Solo Facing a Nightmare

Kynier encounters his worst fear on a late night stroll

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

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Facing a Nightmare

Postby Kynier on July 16th, 2018, 3:46 am

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36th of Summer 518
He couldn’t say why but a walk sounded very ideal. The night was still warm which contributed to his restlessness. Kynier had chosen no path in particular to follow and let his feet take him where they may. Recent events had also contributed to his active mind. Gradually he was stumbling upon pieces of a puzzle that he suspected wouldn’t really affect him should they be left alone. That wasn’t in his nature. Especially now that he was a Nightstalker. So here he was, stalking at night. As he traversed through the Sunset Quarters he felt the children of Akajia begin to approach him.

Kynier slowed down and greeted each of them. The language of Makath ran effortlessly from his tongue despite never studying it. The shadows were similar to people in the way that not all of them were very agreeable. Whether it was because his abilities were only recently acquired or not he couldn’t tell. But Kynier did find them preferable to people. For one, they never seemed to be actively trying to kill him. Kynier appreciated those little differences.

After spending a decent time introducing himself and asking names the mage moved on. His path traversed north and west out of the Sunset Quarters. Leth was high in the night providing a soft illumination that the Night Mistress allowed him to pierce. It was truly amazing to behold and Kynier was making an effort to really appreciate it before it became so common place for him. The shadows hid nothing from him anymore, even if they were initially unfriendly. While others that roamed the street carried candles, lanterns, or relied on torches, he no longer needed any of those things. His mirth showed on his face.

When he was near the edge of the Seaside Market a shadow called out to him. “Nightstalker. Nightstalker!” The urgency of the tongue captivated Kynier. He walked into the alley to meet the shadow that seemed disturbed. It spoke more before he could greet it. “You must go, and go quick!” A loud crash of echoed down the street as the hollering of voices rang out in the night. “Run. Run!” The shadow hissed. Kynier did run, but not in the direction that the shadow would hope. He went in the direction of a racket echoing through the sky.

Dozens of voices were crying out simultaneously making it difficult to determine what any of them said. Moving past all the empty stalls and carts normally packed with petty trinkets, Kynier ran deeper into the markets. Around the next corner he could see many traces of light moving around. More shadows approached him and beckoned him to flee. Kynier didn’t answer any of them and approached the narrow alley separating him from the crowd of people on the other side.

A few of those people also entered the alley to come in his direction. All of them were holding a torch and carrying a weapon of some sort. Most of them were wooden clubs or hammers though a few had actual weapons like axes and daggers. “There!” the lead one pointed at Kynier, “Is that him?” The whole crowd seemed to try and clamor into that alley to examine him. His feet stopped and suddenly he wished he had followed the shadow’s advice. He would make a effort to take their words with more consideration.

A woman elbowed her way to the front to look at Kynier. “Tha’ ain’t him. Lookin’ fer a stockier fella. Wi’ blonde hair.” The crowd seemed to grumble. “Ya seen an’one like that?” she asked Kynier.

“No I haven’t. I just came from the southeast and haven’t seen anybody like that.” The all seemed to take his words began deliberating among themselves. “Why?” he asked. A few of them gave him a look of surprise.

“Why do ya think? He’s a mage!”



Word Count: 645
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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Facing a Nightmare

Postby Kynier on July 16th, 2018, 3:47 am

Image
For over two years he had heard about them. That hazardous mentality that emerged with unrelenting brutality towards another person. A lynching mob with a thirst for blood against an individual, whether they’re guilty or innocent. A collection of hatred that feed off each other to perform acts of violence even a seasoned warrior would be hesitant to perform. A gathering that Kynier always feared to see and took so many precious steps to avoid A Sunberth mob on the hunt for a mage.

Kynier’s blood froze and his throat tightened. The embodiment of nightmares from the last few years was before him and seeking blood. He was thankful to the Night Mistress that it wasn’t his blood that they were after. The secret was still safe in Her possession. And Kynier did the only thing he thought he could do in the present scenario. He forced a scowl on his face as he drew his cold iron blade. “A mage? Where was the filth last seen?” he said with false venom lining his tongue. He couldn’t just shrug and be on his merry way. There was a certain expectation required from each citizen for these situations. To avoid suspicion Kynier had to fall in line.

