Closed [The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

(Kelski) History is cyclical. To live long enough is to see the past repeat itself.

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

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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on July 18th, 2018, 10:03 am

64th of Summer 518AV
Midnight




For a few days now nightmares plagued his sleep. Though he’d often woke up with his memory wiped clean as a slate, from the terrible midnight visions, the chills stayed with the Akalak, stung at his skin. No ocean wave could was those dreams away. There was little he could do to shake off the feeling that something was profoundly wrong. Ever since she disappeared, there was little more he could think about.

That night, much like the others Aer’wyn was restless. Twisting and turning beneath the covers, with Leth’s moonlight illuminating the flickering lids. The feeling of suffocation, as if somebody had been sitting on his chest. Vel had been growing restless, locked behind the gates of his consciousness. In the back of his mind, the dark brother threatened to make his every day at the Midnight Gem the very last day. And Aer’wyn wouldn’t put such atrocity past him. After all the sinister shadow had done it before.

Abruptly, the Akalak’s eyelids flared open to be met by the dark ceiling of his living quarters. A crash ringing out in hie ears but Aer’wyn’s mind was slow to catch up. Moments passed before he realised where he was, who he was or that this sudden loud noise wasn’t the remnant black drops of a sinister nightmare. The source was very much Rea and it hid just behind his door.

Groggily, feeling like an ghost beneath his own skin and stiff joints, the Akalak rose from his slumber. Moments later no noises followed but it wouldn’t hurt to investigate just incase. Perhaps he was growing paranoid. Without much thought, Aer’wyn pulled on his pants and unsheathed the sword from his scabbard with one arm. In this wretched city there was no such thing as ’too prepared.' Of course Aer counted on Ebon to be up for a midnight glass of water, or Ren having accidentally knocked something over. Perhaps if such was the case, they could have all retuned to bed, laughing a little about the massive blue man who gets spooked easier than any of them. But as he slowly twisted the door knob, and quietly swung it open, nothing could have prepared his eyes for what they were about to witness.

If not for the distinct black and white hue of her sweat and blood soaked hair, Aer’wyn wouldn’t have even recognised her, so badly beaten was she. Slumped over the top of the stairs, her naked body covered with more purple than the usual alabaster glow he had grown so used to. A mosaic of scratches and scrapes broke up the bruising. Cold hands clutched daggers for dear life, and something else beside her. A little statuette of a bold man.

Aer’wyn’s heart sunk in an instant. It was as if he had woken up in the past. Tears pooled at the corners of his eyes and the name fell from his lips in a whisper. “Kelski.” Voice trembling, saturated with shock and rage so intense it prompted flares of adrenaline to flash though his veins like lightning.

There was a clang of steel against wooden floorboards. He dropped the sword where he stood, not caring for blunting of the edges, as his body switched to autopilot. He bolted across the living room, towards the Kelvic and dropped to his knees besides her, turning her over to see if she was still alive, checking her pulse. The whole time there was only one thought on his mind: not this… not again…

The Akalak had grown entirely familiar with Kelski’s delicate beauty, for modesty really wasn’t something an eagle cared for all that much. These piercings however, he had never seen before. And judging by the angry swelling around the metal, they were fresh. The Kelvic was bruised, bloody and severely dehydrated but at least she was alive. There was still time.

It was as it the Akalak was standing beside his own body, hearing his own voice break as he screamed out for Ebon hoping to tear though the walls of the lion’s slumber. Such a feeling of helplessness he had only known once before when he held the dying, bleeding body of his wife much like now he held Kelski against his bare chest, the heat of his pounding heart warming her sore cheek. And just like then ,there was nothing, short of driving a dagger though his own heart, that he could do to sate his grief; so now there was nobody in sight he could exact his revenge on for what they had done to his dearest friend. A single silver tear drop fell into her hair.

Though he tried, Aer’wyn couldn’t even clear his mind enough to manipulate the djed inside him and create an extra hand. At the back of his head Vel savoured every drop of his light brother’s pain, delighted in it. He was kept at bay by threads which he was fully intending to sever.


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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Kelski on July 21st, 2018, 2:55 pm

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The little statue scurried backwards, suddenly terrified when the giant Akalak appeared. Little Rhuas was grateful that the Kelvic had carried him out of that place, and even more grateful that she’d gently set him down even as her strength had given up. It raised its arms and waved them frantically. “Don’t hurt her. She’s just tired… very tired.” He said, knowing there was no way he could protect the Kelvic from the giant, but he was willing to try.

