversaries hadn't actually run they were lying in wait.

Kynier wasn't going to attempt to track them down, though he really wanted to. Such brutality as theirs needed to be dealt with. The chaotic nature of the city was bringing out the worst of almost everyone, and everyone else was allowing it. Those were his feeling on the matter. Kelski didn't want to get involved. Self preservation, he supposed. But now that preservation was at risk.

"Hold this close," he said, offering the torch to Kelski. It didn't provide much heat but it should help in keeping her bones warm. Then he unclasped his cloak and resettled it around her shoulders. Kynier wouldn't accept any argument against it. Her skin was still wet and her teeth chattered loudly. His cloak around her body made her form look even thinner, and smaller, as it hung all the way to the ground. A hand reached to pull the hood up when he saw movement behind a tree in front of him.

The tallest of the youth stepped out and threw a dagger. "Down!" he shouted as he wrapped and arm around her shoulders and pushed her down before him. As Kynier descened he felt the tip cut through the back of his shoulder, where Kelski's neck had been an instant before. Kynier sprang back up and drew his short sword again. Placing himself between Kelski and the youth he raised the tip warningly. The boy was bleeding from the shoulder and the matching arm hung at his waist unnaturally. With his good arm he took out another dagger.

"Petch!" the boy screamed, pointing the dagger at them. "I'll kill you!" He charged at them. Kynier took a few steps forward to engage him. The boy slashed wildly. Kynier leaned away and tried to cut at the extended arm, but the boy quickly recoiled. Kynier swung again only to miss. Even with the boy unable to use a guard hand he moved deftly. The youth never parried, just used footwork to stay out of reach. One of Kynier's attacks made an unnecessarily wide arch making an opening that the youth took.

The thrust was quick and nearly got Kynier had he not thrown his hips back to avoid. The following attack came fast and fluid. Kynier realized that he was outmatched in skill. A few time the blade ripped through his clothing but failed to draw blood. The little blade was moving too fast for Kynier to study the attacks. Kynier lept back to gain some distance. When the boy came in Kynier made a thrust then turned it into an upward cut when at full extension, and ended with a warding slash. The boy tried to press in at the end of each attack but still avoid them all.

"Trying to cut a viper will get you bit. Burn it instead!"

Attempting magic would leave too large of an opening. And the boy's skill was too good for Kynier to win. He had lost track of where Kelski was. Kynier felt sure that without her help... it was going to turn into a bad day.
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Under Leth's Light

Postby Kelski on June 1st, 2018, 3:34 am

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The rush of the fight still coursed through her causing Kelski to breathe hard and fast. The smell of the blood and the momentary violence had her predator’s instincts on high. Eyes wide, scanning the area, she shivered violently in the cold. Her hair was icy and trailed down her back almost burning her chilled skin.

Kynier was doing fine. For the most part he looked unscathed and that relieved Kelski to no end. She felt very protective of him though she didn’t exactly understand why. She watched him and watched the woods as he cleaned his blade and re-sheathed it. Kelski did the same with her blade, taking the time to clean it thoroughly. She started to balk when Kynier handed her the torch, but she realized instantly it was yet again another weapon. She tried not to look directly at it, not wanting to be blinded by its light. It was warm and heat washed over her from its direction, but it wasn’t exactly enough.

A moment later a warmth completely enfolded her, all but her bare feet, and she scented Kynier all around her. His cloak, she realized, as lingering heat from his body and from the heavy fabric immediately started infusing her. Her clenched teeth relaxed and she gave one or two last shivers before she sighed happily.

“That was stupid… so stupid…. leaving my clothing. Being wet. It being cold. You plan much better than I do.” She admitted with a throaty whisper, still scared, still ready to fight. She glanced around at him, the torch illuminating her wide feral eyes. He reached for her then suddenly, dragging her down with a shout as a blade cut through the air near her. It felt like an attack, but she realized at the last moment it wasn’t an attack from him. It came from beyond. She stayed down, not sure what was happening, keeping the torch away from her.

Kelski was quick, smart, and despite being half frozen it took her only a breath to realize what was happening. It wasn’t over. Her heart surged into action, pounding in her chest as she half rose from her crouch. Surging forward, torch outstretched, it gave her reach over the hand that still clutched the dagger. Kynier’s cloak fluttered to the ground as Kelski dug her toes into the loose dirt of the forest and leapt forward as the two males clashed. She darted around Kynier, used the torch as a weapon, and waved it in the boys face.

As expected, he brought his good arm with the dagger up to guard against it, leaving a huge opening in his side. It was a textbook classic mistake, one that Darvin had spent bells and bells with Kelski drilling her to take advantage of and not to fall for. She was there, tucking low, letting the torch take the other boy’s attack, while coming in fast and hard to drive her dagger in between his ribs and twist. She followed him as he staggered back, getting in more stabs, having been taught how to fight dirty like this to survive. She didn’t back down until the boy went down. Then and only then did she back up, out of range, angle so she could see both the boy and Kynier, and check the latter over to make sure he was fine.

The Kelvic was blood drenched and still had that wild-eyed look about her. She was panting, and her torch had gone out. She tossed it aside and stepped back. “You okay?” She murmured, not trusting her own voice at full volume with her winded cold state.

If he indicated he was, she’d turn, retrieve his cloak to wrap around her, then carefully start stripping the bodies of valuables and clothing – something valuable to her having nothing of her own – and collecting weapons. Her scavenging included the dead boy. She checked all their pockets and looked for warm clothing.

Glancing at Kynier, she told him somewhat apologetically. “I own nothing… nothing of my own. Their clothing is… valuable to me. It would mean not wearing the cast offs from the laundry.” She admitted, piling the gear in one big bunch.

There were three decent pair of pants, two linen shirts that had seen better days but that Kelski thought she could clean up, a leather belt, a rope belt, some very cheap leather shoes she frowned at and left, and enough coin to make eighteen mizas. There were also five daggers.

Kelski gathered it all up, bundled the bunch in a cloak that was smaller than Kynier’s but just as serviceable, and nodded towards where there things were. “Lets go back, get our stuff, and move to someplace safer. I’d like to divide this up….” She hissed, quietly, so only her words carried to his ears. “You can keep the money and blades… I won’t be able to hide them at home anyhow… but I’d like to keep the clothing….” She said, holding his borrowed cloak still around her and wiggling her cold bare toes into the warmer mud of the forest floor.

Gesturing towards their old beach, Kelski took off swiftly, moving low through the forest and coming out to where their stuff was. She set down the bundle, handed him his cloak back with a grateful look, and immediately put on her clothing. She jogged lightly down to the water, rinsed off her feet, and then slipped them into her boots still damp. The Kelvic sighed in relief and rejoined Kynier.

“Where to now? Unless you want to call it a night?” She asked quietly, still shaking slightly from the fight. The Kelvic was bold, but she wasn’t used to violence nor was she used to being in fights that might mean life or death.

Suddenly she closed the distance between them, laid her forehead on his chest, and whispered… “Thank you… but you scared me. Just one blade… one stray blade… life is too short here. Don’t jump in the way of blades…” The sincerity and worry in her voice was clear. She simply stood there, in his scent, letting the fact that he was fine wash over her.
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