Completed The Song of Water (Kelski)

Once again, Kelski and Kynier meet by happenstance.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on June 29th, 2018, 12:06 pm

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Timestamp: 41st of Summer 518

Kynier touched the side of his face and winced. The swelling had gone down though the black and blue discoloration still surrounded his left eye. That one only hurt when he touched it. The thing that really was bothering him were the two deep cuts he had. One above his left eye and the other across his right check which was just as deep. Thick scabs had congealed over them and were itching fiercely. Kynier dipped a strip of white cloth in water and gently tried to clean the scab flakes off from around his eye. Even the softest touch made him suck on his teeth. Afterwards he dabbed some Belltor around the injuries. Kynier white knuckled his way through the burning sensation.

Tossing the dirty cloth to the floor he stood up and looked down on it. Steadying his thoughts he reached for the reserve of djed deep within. Drawing it out felt like the opposite of submerging a limb in water. Feeling it course down to his hands he focused his will on creating an opening to the void. The place of occurrence was right above the used cloth. After a full chime the air in that location began to ripple as a portal came to being. It grew to be no larger in diameter than the width of his palm. As the opening to the vast emptiness stabilized Kynier mentally manipulated the energies surrounding it to pull the cloth into it. The unseen force sucked the cloth off the ground and into the abyss. Kynier ceased the flow of djed that kept the opening stable. In half a chime it had closed on itself.

Marching down the stairs of his home he was greeted by Laurie. The blue tinted hen clucked loudly and approached the edge of the small enclave Kynier had made for her. “Morning Laurie,” he said walking over to open the small wooden gate. “Have you been productive today?” he asked as he inspected her nest. She had indeed laid an egg, though not another of the frost eggs. Kynier took the normal egg out and placed it in the cupboard with the other three he had collected from her. He couldn’t tell why but he wasn’t hungry enough to have breakfast. They would be for lunch or dinner, he decided. Kynier refilled the small trough of water and gave Laurie some feed.

He was already tired, aching, and feeling lethargic. Though rest and recuperation would do him wonders he felt the need to be outside. He wouldn’t check in with Doler today. That was the nice thing about not having a conventional schedule. And he wouldn’t work on getting information on any of the gangs. Today was going to be for him. Kynier dressed himself in his dark green burglar vest, brown cotton shirt, dark pants and matching high boots. Stretching his arms out when donning the shirt and vest aggravated the bruises on his chest and back. Dark blue spots lined with yellow where he had been kicked repeatedly. As always he strapped on his belt with the cold iron blade, dagger, and tucked the assassin’s dagger in his left boot. Heading back downstairs he took a glass from the cupboard and dipped it into the water bucket that rested on the floor.

At the bottom of the bucket lay a frost egg that Laurie made. The unrelenting cold it produced chilled the water in the bucket to a very satisfying temperature. After consuming two full glasses he set the cup down and went outside. Locking the door he turned and faced the street. The morning’s chill was already beginning to fade as Syna loomed above. His feet took him north through the Slums. With no destination in mind Kynier followed his impulses. The air smelled of filth and blood like normal, but there was a different aroma that hung thick. Looking to the sky he could see gray clouds drifting on the winds over the city. It seemed as though it would try to rain today. For some reason the thought made him smirk. It was the memories of downpours in Nyka and the feeling of water falling all around him. The gentle song of rain on wood and metal. As though the materials of a city were nature’s instrument. Kynier missed the rain’s song and hoped he could get to hear it today.

The impulse of his feet seemed to have heard the cry of an old memory. Kynier’s wandering had brought him to the nameless river. Specifically the wide bridge that crossed it at the corners of the Slums, Baroque Bay, and Stumble Alley. Kynier only crossed the bridge to the halfway point where he turned to lean on the railing facing the sea. Listening to the sound of the river as it rushed forward to the ocean’s embrace was soothing. Standing there, looking out, the city somehow seemed… cleaner. Dilapidated buildings outlined the river as it opened up wider. Ships could be seen on the horizon setting their sails to venture out into Laviku’s domain. For several chimes Kynier stood there watching their movements over the water.

Closing his eyes he listened to the water’s flow below him. In combination with its smell Kynier felt himself entering a deep state of relaxation. With slow breathes he meditated to its sound. His aches and pains were swept away in the trance. Kynier smiled to himself. It was a rare occasion that he found a location that could instill a fraction of this peace.

Mentally he chanted the auristic incantation. While the words ran in his mind he took a deep breath. Djed came the fastest he’d ever felt it do so. The power radiated along his skin giving it a comfortably warm buzz. The incantation directed that power to his eyes, activating his Sight. When he opened his eyes there was but a single aura that he could see. It flew over the surface of the river in tandem with its current. To him it appeared as low settling fog of pale blue. Kynier gripped the guardrail with both hands before him, bracing himself for what he may See in a force of nature.

As he focused on the nameless river, he saw nothing special. It was what he felt as he stared into its true being. Strength. Not the sort he felt when harnessing his djed or res. Neither a physical one. It was a strength that felt rejuvenating to his soul. It swirled around inside of him tangibly. In a way it felt like being cleansed of his insecurities and regrets. It was a strength of life.


Word Count: 1,110
Last edited by Kynier on August 10th, 2018, 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on June 30th, 2018, 2:16 am

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There were so many mouths to feed now. Kelski hadn’t known what it was like to keep food on the table for so many. Rene wasn’t bad for she miced like a champion, but the Night Lion and Akalak could really put food down. Ebon was young and well Aer’wyn just had so much to him to kept fed. She liked to vary their diets because after enough time had passed with her, fresh salmon which was her favorite food, was starting to achieve winkled noses and groans of ‘not again’. She loved fish and could eat it every day. '

But there was also a certain satisfaction of taking care of the people beneath her roof and making them happy. She loved to see their smiles when they all gathered around for dinner, even if it wasn’t well cooked or something new. Ebon was slowly losing the perpetually haunted look in his eyes, though his sadness was overwhelming at times. Witnessing the murder of his bondmate must have been hard. And there was nothing any of them could do for him… other than sometimes just hug him close or remind him that he was safe.

And so Kelski had turned to Mosa for help. Mosa had slowly began to become a mentor the Kelvic had always wanted but never had. The ancient Denvali had never seemed to mind when the Kelvic came around and tentatively asked a question or two. And if Kelski was very lucky, she’d play for her on the violin. The Sea Eagle loved the mournful sound of the instrument especially expertly played by the old woman. But on her last visit she’d asked Mosa for help with the growing amount of people under her roof and had wondered if the old woman had any suggestions for feeding them a wider diet when coin was scarce.

Mosa, of course, had helped.

“I grew up on the shores of Denval, Kelski lass. You fish in the sea, but there is so much more there for you to bring home. Most people don’t realize it unless they grow up in families with these secret knowledges… but I’ll tell you for my children are all long grown, long dead, and there’s no one else to tell. With that, she’d dragged out a crate, something covered with dust and in the very back of her horde of stuff in her tent in Tent City. “This has all you need. It’s a clamming kit. You can borrow it until you can afford to buy or make your own. I might even sell it to you since my old bones won’t carry me out to the river or the beach anymore. But …. I’ll tell you how to use it. And listen close, because I can’t take you to show you… you’ll have to picture it in your mind.” Mosa said, getting herself comfortable and beginning to tell her story.