About that moment Kelski cracked open an eye, met Aer’wyn’s gaze, and split a smile revealing bloody teeth. Her voice was soft, like she was extremely tired, and raspy as she responded. “Aer’wyn… its okay. I’m fine. Just tired. Let me sleep a bit okay?” She croaked, as her eye drifted closed again and the darkness reclaimed her. Only one eye opened because the other was too swollen to function. It was a condition Kelski had made friends with long ago being in Darvin’s company at the hands of The Sun’s Birth. The fingers of her hand clenched and unclenched as if she mentally tried to reach out for his knee to pat it, but could not seem to draw the strength to actually move the entire limb. Then she was quiet again, still breathing, with a pulse that felt strong enough.

About that time Ebon burst from his room and dropped to his knees beside Aer’wyn. He growled at the little statue that was backing up even further with the sight of another male, not as big as Aer, but one dripping with aggression as he fell to his knees at Kelski’s side. The Kelvic shivered as his compulsion to heal kicked in hard and he stared at Kelski, and began to catalog her wounds. He took one of her hands in his own, light flowing from them, and healed what appeared to be a broken finger and wrenched wrist. Then he swiftly passed the hand to Aer’wyn as if beckoning him to hold it for her.

He started to work on her head first. “She’s got a bad concussion. A crack in her jaw, a crack in her left ocular orbital, loose teeth, contusions… and swelling inside her brain.” He said, laying his hands on her face across the swollen flesh and getting to work. Light poured from him and engulphed the Kelvic, tending to those injuries, reducing swelling, stealing the discoloration from her skin until she looked like a more normal version of Kelski, only someone still covered in blood. He couldn’t fix the cracked bones, for his gnosis had its limits at one mark, but he could do a great deal of work. As soon as his hands dropped lower, Kelski’s silver eyes popped open wide, full of fury, and ready to fight.

“Hold her, Aer… talk to her. She’s going to be confused since I took the brain swelling down.” Ebon said, his normally adolescent voice sounding. Kelski immediately started to struggle until Ebon’s voice hit her and the little statue rushed up and placed its hands on her cheek as well. “He’s healing you, bird brain, calm down!” The old man’s voice was gentle but firm, which looked ridiculous coming from an eight inch tall little statue. Kelski’s eyes rolled over to the side, saw Little Rhaus, and calmed.

The Kelvic had human bite marks on her breasts, some deep, that augmented the offensive piercings. She had brusing a plenty and cracked ribs as Ebon discovered. He sanitized the bites which would have immediately grown infected, and cleaned up and sealed the skin since the wounds were shallow enough to be considered superficial. He skipped binding her ribs for a while, since that would require Aer hoisting her up so they could wrap bindings to support her chest. The normally pale Kelvic had been been a pasty grey when she’d fallen to the floor at the top of the climb. But slowly her pale skin was taking on a more normal glow as Ebon erased the bruises and scrapes. She’d definitely been in a battle of some sort. He treated her other hand and odd cut marks on the inside of her fingers as if she’d been pulling wire incredibly hard.

Quietly, near her ear, the statue began to sing. His voice was lovely as he sang an old old ballad about people moving below ground to escape the magic. And as he did so, the statue tugged playfully at Kelski’s hair, distracting her from where Ebon was about to go and from what Ebon was about to do. The Kelvics attention turned to the statue, then to Aer, ignoring Ebon – feeling safe in his hands – as she introduced the two creatures. “Aer’wyn, this is Little Rhaus. He’s a magic statue… blessed by Rhaus himself… one of his bards. He helped me escape. Darvin … darted me. I was shopping. I didn’t even know what hit me. I’m very sorry…” She said, lifting her hand to touch Aer’wyn’s shoulder as she said the words. Little Rhaus’ song took on a new pitch and a wave of calm washed over the immediate area. Kelski blinked, almost closed her eyes and relaxed, but instead just let her hand drop gently back to Aer’s knee which was closer for her to touch. Her other hand was still captured in his.

The young Night Lion moved down her body and quietly reported signs of abuse and rape before tending those wounds. Fortunately, the trauma of such a thing was also in the scope and scale of his first mark ability so he was able to make that soreness and pain go away as he eased the damage. The worst was her feet. She’d ran halfway across the city barefoot without a care in the world to how that would work, slipping from shadow to shadow in the ruins of the city. Ebon rose to get a pail of water, a scrub brush, and more cloths as he had to scrub her feet clean to actually see and heal the damage.

Kelski clamped her lips shut, clenched her teeth, and didn’t say a word as Ebon completed the task… getting gravel, bits of glass, and dirt out of the cuts that crisscrossed her feet. Shallow, Ebon was also able to heal those as good as new, leaving only thin, very hard to see scarring across the soles of her feet. Then he rolled her over, dealt with what was on her back, and treated more bite wounds near her neck. Next, he carefully began removing the piercings until all of them were gone. He healed the small punctures from them and glanced at Aer'wyn.

“I suggest we give her a bath, bind her ribs, and put her to bed.” The young Kelvic advised, not knowing what to do from here. The woman would feel better without blood all over her, and he knew both Aer’wyn and himself had questions as to who’s blood it was and what had happened.

