PM to join [The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Kelski discovers the library and spends the day copying books... or at least that was the plan.

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

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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Kelski on July 11th, 2018, 2:07 am

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She watched him think and examined the myriad of emotions that crossed his face. Tarn was what humans called impassioned. It was something she’d never experienced herself, growing up loveless and always on the cusp of survival. Kelski had never actually seen it first hand, yet here it was… unquestionably impassioned. Tarn believed in higher ideals. She wondered if he’d ever gotten beaten, whipped, raped, or even had any of his freedoms removed simply because someone wanted to exercise more power over him. It would have dulled the spark in him if he had.

Despite those thoughts, Kelski knew he had good points and she liked the pictures he could paint as he spoke, getting his ideas across clearly. Truth be told Kelski liked him. She didn’t want too… not with that freshly burned tattoo on his hand. And if he believed he could change The Sun Birth… maybe he could. She personally thought most of them were lost causes, every man and child in their group. But here was an example of one that wasn’t. Only time would tell. Would Tarn be so alive in a season or two after suffering their orders, their actions, and witnessing first hand how they did things? He was a Dragoon, but it meant he had no real power. Maybe he could rise in the ranks and change things. Maybe he couldn’t. Would it hurt to let him try?

No… it wouldn’t. She met his gaze and interrupted him. “I wish you to burn bright then and be that brand.” She said, not unkindly and not without sincerity.

“The Syliran Knights do more than you might think. The city is thick with them at times, dressed in plain clothing, helping people out. One helped me. I know his daughter. They are good people. And he is not alone.” Kelski said, her eyes wide and certain, knowing the truth of her words. “Just because they don’t ride in with snorting horses and heavy with full plate armor and flashing swords, doesn’t mean they aren’t here.” The Kelvic said softly, carefully, not wanting to fight with this man but wanting him to understand that he was blind to think the knights had turned from Sunberth’s plight.

“Just because you don’t see someone acting outright doesn’t mean they aren’t acting!” Kelski said suddenly, picking up some of Tarn’s own passion on the topic. She had nothing but respect for Mat and his men, even his daughter. They were noble and gracious, and truthfully, he was the first man she’d ever met she’d remotely respected immediately. He’d treated her gently and taught her to swim, putting her on an equal playing field with his own daughter, even though she wasn’t human. Kelski would never forget that… ever.

And then he said he was faithless. Kelski almost hissed in her birdlike displeasure at that. She rose, circled around him cautiously, and shook her head. “I feel sorry for you… being Godless, Faithless…. because you are wrong, Tarn. They are all around us, watching us, interacting with us. They bless us in so many ways and give help when they can and guidance when it will be accepted. And in return they demand our faith, our love, our support. No matter what you plan to do within the Sun’s Birth, you won’t be able to do it without The Gods. You won’t be able to muster what you need inside to bring you through unscathed to the other side. You will fall, Tarn, and they will turn your insides as black as their own. For all that’s holy, if you want to do what you just told me you want to do, you will ASK FOR HELP and be ready to welcome it.” She said, reaching out and tapping him in the middle of his chest as if to drive home her point.

Men. They were so stubborn. How could he not see the Gods all around them? How could he not possibly understand?
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Tarn Alrenson on July 11th, 2018, 4:20 am

Tarn’s steely gaze hardened even further as Kelski spoke. Sunberth was full of Syliran Knights, helping the people covertly? The storybook heroes he’d heard about since his days in the crib were actually here?

Fat lot of good they were doing.

If you gave a beggar a loaf of bread in this city, as soon as you turned your back a thief would take it for himself and leave the poor wretch bloodied in the dirt. No, that wasn’t how Sunberth would be saved. The people here were strong, Tarn had known that since he was a child. They would be able to fend for themselves. That was, once the infection that tainted the city was cut out. And it would have to be cut out, no amount of time left alone would cleanse Sunberth’s corruption.

“Maybe we need somebody to come in with swords flashing,” Tarn said. “If you made the city rich now, within a week it would all belong to the people who are already wealthy. For anything in this city to change, they need to be removed from the situation.” Tarn thumbed the razor-edge of his spear. “By any means necessary.”

Far too many good people in Sunberth ended up dead simply because they weren’t as strong as the people who killed them. Tarn had personally known a few. He wouldn’t make their same mistake. To fix this, those bodies people found in the morning would just have to be bad people for a while, then eventually the city would straighten out. And the gods… In a city that respected nothing but strength, the gods should be the rightful rulers, right? And wasn’t it the responsibility of the rulers to help the people? With all their might, why couldn’t the gods fix everything? Tarn looked down at the finger Kelski tapped his chest with.