Kelski loved these moments. For Mosa could paint a picture with her mind that never failed to entertain the Kelvic. Old feet toed the crate over and pulled forth a long metal tube with a cross bar on it and a hole near the crossbar smaller than one of Kelski’s fingers. “This is a tube… a clam tube. You use it for razor clams, Kelski. Being a bird, you’ve probably never seen them above the sand but they are beautiful, buttery and delicious. They also get very big. Finding them is tricky… but once you find them, this tube makes catching them so very easy.” Mosa said, closing her eyes a moment and picturing the beach.

“Go out on the sand by your store… that’s a good place by the mouth of the bay. Wait for the tide to go out and walk out onto the wet sand. What you are looking for is a slight dent in the sand when you set where its wet… like someone has poked a stick in it when you weren’t looking. They probably won’t show up until you step near them so be ready. Then set the tube over it, so the depression… the little mark is centered in the middle, and shove it all the way into the sand.” Mosa took the tube and mimicked doing it. Then she carefully showed Kelski the hole and instructed her to place her thumb over it. “Creates suction… putting your thumb over this. So shove the tube all the way into the ground…cover the hole with your thumb, and pull it out. Then when its free of the sand, tip it to the side, release your thumb so the air can get to the tube and the suction breaks…. And the sand will slide out of it. If you’ve done it right, so will your big clam.” The old woman said, laughing…

She got up stiffly, walked to a little shelf, and pulled an assortment of shells down. One was a long beautiful mahogany one. “This is a razor clam.” Mosa said, then showed her a handful of other clam shells that were pale gray and small like a Miza. “Butter clams… though they get far bigger…” Mosa added, returning the shells.

“It’s a little like magic. You’ll love it. And it is so much fun.” Then she dug into the crate and pulled out a mesh bag. “Hang this on your belt and store your clams in it… if you put them on the sand off to the side they can dig and escape.” She added.. placing the tube and the mesh bag back in the crate.

Next, she pulled out a little rake and shovel. “These are for butter clams. They are great to cut into strips and fry. They are also really good for big soups and stews. Clam chowder is one of my favorites though you’ll have to get milk from the market to make it.” The old woman said, not having decided to share her recipes with the Kelvic yet or not.

“You find butter clams near rock out cropping’s and in gravel in really shallow water or water that is low due to the tide… the mouth of the Mudway is a great place… walk up the river where the salt and sea water mix. “You gotta gently rake at the gravel, Kelski, when you find it. The clams will stand out as paler than the gravel in the Mudway. You should go to the edge of the tide and rake through the sand and gravel, picking them out as they turn up. It’s a lot of work, but they are sweet and very very delicious. You can probably handle them raw as you work. Harvesting a handful of butter clams won’t fill your belly, but they are so flavorful they will make a soup or stew amazing if tossed in. Cook the shells too, for more flavor, then pull them out before you serve the stew or soup. You can also toss them with oil or cream and put them over pasta if you ever get good enough at cooking for that crew to get to making pasta.” Mosa chuckled, then gestured to the shovel.

“Use that when the ground is harder. Its more work than the rake, but you’ll turn more dirt faster and find more clams that way if things aren’t looking your way with the rake. Sometimes the clams are deeper for whatever reason too and you’ll need it. You can hook all of these items onto your belt because sometimes in that Mudway you need to walk out quite far when the tide is out.” Mosa had said.

Kelski had listened closely. Borrowing the tube, rake, shovel, and mesh net, she set out the next day to see what she could harvest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Kynier stood on the bridge reflecting on the scene around him, watching the Mudway slip to the sea, a figure would catch his eye. A lone woman, slender and barefoot with a shock of black hair that faded to white would be on the rocky gravel revealed by the low tide pulling the river further out. She had a long skirt that moved as if the hem was damp. A tank graced her torso, held close by a belt from which a mesh bag hung. The mesh bag was full of what looked like stones from the distance he was at. She would move a few feet, kneel, and then run what looked like a small rake across the gravel and then pick through it, pulling stones out and slipping them into the mesh bag at her hip.

A wind tossed her hair and damp skirt, but she didn’t seem to mind. There was a happiness to what she was doing that she wore around her like a cloak on the pleasantly warm morning. She was focused on what she was doing, but he could also see her pause periodically, scan around her, and move so that she wasn’t unaware of her surroundings or that she dug in one singular place consistently. He knew her, immediately, and could even hear the feint sound of her laughter as she splashed through the occasional shallow pool to get to another gravel bar and continue her hunt. As she moved, the hair swirling around her revealed a brace of daggers across her chest. Not unprotected, the girl moved with a confidence that told him she was enjoying whatever it was she was doing.

The mesh bag at her hip grew fuller and she grew closer, until he could see clearly that she was racking clams not stones. Kelski was forging for food and doing quite well at it, as far as anyone could see. When she got even closer, near to being in the shadow of the bridge, she stopped suddenly, seeming to freeze. Though he didn’t know it, a warmth had filled her suddenly, a familiar sensation mixed with the odd feeling of being watched.

The Kelvic turned her head suddenly, looked up, and caught sight of him. She stood watching him for a few moments until she slowly lifted the rake and waved using it instead of her hand. It was slow coming, but the reaction the Sea Eagle usually had to his presence was there. A joy lit her face and she watched him with wide silver eyes, wondering what he was doing looking so alone up on the bridge.

Word Count: 1736
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on June 30th, 2018, 5:14 am

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The misty aura that no one but he could see had a mesmerizing quality to it. For a time he couldn’t measure he stared into it and allowed himself to be immersed in its power. The sensations it brought to every inch of his skin made him numb to the morning’s warmth as his cells were abuzz with motion. He was deep into his trance when he felt a disturbance in the water’s surface. A small laughter echoed across the water as his head turned to the source of the disturbance. A person’s aura… her aura… waded through the shallow waters to a gravel bar. Kynier released the focus of his Sight upon the river and instead turned it on her. Immediately he felt the cool water’s touch on his feet and the rough textures of gravel on his soles. Next he felt a swelling emotion inside his chest and couldn’t help but chuckle to himself for no reason. She was happy.

He closed his Sight and continued to watch her with his normal vision. The residual euphoria of the river’s aura was already fading, only to be replaced with the pleasure of seeing her there. This jeweler had an effect on him that no one else ever claimed before. Kynier moved from his spot and towards the side of the river that she was on. Never taking his gaze away. As she raked through the pebbles of the low tide he wondered what he should do. Last time she had left unnoticed and without so much as a farewell. Did something change for her in a way that she wanted to distance herself?


“There is nothing to create distance from, imbecile. You have done nothing. Committed no act other than a foolish kiss of infatuation. Banish her from your mind and carry on with your life.”

The smile left his face to be replaced by a stern look that he directed at the railing by his hand. The truth of what he said was discomforting. The two of them had established nothing between them but a brief exchange of secrets and a little knowledge. Apart from that nothing existed. Every meeting except one had been by chance. Kynier had no knowledge of her situation apart from her freedom. Just as she had no knowledge of his. Kynier thought back on all their conversations. Most of them had been filled with questions about her, or about their faith in Akajia. A twinge of guilt rested in his gut. He may as well be a complete stranger to her. “That isn’t what I want,” he whispered to himself.