“Want me to go heat some water and run a bath?” He asked, looking to Aer’wyn for what to do next. His job was done and his compulsion was gone. He’d removed what injuries he could from her and made her comfortable enough.
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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on July 23rd, 2018, 6:33 pm


For a moment Aer almost managed to convince himself he was dreaming. Perhaps he had just woken up within a dream and beneath layers and layers of slumber his body had still remained in his bed, paralysed by R.E.M. How else could he explain a statue talking to him? Yes, being asleep right now was the far more favourable option and to realise otherwise, a few moments later, was painful to the Akalak. But he could feel Kel’s cold skin against his. He could hear her desperate breathing against bruised ribs and cracked bone. The smell of her blood filled his nostrils. No nightmare, no matter how terrifying could ever match the horror this reality.

He glared at the little talking man, willing to shoo him away. His arm held Kelski a little closer, as protective of the Kelvic as the statue was.

It took all his might not to respond with anger to her words. Tiered? Did she sincerely hope convince him that tiredness was all there was too it? Still, doing his best to control a temper as white hot as molten iron, and choking back tears, the Akalaks cooed to her in whispers. His voice trembled. “You’ll be alright my dearest. You’ll be alright, you’re home.” With each word his teeth clenched. Ebon was his only hope for any of those words to ring true. “Whoever did this to you…. Will pay….”

Alas his preyers were answered by the young night lion’s presence. “Please, help.” He whispered, shifting her body a little to allow him easier access to Kelski’s wounds, but gently enough not to cause any more damage. And soon enough he was relieved to see Ebon’s attention shift from the talking statue to their badly beaten friend. Whatever the little bolding man was, he hung low on the list of priorities. With him and Ebon there, there was little he could do to cause Kelski anymore pain even if he tried. And something about the way the statue protested in her defence made him trust it enough to be sure it would try no such thing.

The list of injuries made Aer’wyn’s head spin. How could this have happened on his watch? It was doubtful the Akalak would ever forgive himself and would certainly blame himself for all of it, down to the last loose tooth. He did as Ebon instructed. A blue thumb gently stroked her shoulder. He wished he had the use of his other arm so badly, of only to bring her comfort in this time of need. Lips whispered softly into her ear. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Aer’wyn watched as light slowly healed those injuries on her face, rendering her a little more human looking. A little of that ferocity he’d been familiar with returned too.

The Akalak held Kelski a little tighter, ensuring she wouldn’t lash out at the healer as he performed that which he was best at. His lips let out a long shushing sound, as calm as he could muster. “It’s alright. Kel, it’s us.”

And to his surprise the statue came to his aid in calming the eagle Kelvic with a soft melody. A nod of gratitude was in order. An affirming word that he was there to ensure little Rhaus that she was in good hands. She was among friends now. He didn’t know why or how the statue had gotten here, but such was not time to question it. Not yet.

Kelski was the one to come and dispel the mysteries. And if it had been possible for the Akalak’s heart to drop even farther, that it did. “Don’t you worry Kels. He’ll suffer twice over what he did to you. I’ll make sure of that my self.” Venom of vengeance soaked his words before he had to steady himself again. And it took much effort. The injustice that was done to her could not go unpunished. Of course Aer had no idea that the man who was responsible already lay dead with his throat slit. Such talk wasn’t going to help her now. Suddenly Aer found himself so very thankful for the little man who sang his little tunes. She didn’t need the anger nor the worry. Not now when many days of rest were in order.

Drowning in the feeling of worthlessness, spurred on by Vel’s content mockery, Aer could only watch as Ebon completed the healing. “Yes. Please my friend. Give me a few moments and I’ll bring her over.”

Next his attention shifted to the little statue of Rhaus. “Continue singing to her. It seems to calm her. For that I’m grateful.” With those words Aer finally gently laid Kelski’s unconscious body on the wooden floor, albeit close. There was an anxiety in him as if even an arms length between them could get the Kelvic snatched away once more. As the statue sang, Aer too tried to tune into the mellow melody and allow himself a little calm. He needed it, now more than ever.

The Akalak tapped into his inner djed with considerable effort. Any semblance of meditation was near impossible considering the state of his frazzled nerves. Eventually however he managed to shift the flesh of his left arm downwards and slowly start creating an extra arm out of it. He pulled yet more died from the muscle of his peck, his shoulder and neck, covering bodes and joints with blue flesh. His right arm moulded his left like plasticine. As Ebon came back, calling to let Aer know the bath was ready, he had just about managed to create a blue appendage resembling a hand enough to have full use of it. Such usual details as finger prints or complete separation between the digits however was nowhere to be seen.