“A mile north and heading west,” a man said. “But we lost sight of the shyke.” Kynier strode forward to join them. His steps were quick and deliberate. The people parted to allow him to move through them. Each of them looked to him for some reason. No one spoke and the silence of over twenty people was disturbing to bear. They must have had no leader taking charge of their action. Each of them wanted to follow but not direct. The idea he had made his stomach turn violently. So much that Kynier clenched his jaw to help resist the urge to vomit at the idea. He would lead them. If they were truly hunting a mage, he was the best chance of helping that lost soul.

“Then the mage must be in hiding. This is what must be done. We must divide into smaller groups and search in multiple directions at once.” Kynier didn’t like the plan but it was that or have this mob travel together. If they did that he would never find a chance to escape discreetly. “And we must be silent. Only gather others when you find them. I could hear you from the Sunset Quarters, so the mage could hear you as well. We must take him by surprise or he will keep slipping away.” The citizens of this unenlightened city nodded as he spoke. When he finished none of them moved from their spot. Still they all looked to him. Petch it all. How were any mages ever killed if the mobs were like this?

Kynier pointed at four people, “You, you, you, and you. Go north and watch the bridges to The Commons.” Kynier rotated his gaze. “You three, go east and watch the main road should the filth try to sneak into the Sunset Quarter. The six of you go west and guard the bridges heading to the Gated Community. The rest of us,” he said sweeping his gaze over everyone else. “We’re going to scour the market until we either find him or flush him out to the others to the north, west, and east. We will slowly move in a pattern north going from east to west. Checking every building and getting more help from anyone else at night. Do not call out anyone from a distance. Wait until you are close enough to be able to slip a blade between the ribs!” The mob cheered with bloodlust.



Word Count: 616
Total Word Count: 1,261
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 629
Words: 841857
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
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Facing a Nightmare

Postby Kynier on July 16th, 2018, 3:49 am

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Stepping with the balls of his feet he moved through the alleys. Two members of the mob moving right behind him with their torches held high. Blood pounded in his ears. Kynier was a mouse leading the vipers on a hunt. Thankfully they were blind to the truth of the man he now sought direction from. It was an ironic twist of fate that he should be the one to take charge of such an event. His mind worked hard on what the next step should be. While he managed to buy more time for this mysterious mage to hide Kynier had also effectively boxed him in with very little means of escape. If the man was foolish enough to have his magic seen publicly then he probably wasn’t very talented at hiding either. And the only exit Kynier had left was to sneak past the search party to the south.

The only hope for the miserable soul was for Kynier to find him now. Unless the mage had reimancy or some other offensive magic ability at his disposal, anyone else finding him would spell his doom. There were only eight people, including Kynier searching the whole Seaside Market. Kynier managed to break them up into three groups. He deliberately took the party moving west, in the direction the mage was last seen moving. As they walked they tested the door to each building to see if it was locked. Those that weren’t they’d search. For nearly a bell they had been at it. And the silence of the hunt was only disturbed by that pounding blood of his.

They stood outside an abandoned building that was two stories high. Kynier turned and pointed at the man carrying an axe. “Watch the street while we search.” Kynier had been alternating them on that task. Always he would go inside and search with the other. The woman with them carried an improvised mace with nails sticking out of it. To Kynier it looked more like a weapon of maiming than killing. He opened the door to the inside of the building and stepped through. It was divided into sections with a staircase leading up. Kynier looked to her and indicated she search the first floor with a series of hand gestures. Then he pointed at himself and then the stairs. The woman nodded and complied.

Slowly and with careful movements to distribute his weight, Kynier ascended the staircase. At the landing the hall branched both left and right. Kynier looked up to see the ceiling was reasonably intact which was considerable for the town’s architecture. He decided to go left first and follow the hall to the end. A partially closed door stood at against the far wall at the corner. Before crossing he checked around the corner. No one was there and he could see entrances to three other rooms. With two long strides he silently went to the first just before him. The door creaked as it opened. Scattered trash and rubble covered the floor but no one was inside.

Kynier moved down to the next room, his short sword pointed at a steep angle to the ground. The door was closed but when he checked the handle it wasn’t locked. Kynier gripped it and slowly turned. At the soft click of the latch he gently pushed it open. Stepping in he saw a trace of movement in his peripheral vision. Kynier crossed the bare vacant room to the opening of a closest. Before he completely got there a man shorter than him, but thicker at the waist, with blonde hair tried to rush out and push past him. Absolute terror filled the man’s eyes until they couldn’t possible stretch anymore. Kynier set his blade out to block the man’s path and lunged forward to set his other hand over the man’s mouth.