“Then actually do something about it. For this farce has grown truly sickening.”

What could he do for her though? She was a stronger person than him. Better with a weapon and stronger in her faith. From being cast aside she had managed to survive on her own and grew stronger. Kynier noted the brace of daggers that clung to her chest. She did not need his protection. His own life was barely managing to develop a healthy standard, by other city standards. The Kelvic did not seem to be in dire need of anything. She was spending her morning doing… what was she doing exactly? Occasionally she picked something out of the gravel and placed it in a bag that rested against her hip. At first he thought they were stones. Perhaps pearls. It would’ve made sense given her trade skill. As she drew even closer he could tell that they weren’t pearls at all but clams.

A small smile formed. She was foraging for a delicacy. No one did that if they were not in some sort of comfortable position. Kynier squeezed the railing with a hand, frustrated at his own indecision. He should call out to her, go to her, or at least make his presence known. The other option was to walk away and leave it behind. The latter did not feel like the right choice, while the former filled him with anxiety. Before he could make a decision she froze in place. Rapidly her eyes moved and caught sight of him on the bridge. Even from here he could see those great silvers. His heart leapt to his throat as he stared at her staring at him. Eventually she stood to her full height and set the handle of the rake in the gravel and used it to wave. Kynier leaned forward on the railing and waved with a hand.

If his Sight had been open he would’ve been able to gage her reaction better. Gradually her face donned a favorable expression though it was slow in the making. Kelski only stood there examining him. Her superior sight would be able to see the injuries on his face and perhaps even the bruising on his knuckles. For a moment they just looked at each other. Without taking his eyes away from hers he walked to the end of the bridge. Feeling his way with his hand on the rail to its end. There he hoped up and set a foot on the railing to leap off and down onto the gravel bar below. He absorbed the heavy impact by bending his knees and squatting with the momentum.

The gravel crunched under his boots as he approached. His eyes drifted to watch the way the wind played with her hair. How it shifted in the breeze as she smiled at him... how intoxicating it felt to have that beauty’s attention. Kynier stopped at the edge of arm’s reach. All that time he tried to think of what to say and found nothing. “Hi,” he said softly. The single word carried the pleasure of being said as well as the indication of being missed. “I’ve uh… been think about you a fair amount. And what’s strange is that… each time that starts to happen I see you again.”

Kynier’s gaze fell to his feet for a moment. “And I’ve realized something during that time,” he eyes returned to hers. “While we seem to have this… connection, there is very little that we really know about each other. And, that’s something that I would like to amend.” If Kelski were to place a hand on his chest she would feel him trembling and his heart beating fast. Socialization was something he never actively engaged in. And to express this glimpse of his emotions was greatly unnerving. Unlike magic, people weren’t as formulized. Their complexity was more difficult to unravel, even if they were honest Kelvics.

Kelski could probably see in his body language how he wanted to be physically closer, here and now. But to him there was his barrier he wasn’t sure if he should cross, though he had historically. Kynier waited for her response and reaction. To measure them both. For once, over a season ago, by another river she had told him things that made his body shiver. Yet since then they had not come closer together. By the end of the day he wanted to really understand what they were to each other. For better or worse.



Word Count: 1,190
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on June 30th, 2018, 2:09 pm

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Kelski watched Kynier approach with soft silver eyes. She noted the way he moved across the gravel and wondered if he rose up on the balls of his feet if he could have traversed it more quietly. Zavath had been teaching her about stealth and the way one walked had a lot to do with it. If people didn’t hear him coming they couldn’t hurt him. She’d noted Kynier’s face and the way he moved as if it indicated soreness. Someone had tried to hurt him very recently. His graceful leap over the side had told her he was fine physically, solid in his structure, but his face showed of battles he’d recently been fighting. Sunberth never took a day off from its violence.

His greeting was soft and filled with pleasure. It warmed her immediately. His presence always did. She remained quiet as he spoke, watching him, cataloging his injuries with a growing fury that someone had hurt him. She noted the slight tremble to his form, uncertain of its cause, and uncertain as to why he suddenly wanted to know more about her. She didn’t question it though for she was very glad he was saying it. But she also remembered the last time she’d seen him in the Tavern with Kreig. He’d been distracted, working, and so focused that she’d known she’d made a mistake bringing him into the meeting with Kreig. Kelski was still uncertain why. The human world was often strange to her. But the Kelvic world was something she did indeed know.

“We have a connection because Akajia made me for you.” She said simply, knowing it was the truth. There was no judgment or resentment in her words to him. There was just what she felt was simple fact. “I was to be your bondmate in this life. It is why I am here in this terrible city halfway across the world from my home trying to make it work. And it is the reason everything about me draws you in. It is why when your hands touch me it feels so good even though I cannot stand the touch of others. It is why I fit everything you need and have everything you lack. It is the lot of Kelvics in our lives. None of us are spare, excessive, or extra. Each of us was meant for someone; to support them, guard them, serve them and keep them balanced. If our bondmates are hard and brutal, we are made to like such things. If they are soft and gentle, the reverse is true. And if the Gods and Goddesses take a special interest, we get tossed together repeatedly until we realize it.” The Kelvic said simply.

Kelski then reached forward and took his hand.

She stepped closer to him and rested her forehead on his shoulder like she’d done so many times before, leaving his hand on top of her head so he could stroke her hair if he so desired. Kelski never wanted any mans hands on her… but somehow Kynier’s touch she craved. She wrapped her arms loosely around his waist and and laughed softly against his pectoral where her face rested against the odd vest he wore. “Only, they made mistakes in our creation. They put too much stubbornness and independence in each of us. I won’t come to you with nothing to offer you but a broken ex-slave who hates to be touched and likes to kill way too much. I won’t be that burden. And you haven’t decided you can trust me or that you need me to balance your life. To you, I am just an allure that you don’t need and can’t decide why you can’t get me out of your mind.” She knew nothing else about him to add to why he wouldn’t want her or need her so she left it at that. Kelski knew he probably had a list of reasons that would take him a full bell to recite, and that was okay. But for now, she just wanted to stand against him and pretend for a moment that she had the thing she couldn’t just got out and earn or buy or make.

The wind tossed her long hair about him and her fresh scent of salt and sky and an odd tinge of some sort of oil surrounded him. As always, her words were spoken from a place of candor and not tinged with deception or something she thought he wanted to hear. They also had a sort of resolve in them as if she’d thought a lot about them and had resigned herself to the situation being what it was.

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Kelski
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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 1st, 2018, 1:42 am

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As he listened to what she said Kynier was unsure how to feel. Her admission that they were to be together as bondmates had filled him with optimism. Though she disdained this city and may never consider it home. Kynier reflected inwardly on that. Did he consider it his home? No, not really. Nyka, and Syliras didn’t feel like home anymore either. No roots were established for him to feel that sort of connection to any particular place. Nyka was so long ago that he had difficulty remembering places. There were no faces to remember, only the ideology of the Monks he once wished to join. A fate he had dismissed long ago. Syliras had felt more like a refuge. A place to learn the arcane. Sunberth…

It was more of a mission than a home. This place needed the greatest change. Kynier agreed with Kreig’s words about how the rest of the world had been pulling itself out of the rut while Sunberth continued to fester in chaos. Despite what the citizens believed, they were not thriving. There were so many people that were involved in its condition Kynier was still unsure of where to really begin making changes, or how to make them. For several days at a time if felt like a fool’s errand. On the good days it was the most satisfying feeling he had.

