Completed The Absent Heart

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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on August 26th, 2018, 5:01 pm

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Timestamp: 63rd of Summer 518.A.V


The adrenaline from the previous night’s escapades wore off quickly, leaving the mage feeling exhausted. It had been several nights since he slept, adding dark circles under his eyes. The last time he had something to eat was also difficult to recall. Though the hunger was a dull ache that he had grown accustomed to, rather than the sharp need for food it had been the previous day. The smart thing to have done would’ve been to stop and return to the Midnight Gem. Perhaps Kelski had returned safely, and now they were worrying about him.

No. Kynier could feel that she was still missing. That despite his hopes and desires, she wasn’t home. It wasn’t a thought that came from worry, the way a mother feels when their child has been out of sight longer than their liking. Something in the mage’s heart told him, she was still missing.

If he couldn’t find Darvin in the Sun’s Birth domain then he would have to find the man outside of there. Having escaped to the south to the Western Heights, Kynier began there. His eyes searched for Dragoons and the downtrodden. The members of the gang may have an understanding of the brute’s movements, while the beggars and urchins would be the look outs. Though none of his information networking provided any useful information. Darvin hadn’t been seen in the Western Heights for some time. And there were no Dragoons that Kynier saw that morning either.

By the tenth bell the mage had made his way around to the Gated Community. Kynier’s expectations were low as he entered the district. Another of the Sun’s Birth abandoned territories. But here were the highest end merchants who had a low tolerance of beggars and undesirables being visible on their streets. The mage’s expectations were met after several bells of wandering. Somehow he was going to need to set up some sort of presence here so that he could learn what happened in the Gated Community.

By the seventeenth bell he had abandoned the Gated Community and entered the Riverside. Expectations were difficult to set here. It was Night Eyes territory so it was possible that they would be informative. But it was Night Eyes territory, so they could probably choose to ignore him and not have any interest. Still he ventured around the district. What he heard frequently was that the brute hadn’t been seen in several days. Also his activity on the streets had been quite low during the summer. The man was apparently well known for the drugs that he would make. Drugs that Kelski said he’d test on her.

It was too dangerous to go back into the Sun’s Refuge and search for him. The man hadn’t been seen for several days. And he’d been inactive for the summer. Prospects that weren’t on the complete edge of desperation were diminishing quickly. Kynier wanted to form some sort of plan. But the necessary information to do so was proving difficult to acquire.

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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on August 26th, 2018, 9:58 pm

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Nearing the final bell, Kynier was roaming the Riverside district. If a dead body was to be dumped by a Sun’s Birth, he would suspect it wouldn’t be done in former territories where the gang probably still had some connections. Leaving it on the Night Eyes’ claim, as the Daggerhand had done, seemed to be the most likely possibility. Assuming that any care or thought was given. Otherwise…

The shadows were no longer as helpful as they were. And they’d only been partially helpful. Instead of telling him if there were any corpses, they discouraged his search. That Kynier needed rest and sustenance before he continue any further. His efforts were spreading among Akajia’s children. Some would answer before he could even ask. The less friendly ones called him foolish. That if the Favored had been lost, then the young Nightstalker was going to anger the goddess by driving himself to death in his search. There was truth to their words, but Kynier chose to ignore it. He needed to know. Not because he was a Nightstalker… because he cared.

In an alley within the southern regions of the Riverside, Kynier came to a stop. His breath was caught in his throat and his body swayed from fatigue. From behind a large collection of garbage, a pair of pale female legs lay on the ground… unmoving. The skin was so fair it looked to be made from moonlight. The bare feet were covered in dirt and cuts. Kynier’s breath began to shudder. “No,” he whispered. He tried to take a step but it didn’t happen. As his breathing ran out of control he stared at the pair of legs. “No… no… no… no…”

His lips, even his whole lower jaw, trembled. Denials poured from his mouth as he had to fall forward in order to get his legs to move. As he stumbled around the garbage he caught sight of the rest of the body. All her naked pale skin was exposed and dark hair tumbled around the face, obscuring it from view. Blue and purple marks blemished the skin around the wrists, ships, breasts, and shoulders. Blackened blood had congealed down her arms and torso from cuts that the hair concealed. Kynier’s legs gave out and he fell against the wall. Loud sobs disturbed the night as he slid to the ground. It was unnecessary to part the hair to see if it was her. For the hair was monochromatic.