With great care, as if he was carrying a platter of priceless glass, he carried Kelski over to the bathroom, calling for Rhaus to follow, and dipped her in the water. One hand held her cheek. The other took a towel and began to softly dab blood from freshly healed wounds. At this point he remained quiet. Nothing he said could help the situation in his current metal state. He hoped that somehow both ebon and the little statue could sense his gratitude. He wouldn’t have been able to help her alone.

In the darkness of his mind, Vel thought it apt to once more remind Aer’wyn of how he had failed the last woman who had put any trust in him. The time, three years ago, when Karisa’s life too was taken away on his watch. He was relentless. Vel took the dagger that tore though Aer’wyn’s heart and twisted it till there was nothing more to twist. If ebon took any time to look at the friend, who so many times would suspend his emotions in desperate time to simply get the job done, he’d see there was something very wrong with him. His body language looked like he was almost afraid to touch her. Eyes, usually so jovial and innocent, were now empty impassive vessels. Teeth bit at his lip silently.

Soon enough the water ran red with blood and more than one towel would be stained beyond repair. But Kelski’s skin was no longer a mess of red and black. She was beginning to look more and more like the Kelski they knew and loved. She was in a desperate shape but she was alive at least. For that could could only give thanks to Rhaus and Akaija.


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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Kelski on July 24th, 2018, 9:20 pm

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The statue, Little Rhaus, fussed as he followed the big Akalak to the master bath behind Kelski’s main bedroom suite. He kept glancing from male to male, wringing his hands, even as he kept up his singing, not sure what else to do. He’d watched the Akalak grow an arm and that had eased his mind enough to see that they might be among friends. Mages and Kelvics had few friends in Sunberth, but somehow here they’d seemed to come together and formed friendships. The statue climbed up on the rim of the tub and perched there, the water no threat to him, as he kept singing.

Kelski was awake but silent. She was focusing on Little Rhaus’ voice and Aer’wyn’s touch. Ebon had been a comfort and she hadn’t been afraid when he’d touched her or treated her. But still she shivered, glad suddenly for the warmth of the water. She was desperately hungry, but didn’t think her abused stomach could handle any food. The thought, despite her stomach growling, brought almost instant nausea because of the drugs.

And she wondered, absently, what was wrong with her. She was physically cold, emotionally detached, and she couldn’t seem to reach forward and connect to where she was. Half a dozen times she tried to open her mouth to speak, but either her jaw wouldn’t loosen or she’d start shivering so badly that no words could pass beyond her chattering teeth. The water was warm, thankfully, but it wasn’t heating up her core. And she didn’t understand why.

Ebon watched her carefully. He put more water on in the hearth to heat, and then rethought the action and put a huge bucket on to heat as well. “Aer’wyn…..” He started out respectfully… “I think shes in shock. It’s fairly hard to treat… and not something I can just lay my hands on her and take care of it.” The Night Lion said. “She looks extremely cold even though she’s in the bath. And she looks disorientated, dizzy, detached… the symptoms are pretty clear.” He said, running down a list for Aer’wyn.

  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Pale or ashen skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Noticeable detachment or anxiousness or agitation

“We need to keep her warm, quiet, and don’t move her unless we have too. If we can get her settled somewhere that we can prop her feet up above her heart, that would be better. Once we get her cleaned up and out of here, we need to wrap her in a blanket, don’t feed her because I bet it will make her sick, and just keep talking to her until she comes out of it. I want to know what in the world happened.” The young lion growled, looking as though he felt the same way Aer’wyn felt.

“I can tell you.” Little Rhaus said, his voice pitched to reach both of them, though his tone still in the range of his singing. “The man that had me… Darvin Steval… had been experimenting on Kelvics, getting them to bond to him. He was using drugs and when they would finally bond, he’d kill them after severing it. He’s been doing it most of the season. I think he’s killed nearly a half dozen. He wanted her… it was all research for her. He found out about someplace called The Midnight Gem and that she was in debt to Goldfinger for ten thousand mizas over the shop. Darvin thought it was an astonishing figure, but then he dug further, and found out she’s been paying her loan quickly and making money hand over fist. He wanted it for himself. So he wanted to bond her. He’d been developing drugs to confuse their minds. But… with the other Kelvics it went smoothly. He was really good at pretending to be nice, making them like him, coaxing them easily to bond. But with her… he was different.” The statue said, shifting uncomfortably at the edge of the tub. He reached out and grabbed a trailing strand of her long ombre hair and pulled it through his fingers.

“I would say it was an obsession. He wasn’t nice. He didn’t even lure her in like he had the others. He darted her and drugged her from the first time she awoke from the darts. The drugs he gave her rattled her mind, confused her, and she kept calling him someone named Kynier. He ….” The statue paused and shook his head. “I’ve never seen someone give someone else so many drugs. And he was on her day and night like a dog. She wasn’t even aware of it half the time. She’s been there four days… and he gave her no food or water. I slipped her water when I could, but I cannot carry more than a small shot glass.” The statue confessed.