“The gods were powerful enough to nearly destroy the world,” he said softly, “so if they really care, why don’t they use more of that to help?” He tried to make his voice firm, but there was a hint of desperation in it. Tarn noticed his spear-arm trembling. He tried to force it to be steady, but he couldn’t stop it. He switched his spear to his right hand, clenching the fist of his trembling arm by his side and willing it to be still.

“You can follow whatever gods you choose Kelski, I will not fault you for it. But as for me? I will not be the creature of a being that watches children die of hunger from their divine throne and give crumbs in return.”

Insulting the gods was a fool’s errand, Tarn had been taught that from his youth. But at that moment, he simply didn’t care. Would the Sun’s Birth taint him, as Kelski said it would? They were indeed godless for the most part, as she had said. But no, he was nothing like them. Kelski had been right earlier when she said the gang had gathered for protection. Each member—including Tarn—saw the organization as a giant shield to cover them, while each of them were in fact a wall of shields to cover the leaders. The difference, Tarn decided, is that he knew he was a shield. But he wouldn’t simply point the same way as the others. While each of them protected just each other, Tarn would stretch to protect the others. The innocent people who hadn’t joined a gang, and who he prayed would never have to. Oh, Tarn would lend himself to the causes of his superiors, just enough to keep the shield of Sun’s Birth on his back as he did his real work.
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Tarn Alrenson
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Kelski on July 14th, 2018, 10:24 pm

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He seemed to get upset, but that didn’t bother Kelski overly much. She’d faced some of the worst The Sun’s Birth had to offer, so this man was not someone who worried her… yet. What he did do is earn her respect though. No matter what she told him, he stuck to his values and insisted he could make a change. Kelski looked thoughtful at that. She knew he’d have to kill a great deal of people and interrupt a lot of revenue flow before that even started. And before he could do that, he’d need to completely and utterly be able to resist the pull of easy money, quick highs, cheap liquor and loose women. It would be a near impossible task for most people, but Kelski didn’t know Tarn and from what she saw so far, nothing in the gang had broken him.

The problem was, he didn’t move like a warrior. He didn’t have the roaming gaze of someone who was used to being attacked and having to have relentlessly defended himself. He seemed so… innocent. Untouched by the taint of Sunberth. And he seemed angry.

Kelski knew why the Gods didn’t seemingly openly help. They have other means, far more effective and designed not to cause another Valterrian. “They do help, Tarn. They place their followers in strategic places so that they can assist in cities like Sunberth. That’s why I am here. I’m here because My Lady wants me to be here. I don’t follow her like you think. I belong to her. I have spoken to her personally and have faced her one on one, knowing her touch and her will. Her minions are in every crevasse and corner of this city actively working towards certain goals. If Gods just showed up and started throwing power around things would be in chaos. There might even be a war or other events similar to the Valterrian.

“The last thing Sunberth needs is someone like The Gods or The Syliran Knights coming in and flashing weapons and demands. That doesn’t make for a strong city, that makes for a ruled city. I’m sure they want Sunberth to stand on its own two feet and move past what it is suffering from right now. They want people like you and I to change things and to earn the right to live in a place that shelters us and keeps us whole.” She added, following his line of thinking and responding to his words in kind.

“The gangs though… they don’t help. All they are is one or two people gathering together followers to shield them personally from danger. They gather people like you and then order them about in exchange for food, shelter and protection…. because they are too lazy to do for themselves. The greed inherent in the gangs is unbelievable. They sanction drug manufacturing, distribution, theft, bribery, extortion, and they even bully business owners to pay them for protection or else they burn their businesses down. The Sun’s Birth is one of the worst. They’ll send you out to collect tribute, deliver their drugs to the poor that just want to escape their terrible lives. You’ll come across your fellow noble gangsters raping women and children they’ve kidnapped just because they are stronger and can. I saw it daily at the Barracks. And don’t get me started on the slavery. They buy and sell souls, people that should be free, just because there is no one that defends the weaker. It’s shameful what The Sun’s Birth does. And now you are a part of it…” She said angerly, studying his freshly burned mark on his palm.

He might be good now… full of dreams… but the gang would taint him, corrupt him, and the first time he touched a pile of Mizas or the power that came when he got to do whatever he wanted to a slave that had no choice…. would he hold firm? So many didn’t. And if he did, what would his gang think of him….

Kelski shook her head, finding what she was hearing absolutely ridiculous.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Tarn Alrenson on July 17th, 2018, 1:26 am

Tarn stood before Kelski’s onslaught, pretending—or at least trying to pretend—her statements were sliding off him. But the truth was, they weren’t. Each jab she took struck him, burrowing to his core and joining the slough of other similar thoughts that had originated from his own mind. Tarn however, forced himself to ignore these. He was a sworn man to Sun’s Birth, but that didn’t make him blind to their transgressions. It didn’t mean he was responsible for them either.