The mage knew he should feel relief, but his body and soul felt none of its comfort. Kelski was still gone. She had still… disappeared. Kynier cradled his face in his hands as all his fear and worry took form in physical anguish. “Where are you?” he cried.


“Serves you right Kynier.”

The mage’s head lifted suddenly. With the back of his hand he wiped away the tears and snot that had been flowing from him. “Be petching silent again!” The voice had been almost nonexistent since moving into the Midnight Gem. Only uttering a few words when before there would’ve been entire conversations.


“This is what happens when you break an oath. Especially one that you made to yourself. Or don’t you remember?”

Kynier did remember. Though he was young and didn’t fully understand, he remembered. People in Nyka would disappear and never been seen again. The way it felt when the few he could call friends would no longer exist. How he searched for them in their homes to see everything they had left behind. No valuables or treasures had gone with them. One day there, the next day… nowhere. Was it really an oath? Kynier had never said the words. He couldn’t remember ever having the thought either. It just sort of happened. Deciding to never get too close to people again. And he hadn’t. Not with Bourin, who remained as distant emotionally as Kynier had. Not any of this acquaintances in Syliras. No one here.

Except Kelski.

And she disappeared.

“Why? Why Akajia? Why has this happened to her?” The mage couldn’t decide which would be worse: knowing if she was dead, or if she just vanished. There didn’t seem to be a lesser of the two evils. Both would crush him in ways that he would never recover.


“You’ve grown so weak letting your heart have stronger control of your actions. Get up.”

But he didn’t get up. Kynier sat against the wall feeling the need to let the emotions run their course. Bloodshot eyes stared at the dead naked woman. Sorrow for the unknown woman fell in with the dread and concern he felt for another. The thought of parting the curtain of hair to see the woman’s face came to mind and he decided against it. Kynier was going to remember this moment for a long time. He already knew that. Dead eyes from a woman he never knew would stare at him when he closed his own, and he didn’t want that. Ten chimes had passed as his anguish came to an end. Tears dried on his cheeks and he wiped his nose clean. Sitting there was helping no one. So he got to his feet and turned to leave the alley.

It didn’t feel right leaving the woman to rot in the alley. The right thing to do would be to take the corpse to the Dust Bed so that it could be put to rest. However, he had no obligation to the woman. Didn’t know her, or who her family was. It would’ve been considered an injustice in other places to leave her there. Kynier didn’t seek to correct all the injustices of the world, or even those in this wretched city. For now, all he sought was a woman he loved. But as he got to the end of the alley, he stopped. He couldn’t just leave the corpse behind. She had been a person, and deserved rest. Kynier turned back, deciding to take her to the Dust Bed.

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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 6:11 pm

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Timestamp: 64th of Summer, 518 A.V.


Going to the dust bed with a corpse had been ambitious to say the least. Carrying the woman had taken the remainder of the night and the first half of the day. After the twelfth bell Kynier had finally gotten back to the edge of the Sun’s Birth refuge. He was so tired, he was afraid to blink. Lest his eyes fail to open. For every muscle did not necessarily ache, but they were so tired that they felt like lead. Everything in him, even his mind, told him that he needed to stop. To rest. Had his heart still been present in his chest it too may have told him to stop. But it was still out there. And she had been taken by a monster.

So he didn’t stop. Kynier took long walks up and down the streets just outside the Sun’s Refuge. Approaching each patrolman, he displayed the portrait of the Kelvic and asked his investigative inquiry another hundred times. He wouldn’t try to enter the district again. Not yet. So he skirted the perimeter and caught each member of the Sun’s Birth he saw on either their way in or out of the district. And for bells he suffered no progression. Even asking about Darvin bore no fruit. They’d wave him off and tell him to get his fix somewhere else.

Kynier looked at himself. He was filthy and haggard. If he were to judge himself from an outside perspective then he too would thing he looked the part of a man seeking a narcotic release. In any other situation it would have bothered him. He simply shrugged it off and carried on. Discouragement was is main adversary now. Kynier sought to persevere through it, though at the next piece of useful information, he many actually stop to rest.