Kelski stepped forward and took his hand in hers, guiding it up to her hair as she rested her head against his shoulder. As his hand settled upon her head the nervous trembles of his body ceased. Bending his neck he set his nose above the crown of her head and took the deepest relaxing breath he could. The scent of her hair brought ease to both his mind and body that the Kelvic would easily sense. While her arms wrapped around his waist his other hand rested on her lower back. Kynier ran his hand through her hair along the length of her scalp and a little beyond. Fingertips dipping in deep enough to feel the strands between them. His hand paused as he felt her laughter against his chest. A chuckle of agreement echoed through him about their equal stubbornness and independence. The truth was that they were both challenged to survive and needed those traits.

But his lightened mood dimmed as she spoke of burdens. His hand pulled on her lower back almost possessively, like she were to suddenly try and escape their embrace and that it she wasn’t allowed to do so. Contemplating her words he didn’t stop caressing her hair and rested his uninjured cheek upon her crown. For nearly a chime he was silent as he thought of how to express his thoughts and feelings.

“Somehow,” he said with gentle affection, “when you were a slave, with nothing but your mind and will… and stubbornness,” he gave a soft chuckle as he said the word, “you managed to captivate my thoughts and attention. My interest has always been in who you are, not what you could offer. Now you are free to truly be yourself. And I’m curious to learn who that Kelvic is. To see the real you. I have only gotten glimpses of that. In the hidden place beneath the Temple, and…” He stopped himself from mentioning the encounter at the Pig’s Foot. Feeling that this moment would be easily broken by its mentioning. “… and I want to see more of you than that.”

Kynier removed his hand from her back and took a partial step back, just far enough away to meet her gaze. The hand settled itself on her hip as he took in her face and all its details. “Secrets I’ve shared have always been dismissed or ridiculed my entire life. For that reason I don’t converse well with others. And I’m hesitant to reveal anything. But I want to be different for you, Kelski. Yes, you have a powerful allure. I think that it’s from what you just said, ‘everything I lack’. From the first you have given me total honesty, and I have done my best to reciprocate despite my introverted nature. What I want right now, is for you to feel that you can ask me any question you ever have. I may not always be able to answer immediately, but I promise to give you an honest answer when I can.”

Kynier felt his heart freeze in his chest. For the first time he could recall in his whole life he bore himself open to someone. It made him scared. Scared that he would fail in his own commitment. As an aspiring servant of Akajia he was driven to collect and hoard secrets whenever he found them. Now someone else had been granted free access to that hoard that Kynier would work so hard to fill.


“You once swore to never tell anyone else. Which promise will you keep if she were to ever ask?”

Kynier mentally shrugged the question from his mind. In a city of thousands that constantly preyed on each other, she was one he was repeatedly encountering. With no established communications, no knowledge of each other’s movements, and no means of ever anticipating when it would happen. The Night Mistress could only lay a trail. It was up to both of them to follow it. Kynier couldn’t ignore that something other than themselves made sure they kept finding each other.

Standing there quietly for a moment filled him with awkwardness as he waited to see what she did with the promise he had just given. There were things he wanted to tell her, but waited to see if they were what she really wanted to know.



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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 1st, 2018, 2:34 am

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The Kelvic Sea Eagle was always astonished how when they were alone, without worldly pressure, words and ideas seem to pass easily between them. Kynier made her feel whole, welcome, and accepted in ways she couldn’t begin to even realize she felt her life lacked until he was with her. She cherished his stroking hand, the warm scent of him and the cadence of his voice which she always seemed to experience tucked up against his shoulder.

She didn’t like it when he stopped touching her and took a small step back. Kelski would have hissed an irritated protest had his hand not settled itself on her hip instead. Better. Soothing. The Kelvic settled her ruffled feathers and returned his scrutiny. She liked his eyes, even though his gaze was guarded most of the time.

He repeated some of her words back to him, mixing them with important ideas and clues from his past that she took in like someone dying of thirst getting droplets of water on their tongue. The female didn’t speak for the longest moment, seeming to turn what he said over and over in her mind before she responded.

“My first question is not my real question, but I want to ask it anyhow.” Kelski said, taking his word at face value. “Will you let me ask you any question I’ve ever had anytime its appropriate – like when we are alone – from here on out? I like that idea of you being open to questions, even if you don’t always answer them immediately, because it shows you are starting to trust… this thing we have… or at least willing to try.” She said, furrowing her brow and glancing between his two eyes as if she was uncertain which would reveal more and where she exactly wanted to look.

“Because I know myself well enough to know that I will think of as many questions as there are stars in the sky after you have gone and this moment has passed.” She added, tilting her head and really just buying more time for her to think.

She waited for him to answer before she continued. Once he had, she’d move to her next thought.

Kelski had many thoughts of Kynier since she’d met him and there were truthfully so many things she wanted to know about him. But what was the most important one to ask? She wanted to know him in the way where she could tell what he was thinking and feeling just by looking at him. But questions wouldn’t answer those thoughts.

What was his favorite color? Food? Was he right handed or left? Did he like sunrises or sunsets better? If he could do anything in the world right now, what would it be? What kept him up at night worried? What made him laugh? Did he seriously know how hard this thing was he was asking of her? Kelski opened her mouth and closed it three or four times before she finally took a deep breath and decided on her first question.

“I have so many. They are all tumbling through my brain like dandelions releasing their seeds to the wind.” She said, blinking and trying to collect her thoughts so she could ask something important, and not frivolous. “I want to know what you think your greatest strengths in life are, Kynier. That first. Then maybe others if you are still of a mind to let me ask.” She said, taking his hand and turning so that she was gently guiding him into a walk.

The bag of clams on her hip chimed slightly as their shells clinked together with her stride. She linked her fingers into his and started to head downstream, towards the mouth of Baroque Bay and where the true beach started instead of just the river’s empty basin. Where they stood would slowly fill with water as the tide came in and she’d already gathered enough clams for a good meal anyhow.

Kelski thought he might be more comfortable answering really hard questions if his body was doing something like moving and he wasn’t looking directly at her. The pace she set was sedate, slowly tracing the gravel mouth of the river eastward. Gulls circled above them as she gripped his hand and just enjoyed being with him.

Each encounter she had with this man taught her more and more about him. For one thing, he wasn’t one to give up on things. She suspected he moved slowly into new situations, taking time to think on them and really adapt. By his face, he’d been busy, though she had no idea what he did for work. It was another question she wanted to know of him, but it wasn’t as important as the questions she had about how he felt about himself.

To her, those were the most telling questions of all. And she wondered how he’d answer the first of them. She’d only know if he truly meant what he said when he followed through with a heartfelt thoughtful response.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 1st, 2018, 5:29 am

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Kynier could see that her mind was toiling hard to find the right questions, if her eyes were any indicator. The way the shifted back and forth while keeping his gaze, as well as how her brow drew together, indicated that she was taking his proposal as seriously as he had meant it to be. It was not all that surprising that her first question was for a sort of clarification. He sighed happily about the fact that she hadn’t turned him away after such an uncomfortable exposure. “Yes. I will answer any question. Whether they’re questions that you hold for the sake of a private answer, or questions that you have had and refrained from asking. Also any question you think of while I’m not with you. For you I will answer any of them that you put voice to.”