Kelski didn’t even blink. Little Rhaus’ voice was soothing, but she didn’t really hear the words. It was as if they were very far away, and even what happened next didn’t seem to phase her.

What she did see was Ebon’s expression as he stared at Aer’wyn. A deep grumbling ripped through the Kelvic’s chest and he advanced, protectively, and whispered menacingly under his breath… “Get away from her….” He said, flashing very feline teeth, including canines, as he walked forward, trying to put himself between Kelski and Aer’wyn. As he drew closer, the Kelvic’s skin rippled as if he were going to shift. “I said… GET AWAY FROM HER.” The young night lion said, his voice no louder than a deep throated grumble.
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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on July 30th, 2018, 8:37 pm

Aer’wyn was so very distraught learning about Kelski’s condition. But he listened to Ebon and took to heart his words, about to do exactly as the Kelvic had advised before he asked what happened to her. And it was little Rhaus who offered his far too detailed report of the events.

At first he remained quiet, letting him speak but as the statue began explaining what Darvin had done to her, Aer’wyn wanted to hear none of it. There were few lines he’d draw. This was one of them. As far as he was concerned it was none of their business, how he had violated her. If Kelski ever chose to share the information it should be up to her to tell them. Now however it was too late. The choice was taken away from her. In none of this did she really have a choice.

“That’s enough.” He whispered, not snapping but instead pleading with the statue to spare him the detail. His eyes were cast aside, helpless. And thus he did not see the rapid shift in Ebon. It was a growl that alerted him to the young Kelvic’s change of heart.

At first Aer’wyn didn’t quite know what to make of it. The sudden aggression confused him. Had he done something wrong, incorrectly? And if so it was so this grow seemed so very out of character. None the less however the Akalak backed away, raising his palms to signify the last thing he wanted was a fight with the night lion right then and there. The back of his heel chimed against the metal of his sword that still lay on the floor where he left it. Aer’wyn’s head spun with confusion. The world around him felt like every single good thing he had built in the past season was quickly crumbling in his very hands and he was powerless to stop it.


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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Rene Rafar on July 31st, 2018, 5:15 am

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23rd bell of 63rd day of summer

Ren had not been herself since Kelski had not come home after going shopping. It had been three days ago and with no word as to what had happened. Ren, deep down just felt something was wrong it wasn't like her friend to be missing like this. One of her first thoughts was that the older kelvic was taken back to slavery by her old master if not captured by the Vino family either one was possible here in the city of Sunberth, a place where ones grandson would sell his own Grandmother for a few mizas just to make a profit.

Ren hoping she was wrong was making her way to the one person she knew who may have an idea were to find Kelski. If not, then the means to find out what had happened to her friend. That person being S'vantia, the old woman of Riverside Dovecote and the main hub of the Night Eyes gang.

When Ren left at the being of summer she vowed she would never come back. Oh how fate like to change one's plan to fit its own needs or amusement. Thinking back to the reason why she left may have been a way to toughen the young girl up; though she may never really know what the true reason was behind that cruel treatment. One thing is for sure she was a stronger person for it. *There was several different ways I could have chosen to live; one was being a cold bitter hateful person. Two I could have stayed in the the living condition I was in and said poor me. Or three and I like this one the best, go do something about your life while keeping a smile on your face.* She reflected to herself as she slink through the shadows in her ocelot form.

It wasn't long before she found herself outside the large cottage. Ren quickly shifted to her human skin before making her way up the porch stairs to knock on the door. It was a few chimes before the door opened to show an elderly woman looking at her with a puzzled look on her face. “Rene?” The woman asked.

Ren nodded a bit uneasy for she was not really sure how this woman would treat her. “Yes, S'vantia.” Swallowing she continued, “I came to ask the help of the Night Eyes ma'am, I have a friend who has been missing for the past three days. I was hoping you had heard anything about Kelski the owner of the Midnight Gem, she was a slave but she had won her freedom? I'm afraid her old master or even the Vino's kidnapped her and sent her back to being a slave.” Sighing Ren relaxed a bit as if some of the weight of her worry was now off her shoulders only to be disappointed by S'vantia's next words.

“No Rene I have not.” The old woman replied.

Trying one more time Ren asked. “Is there anyway to find out? I'm willing to pay but its not a lot.”

“I'll see if I hear anything but its not always possible to follow any leads about the slavers.” S'vantia told the young girl. “I am aware what you have been doing child and who you are working for now. You didn't think I wouldn't have had you watch now did you? I can see you have turned out to be a very well centered young woman. If I hear anything I'll send one of my birds to you. This time you don't me anything. Now go back home its not safe at this time of night.”

Nodding a thanks Ren shifted to her ocelot skin and hurried back home to the Gem.

A bell and a half later she arrived at the Gem and was making her way inside the secret door on the deck when she heard heard the young night lion say his voice no louder than a deep throated grumble. “GET AWAY FROM HER.”