“‘And now that I’m a part of it’ what?” he asked, voice rising slightly. “Everything they do, everything they make me do, they would have done anyway. There are hundreds of men at their command, I don’t make that much difference. But the things I do with their power that they don’t tell me to do would never have been done. They may send me to collect tribute, but they would get their money whether I joined or not. But if I stop a murderer? That’s one less body put in the Dust Bed prematurely,” Tarn’s face hardened, “and one less coward left to roam the streets to freely prey on the weak.”

Tarn shook his head. Thinking the issue of Sunberth’s gangs could be avoided was pure naiveté. They were omnipresent in the city, and the only powers strong enough to oppose them were each other. That was why he had embraced one in order to stand at odds with the rest.

“If these gangs weren’t here, there would be others,” Tarn said. “with nobody to stop them, people will always rise to gain profit from their power. And the gangs do have power, a lot of it. Enough that if I were you I’d be careful about making a habit of talking like you do to Sun’s Birth soldiers. You shouldn’t have to be, but you do. In their constant wars against each other, the gangs scramble for every scrap of power and each shred of influence they can grab. We’re already a city ruled, but instead of one master we have many. This city hates tyrants so much that it has created one of its own design. This will go on forever unless something changes. One force has to rise above the others until it is no longer opposed, then they have to learn to give up some of the power they took. The only organization I see with even the briefest hint of doing that is the Sun’s Birth. Jareg Joander’s soldiers didn’t follow him at first because of greed, it was because of loyalty. That has changed, but if so, it can change again. I don’t see anything else that could work.”

As Tarn spoke, thoughts that had previously skirted his consciousness before flying out again formed together, falling into a plan he had never truly considered before in its entirety, but now that it was here seemed to have been his guiding principle from the beginning. His conviction rose as he spoke, the monumental challenge he recognized before him doubling back and strengthening his will further, backed by the seemingly endless river of his pent-up rage. Rage against Sunberth, rage against the petty criminals that roamed the streets. And beneath it all, rage against himself.

There would be no surrender in this crusade. He would have victory, or he would have death.

Whichever came first.
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Tarn Alrenson
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Kelski on July 22nd, 2018, 3:52 am

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Tarn was wearing her down… that was for sure. Kelski wished she had a tenth of his optimism and his vision for the future. It was obvious to her that he’d been born free with a lot of privilege that creatures of her kind did not have. But that didn’t mean he was wrong. Maybe humans could change things in the way Kelvics could not. Maybe Kelvics could as well… Kelski didn’t know.

Kelski shook her head but said nothing at Tarn insisting that everything the Sun’s Birth did would be done anyhow. They made him do stuff. He didn’t have to do the things he was going to have to do for them. It disgusted her that he didn’t understand he hadn’t been FORCED to take the brand. He’d taken it voluntarily so the Sun’s Birth made him do NOTHING. He did it all willingly. Kelski also didn’t doubt there were hundreds in the Sun’s Birth gang, but it meant nothing in regards to his own actions. The Sun’s Birth had a small clean territory and about twice the members that other gangs had. But that didn’t mean they weren’t wrong in their actions. That didn’t mean they weren’t bad for the city as a whole.

Tarn’s thought of the power vacuum was an accurate one, but something Kelski liked to think was open to interpretation. Things could always get worse. True. But they could always be better as well. Already he was using pessimism to force his argument for doing good behind the scenes despite all the bad he’d have to do in order to accomplish his little internal rebellion.

Then he threatened her. Kelski burst out laughing. She did. She started laughing. And as Tarn kept talking, she quietly packed her things up, and carefully returned the books to the shelves where she’d borrowed them. He was so blinded by his zealousness. The Sun’s Birth were nothing but a cut-loose corrupt version of the Syliran Knights… and everyone knew it. If Tarn was too blind to see it, then the conversation was absolutely over.

She finally stopped laughing long enough to speak. He’d long finished his discourse and had ran out of steam, with instead his face looking like rage. She wasn’t sure who he was mad at. Maybe it was her mirth? Maybe it was the whole situation. But regardless…

“Sunberth is a city of freedoms. It’s a city without law and without rule.” She said quietly, her voice pitched low, not to intimidate him but because she wanted him to strain to hear her, to really listen. “I will talk however I want to whomever I want to, Tarn. And the Sun’s Birth soldiers, every single one of them, can take a long walk off a short pier if they please. There’s nothing of mine they can own. There’s nothing from me they can take that they haven’t already tried. I can’t live out anymore nightmares that I haven’t already lived out with them. I have my life and my freedom and I will continue to have both of those as long as possible. But death is also a freedom and a choice of sorts in a city of choices. And I would much rather die than be afraid of them or be censored by them any longer.” She said, shouldering her backpack and walking towards the exit.