After that he watched her open and close her lips repeatedly. As though as soon as she was ready to commit another better question had taken its place. Until she took a deep breath and put her thoughts into words. Kynier blinked once in surprise. Of all the things she could’ve asked he would never have expected that one. “Uh, well…” she took his hand and began to walk east with him. Kynier was too focused on thinking of his answer to do anything other than match the pace she made with her steps.

Working on a self-critique was a foreign practice to him. Apart from physical needs like sleep, sustenance, and survival he did not indulge in many self-centered thoughts. Or at least he didn’t think so. Kelski knew that it was a difficult question to consider and walked in silence with him down the riverbank towards Baroque Bay. Though his eyes moved around the environment they were looking really taking them in. It was a busy motion of his thought process. After a long silence he gave her hand a squeeze and looked forward.

“I make an extensive effort to be observant. To try and notice the things that others may miss. The reason for that I feel is because you can learn something from even the smallest tells. So I try to notice those tiny details. Also, I feel that I think in a very rational manner. Though that doesn’t take much in this place. But I try to avoid letting my emotions cloud my judgements. So much so that it has become second nature to suppress my emotions. Often I analyze my situation and think critically before following through with any actions.” He paused there, wondering if there was anything else worthy of noting. “Cautious. And strongly determined. So much so that it has caused me to perform several reckless actions of late.”

He considered say secretive, but that felt unnecessary. For a few more chimes he thought about it. Those where characteristics. Was there anything else that could be considered a strong point in life? Yes, there was one. “Also,” he turned to look at her as they walked, “I hate seeing people suffer at the hands of someone else.” That seemed to be the best way to describe his feelings towards Sunberth subtly.

As they walked he listened to the chiming of the bag against her hip and their soft footfalls. Now that he was done answering he strangely appreciated the question. First, for how thought provoking it was to examine the finer details of himself with an objective viewpoint. Second, because now he was truly determining if those traits were actual strength or disguised weaknesses. He supposed there was a counter point to any quality someone could list. It was more in regards to how you applied the quality in your life.

They ventured on down the outskirts of the river. Kynier’s eyes darted upward when a stronger gust of wind blew from head on. Gray clouds coasted across the sky dimming Syna’s light on the city. Normally he would consider moving indoors to avoid the potential drizzle that approached. However, he was enjoying himself and her company too much to let it bother him.

“You said you may have other questions. I am still of a mind to welcome them.” He drifted his steps to walk closer to her. Their arms nearly brushing against each other with each motion. The worries of walking through the city were still prevalent in his mind. Though Kynier walked with the comfort of her touch his eyes would be aware of every alleyway and stranger that came closer than he’d prefer. Kynier would consider it foolhardy for anyone to approach them based on their armaments. Yet desperation had led him to do things he normally wouldn’t consider. It would be unwise to think others weren’t in the same predicament.

“Before you ask another question, I would like to ask one first if that’s alright. Would you leave for Lhavit if there was nothing that kept you tied here in Sunberth?” The words were out before he realize he had done it. It was a hooking question where the initial answer was not the objective, but to discover the reasons behind the initial answer. His efforts from working for Doler were becoming more second nature. Still, he waited to hear what she said, as well as what she asked.


“This creature will lead you to your downfall. Ignore me if you wish. But take note of what I say. She wasn’t wrong about the two of you are weaknesses to each other.”



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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 1st, 2018, 3:10 pm

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Truthfully, Kelski was surprised he agreed to keep the request open ended on her part. Kynier didn’t seem to be in moods like this often, though she was glad for it. The Kelvic wasn’t the great intellect a lot of humans were and it took her longer to think things through, though her planning could be thorough once she had her ideas formed. Questioning Kynier was like a fantasy come true, but one she wasn’t prepared for and needed more time to mull over.

He took her first question well, and she was indeed glad she started him walking. He seemed to talk more easily. Though she’d asked him what his greatest strengths were, Kynier seemed to respond to her as to what he thought his greatest effort was. He spoke of the efforts he made to do things he thought was important. He talked of his rational thinking and how much he reined in his emotions. It told her far more about how he was molding himself willingly than actually about what his natural strengths were. He was thoughtful and used that thoughtfulness to his advantage before he acted. Some of the things were counter to each other, like the caution verses strongly determined. It was an interesting and conflicting mixture of what he considered his strengths. Kelski formed more of an idea of who he was by what he said, but it probably wasn’t in the way he might have thought.

Kynier kept a tight leash on himself. She could tell that immediately by his words. He had a set structure of beliefs about what made people strong and tried to bend himself to those beliefs, playing up what he thought would assist his endeavors and repressing what wouldn’t help in his opinion. The Kelvic was intrigued by how much a simple question could reveal about someone, and probably none of the actual things Kynier meant to convey to her.

It told her also that he was stubborn and inflexible in many ways, though perhaps that last thing was changing slightly. And the fact that the inflexibility in his beliefs could be bent actually meant he wasn’t above evolving his thoughts on what was best or what constituted strength.

“That tells me a great deal about you.” She said gently, liking that he was walking so close. Kelski didn’t like men. She didn’t like touching them. They’d done horrible things to her in the past and in many ways, she probably would never allow another one to ever touch her again. But with Kynier it was … different. His energy renewed hers.

“It tells me about your personal beliefs and the flexibility of your core awareness… or inflexibility rather. It tells me how tightly leashed you keep yourself and how or what types of things you allow yourself to nurture within yourself. I was actually wondering about your natural tendencies and born gifts, but to you that has no bearing. To you what is important is what you allow yourself to be and nurture according to what you feel is important.” The Kelvic reflected, watching him through the screen of her hair as she glanced his way. There was no judgement in her voice, only a recitation of what she seemed to catalog about him in her own head. “You say nothing of creativity or innovation, you don’t feel the need to build or craft. Its fascinating that you seem to want to know what’s out there to know, but you do not want to advance that knowledge.” She concluded, finding this whole conversation interesting.

She was in many ways opposite of him in that. Kelski wanted to discover new things and create. She wanted to trailblaze new ideas and figure out easier better ways to do things. She saw the struggle humans did and knew there were better ways to go about their lives. But most of them were so trapped in their misery they didn’t see it. She’d already innovated several jewelcrafting ideas, though Kynier would probably not realize that.

When he injected that he hated seeing people suffer, Kelski nodded, having not witnessed that first hand but having suspected him of it due to his careful questions of the past. He hadn’t helped her when she was a slave though. Had he helped other slaves and if so why or how? It was a question she would file away for later. Did his concern equate action? She truly wanted to know now. She really did. And though it hadn’t been what she’d wanted to ask for her second question, it would truly be her second questions.

But they moved on, watching river turn to ocean and the land curve outwards and south. Kelski didn’t continue to follow the beach though, like one might have expected. At the juncture where the gravel turned to sand and the true beach began, there was a small trail worn in the tall grass that flanked the shore. Further south there were docks and more things the sailors of Baroque Bay enjoyed, but here there was very little bit wild land.