At that Ren raced up the stairs on four legs to the bedrooms only to come to a sudden stop as she saw Ebon in his lion form between Aer'wyn and a person she didn't quite see until a faint sent of blood and as sent only know to Kelski. Letting out a strangled cat cry before shifting and rushing over to Kelski.

“What happened!? When and how she get here!?” Ren was doing what she could to try and keep from panicking. “Ebon, Aer'wyn whats going on!?” Ren looked at both males and new she was not match if either of them started to fight. So she did the one thing and that was stay by Kelski's side.
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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Kynier on July 31st, 2018, 10:12 pm

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It had been nearing the final bell before sight of the Gem came into view. Kynier couldn’t say for sure when it was he had begun his trek back, but knew that it had taken much longer than normal. He was shuffling his feet and hunched over. Fingers turned red with dried blood cupped around a large dark stain in his shirt at his side. The wound caused any breaths that weren’t shallow to singe with pain. It had made him easy prey and the extra time had been spent taking routes through places where he was less likely to be taken advantage of. From how he felt, an unarmed urchin could take advantage of him.

Kynier was half dead on his feet. Perhaps more than half. His skin had paled from the blood loss. The healing magic of his weapon was limited in its abilities and was only able to help slow the bleeding. Dark circles hung from his eyes and dragged the skin to give him a gaunt expression. He was too tired to be hungry, in too much pain to be tired, and too worried to care about the pain. Every part of his body cried out in some form or another. And his willpower was growing too thin to keep it all under control for much longer.

The last hundred feet to the door felt like a mile climb up a mountain. Kynier was almost of a mind to find somewhere else to stay and recuperate. Three days ago he told Ebon he wouldn’t be back until he had found Kelski, and he hadn’t been back since. And he hadn’t found her either. Most of his effort had confirmed where she wasn’t. It wasn’t until this morning… was it this morning? The last night he had slept was the 59h and the days had all blurred together. Earlier, Kynier had finally gotten a viable clue on where to search, only to have made a series of mistakes in a matter of chimes.

Filled with the resentment of failure, Kynier turned the latched and opened the door by leaning his body weight against it. Everyone was probably trying to sleep and he didn’t expect to see them. But a sound was echoing from upstairs that was out of place. “Music?” Kynier closed the door gently and started shuffling to the stairs. That was when a voice rang out. Kynier couldn’t understand what it said. The volume was too similar to the music. But he saw Ren in her cat form running madly up the stairs. Kynier followed suit. While it felt as though he ran up the stairs it was actually a slow climb. Each step needed a hand pulling on the railing for assistance. His breathing was loud and circulated both in and out between steps.

At the landing he noted that the door to the master suite was open and he heard Ren’s voice questioning both Ebon and Aer’wyn from that bath chamber. When he walked over he stood in the doorway and took in the scene before him. Aer’wyn was standing on his own sword with pleading hands up towards Ebon. The night lion stationed itself between the Akalak and the tub. Ren was kneeling beside the tub behind Ebon. The animated statue and the occupant of the tub were not within sight. For some reason they were turning on each other. Kynier didn’t know why but wouldn’t allow it to happen. They needed to be united and strong and not falling apart at the seams.

Kynier took a deep breath to fuel his voice. “Enough!” What it lacked in volume it made up for with intent to get all their attention. Still cradling his wound he took a few steps forward into the chamber. “What exactly is…?” Then he saw her and his voice faltered. Disbelief overtook the expression of irritation he had a tick ago. Kynier felt as though his insides had fallen to the soles of his feet. Slowly he approached the tub and fully took in the horror of it all.

“Kelski,” he whispered desperately.

He didn’t kneel so much as fell to the side of the tub, draping an arm over to support his weight because he no longer felt the strength to do it himself. Both hands floated over the water as his eyes welled up. Kelski was silent and her eyes were closed. It would’ve appeared peaceful had her marble toned skin not been offset by bloodstained water. His breath came in quick but deep wheezes which sounded irregular. It only aggravated his wound slightly to breathe that way rather than cry out as he felt the need to. A hand reached out hesitantly. She looked so frail. His fingers dipped slowly into the water and gently took her hand as though she were the most fragile thing in the world. Kynier pulled her hand closer to him and began to weep.

Tears that he had held for a lifetime came forth. Tears that should’ve been shed over his father’s corpse and his mother’s abduction broke free. The reservoir beyond his eyes held nothing back as he pressed her knuckles against his upper lip. Sight hadn’t been enough to rule out delirium for sleeplessness. Feeling her pruned skin in his hand, the smell of her scent in his nostrils, and the taste of water thinned blood on his tongue; only with all of these did he accept the sight before him.

Kelski was here. She had no longer disappeared.