The momentum carried them both into the wall with a loud thud. The sword tip rested close to the man’s cheek and Kynier could feel the man’s labored breath against his hand. Kynier stared with eyes nearly as wide as the man’s brown ones. “Don’t move,” Kynier mouthed, “and don’t make a sound.” Slowly he withdrew his hand from the other’s mouth. The man didn’t scream and was taking very fast shallow breaths to be silent. Kynier pursed his lips and pressed a finger against them to indicate silence as he stepped away.

He could hear footsteps moving quickly down below and he too moved faster, abandoning silence back towards the stairs. When he got to the landing the woman had just started to climb up. “What was that?” she asked.

“A large brat that I started out of the closet. Other than that there’s nothing here that I see.” She looked at him skeptically. “What about you?” She shook her head and lowered her wood and nail mace. Kynier looked up at the ceiling. “There’s a hole in the ceiling I can use to get to the roof. This building’s taller than the others and would let me see far. Head back out and keep searching.” He used a tone to indicate it wasn’t a discussion. The woman didn’t argue but clearly didn’t like the plan based on the snarling expression she made. From the top of the stairs he watched her go out the door. Kynier watched until the torch light wandered away from view.

Quietly he returned to the room he found the man. The stout fellow was still against the wall where he left him, clutching a book tightly to his chest. Kynier sheathed his weapon as he entered the room. As he drew closer he whispered, “I don’t plan to hurt you.” The assurance seemed to have no calming effect, which was of no surprise. As Kynier drew closer he could see that the book was painted silver and not very large. And there was something on the back of the man’s hand. A gnosis mark of a glowing lormor symbol. Kynier arched an eyebrow at that. “Is it true? Are you a mage?” The man’s lower lip began to quiver.



Word Count: 1,020
Total Word Count: 2,281
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 629
Words: 841857
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
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Facing a Nightmare

Postby Kynier on July 16th, 2018, 3:51 am

Image
He needed to reassure the man. It was impossible to determine if the man was a mage based on his fear alone. He had a gnosis mark. The stout fellow may have used that power and in the ignorance of the citizens he had been branded a mage. Whether that was true or false wouldn’t change the situation. Kynier felt the need to save this man. If he had been the subject of a lynch mob he would hope for someone to help him. But he had to get the man to trust him. And there was only one way to do that. “Don’t be afraid. I’m a mage. And I want to help you escape.” The man began to sob and fell against Kynier’s shoulder, arms draped around his torso. The man silently sobbed into his vest.

“Please help me!” he whispered. “I don’t want to die here.” Kynier separated the man from his chest. “I don’t know how they noticed it. It was a simple illusion.” Kynier tried to shake the man back to his senses.

“Hey!” he kept his voice quiet but firm. “That doesn’t matter now. What matters is getting you out of here. My name’s Kynier. What’s yours?”

“Aidren.”

“Listen to me Aidren. There’s only a small window for escape and it won’t be easy. But if you follow me and do as I say I can get you out of here.” Aidren’s eyes brimmed with hope and tears at his words. After a moment he nodded. “Alright. Come on. And keep quiet.” Kynier turned and lead the way. Despite the man’s more rotund form he was able to move fairly lightly. Albeit the stairs proved that wrong. As they descended each one creaked under the man’s weight. Kynier signed for the man to wait before opening the door and looking out into the street. With a glance in both directions Kynier beckoned for Aidren to follow.

Kynier went straight to the first alley that led south. They had a few miles to cover before being out of the Seaside Market. And Kynier wasn’t sure how well the mob would take to following his directions. He moved quickly and quietly through the dark. Aidren’s heavier steps made soft hoomp noises as he stayed close. At the end Kynier glanced out and saw one of the search parties coming their direction. Kynier looked over his shoulder and indicated for them to go back. Aidren turned without hesitation and retraced their steps. Kynier watched for a few ticks to see if the group would turn in a different direction.

When he stepped away to head back the other direction his eyes widened in horror. Aidren stepped out into the street without checking first. The man paused and Kynier could hear the first of many voices ring out. “Mage!” Aidren ran back into the alley towards Kynier. He was at a loss. So quickly their hopes seemed abysmal. Kynier drew his short sword and ran to meet Aidren.