Kelski lead him to the trail and started up it. Wide enough to accommodate both of them walking side by side, it was a curious mixture of sand and mud where the salt grass had been worn away by foot traffic. The mud held tracks – enormous ones of some sort of feline pawprints – and smaller more delicate ones, though bigger than a house cat. Both looked fresh. At the top of the bluff and by proxy at the top of the trail lay a brick and beam large two story building with signs of new construction. Not much could be seen of it from the tall grass other than its second story had a wide balcony that opened to the sky and provided some sort of shelter for what looked like a ground floor deck. It was safe to assume it was one of the large businesses that made up the point of Baroque Bay, probably the lone large two story shop that was directly north of the Bay’s only tavern.

By this time, Kynier had gotten to a question for her. Kelski hadn’t agreed to answer any and was wondering if he was going to make this the norm… a question for a question. But what he asked surprised her, so much so she almost stopped walking. The pause in her step was because her brain was tripping over the question and its actual meaning. He hadn’t asked her if anything had tied her here. It was as if he was asking another question to seek an answer he wasn’t sure he wanted. The Kelvic tilted her head, looked at him, and then patiently explained something to him she thought he probably should already understand.

“Lhavit is an ideal in my mind. Events in my life have not been easy but I’ve made it through them because I hold memories inside of places that are better than where I was at the time I needed something to hold too.” She wasn’t sure she could even make him understand. “I was happy in Lhavit. There was peace there for me as I remember it. But so much has happened and much about me has changed. I will likely never set foot in Lhavit again, because of all the things that have happened to me, nothing has truly broken me. What if I return to a place of ideals and find that because I was young and sheltered or naïve I didn’t see the truth of it? That would hurt my soul more than any blow to my flesh.” She said, sidestepping what looked like a well-played-with but dead sea gull. She’d have to talk to Ebon later about toying with his food.

“Besides, I am a Kelvic. I can make any place a home.” She said gently, but with steel in her voice. About that time the trail ended at a gated yard that looked like about an acre big. She slipped into the gate, passed some chickens that were pecking at ants that seemed to move in around a fence post, and continued up the trail as if she had not just crossed onto private property. Kelski had closed the gate after her, and paused to pick up an armload of driftwood piled just inside the fence.

“You said you hated seeing people suffer at the hands of others. My next question is would you act on that dislike? Or would you just pass it by, hating it but knowing there was nothing you could do to help?” She said, knowing full well that most situations such suffering wasn’t something that could easily be fixed. It was what it was and those not involved stayed uninvolved if they wanted to keep their lives. But she wanted to hear Kynier’s explanation on it.

“And if that one is too hard to answer, I simply wish to know what you do for a living.” She said, thinking this one would be the easiest of all to answer and perhaps the question he’d latch onto in order to avoid answering the previous one. It was an ‘out’ in Kelski’s mind, for she figured like everyone else, Kynier had some mundane job somewhere doing something less than savory like everyone else in Sunberth.

Kelski mounted several steps that lead to a deck as the building loomed up. They’d traversed the yard and she escorted him under the cover of the deck just as the rain began. It was warm rain, but she still loaded the fire pit with wood and laid a decent fire. She had released his hand to gather the wood, but had taken it back up against as they had walked.

The deck was a pleasant sprawling thing with a mish mash of well loved furniture and a rather large firepit most of it was scattered around. She offered him a seat on the one long couch that flanked one side of the firepit, mostly because it would seat two sprawled out comfortably and she didn’t want him selecting a single chair where she couldn’t easily touch him. There was a well-head with a small table beside it that held mugs resting upside down. She pumped the crank, and within a moment had fresh cold water coming up the pipe which she used to fill two mugs.

One mug she offered to him, then she set the other one aside on a table beside the couch. She unhooked the clams from her belt, swinging the mesh bag into a wooden bucket beside the well, and then bringing up more water with the pump to fill the bucket to keep the clams alive and fresh. Kelski set them aside near a table, pulled out her flint and steel to light the fire, and then settled beside Kynier. She would have asked him to light the fire, but she knew he didn't know it was a safe and private place where no one would judge him for his magic.

There was a blanket draped over the back of the wooden couch and she pulled at it until she could wrap it both around his shoulders and hers. She tucked her feet up on the bench of the couch beside her and there was plenty of room for him to do so as well.

Between the fire, the blanket, and Kynier she’d warm up her wet feet and her damp skirt hem would more than likely dry fairly fast, eliminating the thing that made her cold. It was a comfortable deck, that would seat plenty of people and was lined with lanterns that could be lit well after dark. And because of the second story open aired balcony, the deck was pleasantly covered.

A set of double doors lead inside, though it was curtained and blocked any view of what lay within. One side of the deck was also partially shaded by what looked like a stair that lead from the front of the building around the side and upwards to the balcony. There was no access to the stair from where they were unless someone were to walk around the building towards the front and through a small gate that opened out onto the street.

Kelski simply waited then, hoping he’d answer one or both of her questions before he asked her any more.

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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on July 1st, 2018, 7:17 pm

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For him it was very strange to talk in this manner. To observe the things that made him who he was. Often he thought more of what to do and what actions to take. This degree of self-reflection made him feel a bit awkward. Kynier appreciated her comments on what he said. On the topic of naturally born gifts he was sure he had been excluded. There was no memory of a great passion. No single moment of inspiration in his youth that ever managed to flourish. Had the gods given him a natural gift it may have been lost to him. That didn’t discourage him though. Kynier knew that people could rise above their standing to something greater. What that could be for him was something that he never really considered. Except for Magic.

There was a passion, one that he must suppress. Sometimes there were considerations to leave in order to practice it more openly. Otherwise he would have to be patient in order to establish a private place safe from wandering eyes that he could expand and grow in. Those were plans that would take years to grow. For now he just worked on struggling through the days before him.

Creativity? The mention of it struck a pause to his step for an instant. “I honestly didn’t consider creative practices.” Kynier continued to follow the Kelvic as they left the gravel turned sand route of the low tide. A lightly beaten foot path in the mud leading through the salt grass. “There is one thing. It is not much though, more of a means of passing time and occupying my mind during longer periods of idle activity. I’ve found an enjoyment in…” his voice paused as he noticed a large unusual print in the path. Its shape was unfamiliar to him. “…drawing.” Kelski continued to walk, paying no mind to the strange tracks on the path. “It is not something that I’m great at, but it make for a relaxing distraction at times.”

Then his question gave her physical pause. Her explanation made sense to him. He could relate only a little with Syliras. There was a small longing for what was in one’s life. But the trials and challenges they faced changed them and their views. To go back they would see things in a different way than before and could find what they saw disappointing. Kynier questioned if such an action was a healthy one. To go backwards on the trail of your life for the sake of nostalgia. No. Returning to a previous home was only productive if the trail naturally led back to it.

The path made its way to the gate of an enclosure. Further ahead Kynier could see a two story building that was undergoing construction. It looked fairly whole. As he eyed it he concluded that there was an expansion in progress. Without word Kelski opened the gate and stepped inside. After a hesitation that lasted for half a heartbeat he stepped in behind her. Bending down he assisted in holding a few pieces of wood. She asked her second question as they collected wood. There was a third immediate follow up question for him to expand his thoughts on should he answer. As they began to wander towards the structure ahead she provided a fourth question that he could answer instead. Kynier understood that Kelvics were more empathic than humans, so he appreciated the consideration she had when asking such questions that would reveal what sort of person he was.