Kynier choked on his own sobs and was forced to close his eyes. Each tear stung at him and there were more than he thought himself capable of. When he opened them again his sight had a watery haze. Through it he could still see the remnants of injuries that she had suffered. She had to have been here a while for a bath to have been drawn. Which meant that Ebon had already applied his healing hands to her. For that Kynier was grateful. Right now he didn’t want to know how bad it had been. Relief and sadness were claiming equal shares in his heart.

“I’m sorry,” he forced through a sob. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t find you.” Had his limbs not been so tired he would’ve climbed into the water just to hold her closer.

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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Kelski on August 2nd, 2018, 12:18 am

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Ebon backed off as soon as Aer’wyn did. The Night Lion had good instincts and he’d read Aer’wyn’s change in body language and smelled his fear acutely. “Why are you afraid to touch her?!” He demanded quietly, a lion cub just growing out his first locks of mane. The healer came closer, moving around Rhaus who had grown silent with his little sculpted eyes wide and round with concern. He got the rippling skin under control and didn’t shift out of his human form, but it was a close thing that he hadn’t.

Ebon glanced over his shoulder where he’d put himself behind Kelski and between her and Aer’wyn when Ren burst in. “It’s okay, Ren.” Ebon said, his voice still rumbly with his Night Lion form very close to the surface. “She’s hurt. We’re not sure how she got here.” Ebon said, eyes still on Aer’wyn. He drank the air deeply and said… “Kynier’s here too now.” Immediately drawing the scent of blood as the mage came up the stair and through the main quarters. He also shivered because his gnosis mark kicked in its compulsion as Kynier knelt down on the side of the tub opposite of Ren and took Kelski’s hand. The young male lion knew the man would try and take control, but still he flinched when Kyner said enough. Ebon flinched, backed down, and circled around to kneel behind Kynier. He reached out, sliding his hands beneath Kynier’s shirt and laid them on his bare skin. The Kelvic hissed at the severity of the wound, first covering the deep stab with his palm and willing his gnosis to cleanse the wound where it was already going septic. Then he got to work mending the tissue as best he could.

Kynier’s wound was too deep for a full healing. Ebon couldn’t yet handle those situations, though he did cleanse it and turn its angry edges normal with his power. He guaranteed it would not infect and turned the septicemia back on itself, flushing it out of Kynier’s system as any good first marked healer of Rak’keli could do. He also infused the man with more energy, easing the exhaustion and tiredness, and taking away the pounding head from the erratic return across town. He could do little more than mix up a poultice to pack the wound with and wrap it tight. He gently left Kynier to start the process and gather the bandages needed to do so.

Meanwhile Kelski felt warm fingers interlace with her own. She’d heard Kynier enter, saw Ren too out of the corner of her eye, though she could not turn her head to greet either person. She hadn’t wanted too. She wanted to be left alone. Kelski wanted to sleep a million years, then wake up, eat something fat and bloody, and then sleep a million more. She was thirsty beyond belief too, even though she was soaking in a tub of water. Her dried and cracked lips begged for water and she’d been focused on trying to muster up energy to move, maybe to stand up, and go out to the pump head on the balcony, and see if she could crank up a few ice cold buckets. But her limbs were dead weight, and her ribs hurt every time she breathed. She felt somehow dirty, somehow small, and a whole lot diminished from what she had felt she’d been before. There were very few drugs still in her system but she felt acutely drugged. And even as her eyes managed to fix on her hand being held by someone elses, she traced the hands up and down arms and finally over to faces… and her confusion struck.

The drugs had made her see Kynier as much as Darvin. It was something Darvin had worked on called Desires. You took it, and whomever you were with turned into whomever you wanted to be with, regardless of what you were doing or where you were… it was a heavy hallucinogenic drug and just seeing Kynier there for a moment confused Kelski.

“I killed you already…” She whispered out a scratchy parched throat, and brought the fist he was kissing to her own lips. Kelski began to thrash in the water, as if she were trying to get away from Kynier. Teeth flashed viciously through dried lips and she sank her teeth into his fist where he gripped her hand, nearly biting to the bone. She hadn’t latched on like a lion, but rather struck like an eagle, biting deep and releasing. Then her tongue licked her lips and she frowned, still struggling in the water, causing a lot of it to slop up and over the edge of the tub. The blood tasted differently. When she’d garroted Darvin and sliced open his neck to the bone, she’d gotten a face full of blood and had swallowed a lot of it just in trying to breath. A predator always remembered her prey. This blood wasn’t Darvin’s blood but rather Kynier’s instead. The real Kynier… not the horrible one who had done terrible things. And as she realized it, she cried out as if she’d broken open her own skin with that nasty bite and flung herself at him. Despite the broken ribs and other injuries – the cracked jaw and cracked orbital ridge – she wrapped her arms and legs around him, flinging herself up and out of the water not caring that she was soaking wet.