”You know what you must do.”

Aidren stared at him with hopeful yet horrified eyes as he ran. Kynier met him part way and ran him through with the short sword. The blade slipped underneath the ribs and upward. Aidren gripped the small section of the blade that hadn’t penetrated his soft flesh. The gnosis mark on the back of the man’s hand began to glow as Aidren looked up into his gaze. The other mage’s brown eyes had turned cloudy and his voice rang deeper than before.

“Endless battles have been fought with this blade. To aid in the wielder through despair one must speak the name it holds deep in the cold iron.” The words were not in common but the extended agglutinative language of Tukant.

As Aidren fell to the ground the first of several people rushed into the alley. Kynier withdrew his weapon from the man. His expression was so full of remorse that he lowered his head from view of the others. Aidren had not fallen dead yet but slumped onto his back and clutched at his wound as blood welled up. The gnosis mark on his skin was calm again and the clouds were gone from his eyes.

“He got him! He got the mage!”

The others gathered around the dying man. Kynier forced himself to change his expression. He chose hatred. It was what he felt towards himself for his failure. It was easy to make compared to any other expression. “Don’t just stand there,” he shouted at the other people. He flicked his blade in a circle to remove the blood in a wide arch. “Take him to Execution Park and string him up. He needs to be a reminder to Sunberth.” The few members of the mob cheered and swarmed Aidren like ants to a bit of food. Collectively they lifted the dying mage and began to take him southeast to the park in the Sunset Quarters.

“Time to kill a mage!” one roared. Then they began chanting loud enough to gather attention in the night. “Kill the mage! Kill the mage!” Kynier stood there and watched them depart. Sadness and nausea rose from within. He had failed. Tears began to well up in his eyes that he blinked away. One managed to fall to the ground. When he looked down at it he noticed the book that Aidren had been carrying. A few spots of blood marked an upper corner of the cover. Kynier bent down and picked it up. He flipped through the first few pages. Words and drawings were scratched onto the paper. He recognized one of the images as the lormor symbol that had been the man’s gnosis mark. Kynier flipped back to the beginning page of the silver painted book. The Wisdom of Eryis. Had he read any more he would have discovered it was about a goddess. But he didn’t have the drive to feed his curiosity right now. Instead he slowly made his way home, silver book in hand.

What bothered him nearly as much as plunging the blade into the mage were his last words. Tukant was a difficult language if you weren’t born into it. So why had he used that for his message? And what was this about the weapon aiding the wielder? These questions repeated in his mind on the way home. Suddenly he was very tired. When he stepped into his home he went to the table and sat down. He set the book on top of the map of the city and drew out his short sword. There was one question he wanted to know the answer to. One he hadn’t considered asking in the almost fifteen years of carrying the blade.

To answer it he spoke aloud the auristic incantation. As the djed flowed into his eyes a mist began to form around the blue metal. A mist of almost pure white as the cold iron emitted an aura. Yes, the blade was magical. Kynier focused on the aura seeking to discover the secret. His body felt a relaxing sensation as he looked hard at it. One of comfort and rejuvenation. As he gazed at it there was a phrase in Tukant that echoed in his mind. I’ll Die Tomorrow.

Word Count: 1,213
Total Word Count: 3,494
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

Character Sheet
Sunberth Map
Midnight Gem Floor Plan
User avatar
Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 629
Words: 841857
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Facing a Nightmare

Postby Kynier on September 1st, 2018, 11:47 pm

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Acting +2
  • Auristics +1
  • Investigation +1
  • Leadership +4
  • Logic +1
  • Persuasion +1
  • Stealth +3
  • Subterfuge +2
  • Tactics +2
  • Weapon: Short Sword +1

Lores Learned
  • Sunberth: Forms instant lunch mobs by shouting “Mage!”
  • Leadership: Directing a lynch mob
  • Aidren: Is a hypnotist mage
  • Aidren: Died at Kynier’s hands
  • Eyris: Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom
  • Cold Iron Short Sword: Has healing magic
  • Cold Iron Short Sword: Activation phrase


Rewards
  • The Wisdom of Eyris-Book on the Goddess Eyris and her gnosis.
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

Character Sheet
Sunberth Map
Midnight Gem Floor Plan
User avatar
Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 629
Words: 841857
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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