His lips twitched into a smile briefly at that. Both questions were things he was willing to tell her. And though he had already said more to her than perhaps anyone else, he felt the desire to continue talking. A strange sensation in and of itself. “The short answer to that is both yes, and no.” He walked up the steps with her as he felt the first drops of rain begin to fall. They led to a deck with a fire pit underneath a balcony. Kynier looked around quizzically at the set up. He wondered whose place this was. Kelski must have a friend here that was allowing her to stay. It was comfortably designed with a well cushioned couch and set of chairs surrounding the fire pit. Kelski did not ask for assistance in lighting the fire, so Kynier stood close and offered extra pieces of wood as he elaborated on his answer.

“I have been doing more of the latter. To stand quiet and do nothing as I see the actions unfold before me. Because I understand that… inserting yourself into the situation could bring about an outcome that you find satisfactory. But I try to think beyond that. What happens after my intervention? Without completely rescuing the person I’ve helped, they will only find themselves back in that situation, and I can’t be there every time.” It didn’t feel like an adequate explanation and he searched for the words to be able to make it so. “The largest transgression in my mind,” he said with a softer voice. He didn’t know if they were actually alone here and who could intrude upon his words, so he kept his voice loud enough for only her. “Is slavery.” He locked his eyes with hers, the fire in the pit reflected in his eyes and his passion could be seen in them. “It must be stopped. I would not wish that fate on anyone. It…” he was stumbling for the ability to articulate his thoughts unfiltered. With a pause and a calming breath he managed to continue. “How can I abide someone living in a way that I would abhor living myself?”

He took the seat on the couch when Kelski offered it to him. He thanked her for the water but didn’t take a drink from it yet. His lips were too busy working another task. Kynier continued as she set the bag of clams down and made herself comfortable. Kynier was leaning forward with his forearms on his knees. “So, if I were to interfere it must be in a way that would grant them freedom. Otherwise the slave would just continue to suffer and I have made no real impact. Say I did free them. What will they do? Are they strong enough to survive on their own? If not then I would have to accept responsibility for all the lives I free. And that’s something I cannot manage right now.” He looked at his mug and took a drink. The cold fluid felt good running down his tongue. When he lowered the glass it was already nearly empty. He sighed thoughtfully.

“Though it pains me to do so, I move along. But I’ve set myself to aim higher.” His eyes returned to hers. “I’m trying to find a way to end it. All of it. Failing that, to at least impede it. There has to be away to prevent slavery from continuing. Whether it’s by killing every slaver, or changing world law to respect the lives of others, I am to find it.” A guilt rose to his chest as he thought of her. His tone softened with a trace of shame. “I wasn’t able to do anything for you,” he took his eyes away from those silvers, unable to look at them as he spoke. “That night we swam. I was going to offer. Then when ran into the woods, and spoke afterwards. And I knew that anything I did would only complicate things for you. I was greatly worried about your survival and didn’t want to make it harder with my intentions.” His hand reached out for a knee beneath the damp skirt and gave it a firm squeeze. The act of affection was soothing to him, who had so few moments of them in his life. Yet the majority of them revolved around the jeweler. He leaned back against the couch with a sigh. Talking so much felt tiring. How could people tolerate being able to talk all day?

For a while he sat quietly with his hand on her leg. To him it was fairly warm and didn’t need the fire nor the blanket. He endured it for her. The Kelvic had walked barefooted the entire time and had traipsed through the river and the air was getting colder from the rain. Kynier looked out into the curtain of droplets, listening to them fall on the balcony above. There was something about this place, here and now, that set him at ease. Though beads of sweat lined his brow he felt quite comfortable.

After a long silence he remember the next question that she offered as an out. “As for what it is I do, there’s something you must know.” He turned his head back towards her, “because it pertains to the other secret that only you know.” Kynier shifted on the couch to be closer to her, much closer. He leaned forward to whisper close to her ear. “In mid spring, I found wizard that lives here in Sunberth. I suspect he has mental scaring from using magic. For I only found him by chance. He’s quite a recluse.” Kynier leaned away without moving further from her on the couch. He rested a leg across his other knee as he tried to relax while being so near her. “I’m a spy for him,” he said louder but still cautiously. “He tasks me with learning things in the city for him. Although,” he said at normal volume and started to laugh lightly, “he also has me do some ridiculous tasks in his moments of delirium. Like,” he couldn’t help but laugh harder as he reflected on it, “counting the skull-crows around the Gallows. And tracking their movements.” Kynier laughed for a moment longer before ending with a long exhale.

He finished his glass and closed his eyes. The song of the rain lulled him into a deep, almost meditative relaxation. The increasing patter of water on wood, with the percussive snaps of the fire, was something that he could sleep to. Instead he opened his eyes again and took in the view of the Kelvic beside him. He had his own questions that he wanted to ask. What was her living situation, and had she found a source of employment that agreed with her? Kynier kept those words to himself so that she could ask him another question. There was one that he did feel the need to ask…

He held out his empty glass, “May I have some more please?”



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The Song of Water (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on July 2nd, 2018, 12:14 am

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Kelski glanced at Kynier again, waiting for his words, not sure exactly what he’d say or how he’d answer any of the questions. When he finally spoke, he addressed Creativity first. His answer saddened her, but she wasn’t surprised. But then he chased his answer with something like drawing? The Kelvic blinked in confusion. One wasn’t creative yet one drew? Or at least one dismissed creative processes? The Kelvic would have to think about that one more. It was a confusion juxtaposition at the very least.

By then they’d settled at the fire and Kelski was finally getting warm. She watched him breathe as he thought through his answers. Then she shifted her vision and counted the stitches on his vest. The heat from the fire and the fact that the day was not really that cold dried her hem off quickly and got her toes warm enough she slid them off the wooden couch and propped them up on the rail of the firepit which was lined with stone. Switching her focus, she looked at the dirty state of her feet and sighed softly, noting the sand under her well-trimmed toenails that were dark like her own fingernails.

Did he always have to see her like this? Working? Dirty? Wearing borrowed clothing? She had her own now, thought she knew better than to wear good things to the beach. Kelski caught his gaze just long enough to catch his lips twitching into a smile and answering her question in both the affirmative and negative. What? The Kelvic tilted her head and listened closely, curious as to what he meant.

So, he stood quiet and did nothing? His reasons where solid why he didn’t act, and she could understand them, but it was hard to hear. He went on to talk about how those saved needed complete rescuing or they would be back in the same situation. It was something she utterly disagreed on, but she didn’t interrupt. To Kelski, sometimes people just needed a bit of help, an interference in the right moment or an opportunity to rise. If they didn’t do something with the opportunity, then it was their own fault. She felt most could and would. Still, she listened, interested in knowing how he stood.

How could he abide it indeed? And yet it was all around them. The tavern next door was full of them. Ships came and went from the port all the time with ‘hired’ crew that were no more than boys pressed into service. And those same ships returned, often absent those boys, whether they were sold off or killed, Kelski didn’t know. His words were all things Kelski thought about as they sat together.

She didn’t judge him for his words. They made sense and she could see his point. And so his logic was that he hadn’t helped her because he would have had to take responsibility for her because she couldn’t take responsibility for herself? And that was something he couldn’t do? No, perhaps he was right. But she knew she could have cared for herself. The moment she was free she did just that. And if she had to escape instead of be set free, she would have just taken flight to another place where she could have started over, rather than do it here… in the shadows of those that had hurt her.