She buried her face in the apex of his neck and shivered against him, holding on tight, not even realizing he was wounded himself. Kelski didn’t say anything… there wasn’t anything to say. She just clung tightly, seeing Kynier as her safe place and wanting to crawl inside of him and not come out ever again.

Ebon had returned with a poultice mixed in a bowel and cloth laying over his arm. He glanced at Aer’wyn and then Ren, raising an eyebrow and shaking his head. Little Rhaus had climbed down off the tub and walked over to Ren. “I know who that one and that one is… but I’ve never met you. I’m Little Rhaus. Kelski brought me.” He said softly, and held out his little clay hand to Ren. The statue looked like an old man and carried a couple different musical instruments on his back via a strap. He had a rich lovely voice and seemed fairly familiar. “That man over there is Kynier I take it? She asked for him a lot, sometimes called Darvin by Kynier’s name just after he dosed her with more drugs. I had wondered who that was she was always seeing.” Little Rhaus said, then glanced over at Aer’wyn.

“You okay, Akalak? I thought your other soul brother was going to surface there for a moment and kill us all. How come? You were practically rippling like a kelvic about to shapeshift. If you are Aer’wyn, then who is your brother?” The Statue asked, its little feet clinking towards Aer’wyn… its mannerism friendly. His voice was classically trained and he projected it enough the whole room could hear. "They do know you have two people inside that body don't they?" He asked, glancing around, looking rather thoughtful.
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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 7th, 2018, 1:03 pm


Aer’wyn’s world became unrecognisable. As Red burst into the room in a state of near panic the only thing he wanted to do was comfort the frightened Kelvic, let her know Kelsey was going to be ok. Her heart matched his own in worry. But she was just out of reach. An Invisible force kept him frozen and that force wasn’t fear or anguish, it wasn’t even Ebon’s threats. His muscles weren’t his own anymore.

A sight of blood followed soon. A growl that could only be Kynier and how he wished that everyone just listened to him. But the suspicious Ebon sent his mind into a third wind and the next thing he knew, something pulled him back. It felt as if an arm yanked back at his hair and sent him falling over a cliff for darkness of the waves bellow to take him. To the rest, it would all look no different. The akalak still stood there, like a mountain. But he was not Aer’wyn. Not anymore…

From beneath dark browns, with a subtle smirk slowly curling his lip, Vel watched the human’s and Kelvics. So these were his Brother’s friends. Each one of them he’d become quite familiar with. Each one of their names he knew along with every secret they had ever imparted onto Aer. They were not strangers. But they were no friends of his.

Slowly, letting the moment pass by, Vel knelt down and gripped the. Handle of his sword. It returned to it’s rightful place, in his right palm. A steel extension of himself.

As the little statue potted towards him, Vel too took a stride or two. No more were necessary. A blue hand swept little Rhaus off the floor, brought him close to Vel’s face so that he could momentarily examine the object of his fascination. “My, my.” A low purr rippled in his throat. They were Aer’wyn’s vocal chords, but the voice was somehow different. Darker. “Aren’t you a little wonder. I owe you my thanks. Without your little inquiry here, he may have even managed to hold me back. But here you are, setting me free.”

He returned the little statue to the floor. Little Rhaus had nothing to fear. Neither Did Kelski. As for the others, Vel was still making his mind up about that.

“And now that I am free I’m not going back.” His words were early calm. A smirk on his face as if the Akalak had found the whole situation amusing. The sword spun in his hand. A flash of steel in the moonlight. “To answer your question, little Rhaus, up until now they had no idea. Such as good friend, is Aer’wyn, isn’t he just? To lie to his friends without a speck of shame for such a long time… unthinkable. But I codlin’t be his secret forever.”

“Vel.. please don’t hurt them…” Her’s weak voice echoed in the voids of his mind, inaudible to all but Vel.

The smile melted away. A Mask of severity was etched into the midnight blue face in it’s place. “The name is Vellisius. I’m the true owner of this body. Aer’wyn... he’s just an inconvenience.”


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[The Midnight Gem] Live to see the sun rise

Postby Rene Rafar on August 11th, 2018, 11:00 pm

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Ren relaxed a little when Ebon informed her of what was happening as well as acknowledging Kynier coming in behind her. She shifted her current position to make room for the mage to be close to Kelski she wanted to comfort him as he looked upon the wounded kelvic sitting in her tub. She just didn't know how it would be received.

Ren looked over at the little stone figure seeing him for the first time sense entering the room. A range of emotions ran through a range of shock to fear into anger only to settle on protectiveness at finding out about Vellisius. If she was in her cat form her back would be arched and ready to hiss. She didn't have any words to share as she was now focused on this stranger in Aer'wyn's body not quite sure what to do but was not going to leave either Kynier or Kelski's side if she needed to she could shift to her cat form to help defend the ones she calls family.
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