“I hope you get everything you want, Tarn. I hope you make them everything you think they can be. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t want to see you fail. But they’ve taken a lot stronger people and turned them into tools than you are. I hope it doesn’t happen to you, but I suspect its just a manner of time. Especially since no one made you take that brand on your hand. But now, since you have it, its a really really good excuse to tell everyone that everything you do that you don't like you were MADE to do.” The Kelvic said before she slipped out the door and closed it quietly behind her. As she did so she told herself to walk at a normal pace, keep her eyes open, and hope the young man didn't follow her or gather his peers to come after her. She was alone and the library was pretty far from where she lived.

Because despite what he said, no one joined a gang to do good things. No one did. Anyone with half a brain knew gangs for what they were... organized criminals of every sort.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Tarn Alrenson on July 25th, 2018, 4:47 am

Tarn narrowed his eyes as Kelski laughed at him. What did she find funny? What matters were more serious than these? When she began to speak again, Tarn met her eyes unflinching, his gaze like cold iron. She spoke of the things the Sun’s Birth had taken from her,

And I would bring you justice for that, if I could, he thought. But it was impossible. Sunberth was a city of monsters, twisted machinations of the corrupt loyalties of men, gigantic and deadly as any in the world. Nobody could bring down one of them on their own. The only way to do it was to seize the biggest one by the horns and use it to destroy the others. She said he would be a tool for his superiors? Well, they would be his tools as well. There was no other way, except to give up.

Or die.

But Tarn would not do that. He could not do that. He would do what needed to be done. Tarn watched Kelski glide out of the threshold to the secluded library, taking her things with her. He let the silence following her final note stand, filling the air with an oppressive emptiness. She had a blazing fire in her heart, that one. The Kelvic didn’t stand by him in his campaign, but that didn’t matter. Tarn wouldn’t wish for anyone to have to follow him in the journey he was taking. However, it was good to know there were people like her in the city. She was an ally of sorts, out there in the darkness. Even if she hated everything about him, their battles were adjacent, if not quite the same.
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Tarn Alrenson
Refuses to bend, about to break.
 
Posts: 65
Words: 67430
Joined roleplay: June 27th, 2018, 3:14 am
Race: Human
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[The Library] Broadening Horizons (Tarn)

Postby Kelski on August 12th, 2018, 11:48 pm

Grading!

Thank you for the thread. This was a very interesting and fun one to do. I was left truly admiring Tarn (even though Kels thinks hes an ignorant idealistic guy - I gave you acting because you truly deserved it) and his hopes and plans for the future.

Kelski

Experience: Investigation +3, Copying +1, Interrogation +5, Socialization +5 Rhetoric +5, Teaching +4

Lores: Sunberth: Library Location, Stumble Alley Location, Tarn: Member of Sun’s Birth, Tarn: Idealistic Person, Tarn: Stubborn, Tarn: Illiterate, Cooking: They make instruments to measure ingredients, Suns Birth: Jaren looking for her, Tarn: Shipwrights apprentice, Tarn: Nice & Polite, Tarn: Doesn’t Like Lying, Prefers Honest Discourse, Tarn: Believes The Sun’s Birth Can Fix SB – Can Be Good & Honorable, Syliran Knights: Kelski feels They are working secretly in SB, Tarn: Atheist, Tarn: Optimist, Tarn: Concept of power vacuum in SB, Tarn: Hopes He Succeeds

Notes: Partially copied Cookbook

Tarn

Experience: Socialization +5, Observation +5, Interrogation +5, Teaching +4, Investigation +2 , Rhetoric +5, Intimidation +2, Acting +2

Lores:
Sunberth: Library Location, Stumble Alley Location, Kelski: Kelvic, Kelski: Can Read/Write, Kelski: Thinks Sun’s Birth is Corrupt, Kelski: Very Plainspoken, Kelski: Ex-Slave of Jaren, Kelski: Jeweler, Jaren: Stripped of his wealth for stealing from Sun’s Birth, Jaren: Lived like a King whoring/drugging while Barracks Fell To Disrepair, Kelski: Hates The Sun Birth’s, Kelski: Feels The SB is corrupt, Kelski: Laughed At Tarn’s Threats, Kelski: Her ill treatment at Sun’s Birth hands.

Notes: Knowledge of Potential Ally out there
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

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