His next words were too idealistic even for Kelski. There would be no law to change in a city of lawlessness. There would be no slaver to depose because no one here truly ruled. As soon as one niche opened via a death, someone moved in to fill it, and the cycle continued. Kynier could kill and kill and kill all day long and he’d never manage to do what he aimed to do. It was a noble wish, truly it was, but it wasn’t realistic. Kelski knew it wasn’t feasible because she’d worn chains and seen both sides of it in doing so.

His confession at what he spoke about during their swim sounded more like a man easing a guilty conscious than a man confessing a powerless condition. It didn’t matter, though, for Kelski could have escaped perhaps at any time and still she remained. She hadn’t truly wanted to be free at that point. It wasn’t because she enjoyed Jaren’s obsession or Darvin’s attention. But it was because she hadn’t felt she’d learned all she could at their hands before she moved on. The Sun Birth had given her incredible insight into the gang life in Sunberth and had toughened her in ways her life in Lhavit could never have done.

“You should not let it weigh at all on your mind. I would have refused help.” She said gently. “And I do not need for you to explain. I did not expect outside help nor did I welcome change at that point. I had things to do there that I couldn’t do elsewhere and I needed to stay.” She said thoughtfully, glancing down at the movement under her skirt where his hand stroked her knee. If his hand drifted higher, she immediately decided she’d remove it from his arm, no matter how much she liked his touch.

He was silent for a long while and she was glad she’d removed the blanket. He radiated warmth as much as she soaked it up. Kelski didn’t mind the thoughtful silences. She didn’t need to fill the world with words all the time. And she’d just about decided he wasn’t going to answer her other question when he did in fact speak again. What he told her was stunning and she was surprised. A wizard in Sunberth? An active one? And crazy to boot? But he didn’t sound crazy by the actions Kynier described. The Skull Crows were special in a way most people didn’t understand. She’d only stumbled upon their secret accidentally. The wizard wasn’t crazy tracking their movements and counting them.

But Kelski’s nature didn’t let her speak of it. She sometimes wore a silver plated skull crow around her neck, just to remind herself of their true nature and to hold the beauty of them close to her. She did not respond to his answer other than a nod of acknowledgment that she’d heard him. Instead, she rose as he asked and refilled his mug of water from the well and handed it back to him. She added a few more sticks of driftwood to the fire, walked out to the edge of the deck just out of the rain and peered out.

“There is an old story I was told in Lhavit. Master Li liked telling of tales when we worked long hours on in depth projects, Kynier. I want to tell it to you now, briefly, for I am no storyteller like he was. Then if you want to answer more questions afterwards I will ask you more. I always have questions. Thank you for answering what you have of mine.’ She said, taking a deep breath and centering her attention on the story. She flashed for a moment to a memory of Daedalus Dagwood who asked her for a story and then promptly got bored in the middle of her telling it. Should she? Yes… the kelvic took a deep breath and began.

“There was once a beach… it was a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters that the starfish loved. People often visited the beach and they too admired its beauty and the beauty of the starfish they could see through the shallow clear water. One day the tide went out very far… so far it was even hard to see. And the starfish were left up on the beach in the hot sun to die. The people were very sad, but they knew there was nothing they could do about the starfish. There were so many of them and far too few of people. It was such an overwhelming task to save them all that all the people did was watch in despair. All of them, that is, except one little boy with a small wooden bucket.” Kelski said, taking a breath and turning around to face Kynier where she stood at the edge of the deck just inside where the rain could reach.

“He ran around frantically, gathering up a whole bucket of starfish, and then he ran way out to where the tide was, and gently released them all. Then he did it again, and again, but no matter how many trips he made, he wasn’t making even a dent in the amount of starfish that were dying on that beach.” She said, watching Kynier’s face, as she continued the story.

“Finally, some condescending man asked the boy what he thought he was doing… why he was even remotely trying to help when it was obvious he wasn’t going to save them all.” The Kelvic said, holding Kynier’s attention even as the double doors behind the mage slid open and another joined them on the deck. “He answered the man by picking up the starfish that was laying at the man’s feet and putting it in his bucket…he gestured down at it and then back up at the man. He said… ‘Of course, I can’t save them all. No one can. But I’ve made a real difference in this one’s life today.’ He said before he ran off yet again to make another long trip out to where the water was to release the starfish back into the sea.

Kelski finished the story as the third figure circled around the firepit and joined her at the edge of the deck. It was a young man, well dressed, with brilliant sad blue eyes and a shock of black hair. He reached out and touched Kelski’s face and stroked her hair, then leaned forward and ran his cheek across hers affectionately before offering her a hug. She returned the hug and the gesture before she introduced him to Kynier.

“Kynier, this is Ebon… Ebon, this is my friend Kynier.” Kelski said, catching Ebon’s hand and drawing him nearer the fire to join them a moment.

“It’s nice to meet you, Kynier. I’m sorry to interrupt you both. I didn’t know you had a guest. You never told me that story, Kelski. I would like to hear it again sometime, if you’d be open to telling me.” He said gently, and then shook himself as if he seemed to remember why he’d ventured out.

He stepped closer and lowered his voice. “Those Daggerhands were back. They were demanding to know when their pieces will ready. I told them no later than the 50th and then went away, but grumbling. One of them needs another mask. He needs it by that date too. I couldn’t find you to ask you if you have time to do one more so I just told them I ‘d see what we could do. He seemed satisfied and left enough coin to do the work up front. So, I hope you can work it in.” He said, glancing at Kynier then back at Kelski.

Ebon twitched at Kynier’s face as if he was itching to come closer and look at the bruising. Kelski wasn’t going to stop him if he did, but evidently his Rak’keli’s compulsion wasn’t kicking in hard enough to make him go offer to heal the bruising. That was a good sign.

“I got clams… from the river.” She said abruptly, gesturing to the bucket by the table to distract the young Kelvic healer. Ebon padded cat-like over to inspect the bucket and grinned. “Chowder for dinner?” He asked, and the Sea Eagle nodded. “Yes… I hope you don’t mind. There’s enough for a big pot so it will feed Ren and Aer’wyn with a lot of leftovers too.” She added as he picked up the clams, bucket and all, and nodded. “I’ll clean them for you. Business has been slow today so I’ll have time. We made three big sales just after we opened. Someone’s having a birthday and there’s to be a ball or something so we might put more brooches out and pearls.” He said, then backed away, nodding to Kynier and closing the double doors behind him.

Kelski looked apologetically at Kynier and gestured to the door. “Sorry about that. He’s really conscientious about helping. Its been very busy since I’ve opened. No one helped me. I helped myself.” She said thoughtfully, then smiled slightly. “I met him on the street. Some thugs were killing him. I can’t save them all, but he’s really glad I put him in my bucket.” Kelski said quietly. “So is everyone here. Enslaved or close to it, new to the city, or rejected. We all live better together even if it was work to take them to the water and pull them out of the hot sun.” The Kelvic said, looking pointedly at Kynier.

“I want to know next what you think the difference between living and existing is…” Kelski said as she resumed her seat next to him. "... and which are you doing?" She was rather enjoying asking him questions. His answers were really telling.

Word Count : 2202
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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: 900
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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