As he walked down the street, head swiveling for the next person to ask, a hand fell on his shoulder. “Hey,” said a man’s voice. Kynier spun on his heal and a hand went for his short sword. The man, a Dragoon Guardain, stepped in and grased Kynier’s wrist. A tight grip kept the mage’s hand from drawing the sword. “Hold on there,” he said warningly. The Dragoon was armored and had a longsword attached to his belt. “I’ve heard you’ve been asking some questions around here.” Kynier’s baggy eyes continued to glare down at the man only a few inches short than himself. “Questions that I could answer for you.”

At that Kynier released his grip and the expression in his eyes changed to hope. He was about to raise the portrait up for the man to see. Before he could the Guardian set a hand on Kynier’s shoulder and began to lead him into the Sun’s Refuge. “Let’s sit down somewhere and talk. You look ready to just fall over and die.” The Dragoon had a gentleness to his voice. One Kynier was too tired to accept at anything but face value. Dragoons always wanted something and never “protected” out of charity. The underlying tone to the man’s words went unnoticed.

The Dragoon led him into the Sun’s Birth territory. Kynier’s eyes darted around to take in the landmarks and where they were going. Apart from the Jolly Good Stables and the Golden Lodge, he did not know what or where anything was here. There wasn’t much to see as the Guardian kept their path to the alleyways. “I’m looking for a woman that has… disappeared,” the last word had gotten caught in his throat. It pained him to say that word with that context. For it dug at scars from his youth. “She was a slave for one of the Sun’s Birth. I’ve just been trying to see if anyone here knows anything.”

The Dragoon nodded. The man scratched at the side burn of his well-kept beard. “Mm-hmm. I see. Don’t take your treatment personally lad. It’s all just a precaution. With the Daggerhand acting up we’ve just been trying to keep things civil. But also need to guard ourselves from their brutality.” Though the senses beyond the traditional five were dulled, Kynier began to question what the Dragoon was doing. For they kept entering and exiting small alleys while going deeper into the heart of the Sun’s Refuge. As they reached the halfway point of another, Kynier stopped.

“Where are you taking us?” he asked skeptically. The Dragoon took another step before turning to face the mage. This more comfortable setting was certainly less than desirable for Kynier.

The Dragoon shrugged his shoulders. “There’s a tavern that serves the best pies. But I supposed we don’t have to go there.” Kynier did not feel completely convinced and wanted to walk away. But first he had to learn what this man knew. So he held up the portrait and the Dragoon examined it. “Yes, I remember her. The jeweler.” Djed must have converted itself into fuel for his body to function. That was the only explanation for the surge of energy Kynier felt welling up inside of him.

“I’m trying to find Darvin.” The Dragoon started to laugh.

“It would be better for you if you didn’t go looking for him. He has a bit of a savage tendency. Fellow used to be a Captain but got knocked down.” Kynier didn’t care about that. Didn’t care about Darvin’s prowess or his fall from glory. He ignored the words of the tale as the dragoon spoke them.

“I know Darvin was her guard,” he interrupted the Dragoon. “So if anyone in the Sun’s Birth knows anything about her location it’s him. Do you know where I can find him?”

The Dragoon sucked on the inside of his cheek. “Well, sounds like this is valuable information,” he alluded. Kynier dug into his pocket and just gave the man his whole coin purse. It wasn’t all that he carried on him, but it would look that way.

The Dragoon chuckled as he felt the coins through the fabric. “Darvin’s been rather secretive recently. Been seen with many unfamiliar faces. Hasn’t stuck to his normal routine. Though I remember how much of a liking he took to this Kelvic.” Kynier had not mentioned that she was Kelvic, so the man was not lying at the very least.

“Would you take me to Darvin’s quarters?”

The man’s eyes widened slightly and he gave a nervous laugh. “If you got that sort of desire to meet Dira, fine. But I won’t without sufficient pay. One hundred gold mizas.”

One of the first lessons Kynier learned in his efforts to becoming a spy, is that no amount of information was worth that much. Right? This held no guarantees because this Dragoon Guardian only served as a middle man. One that didn’t actually provide any information that was new. No. Kynier was bound to find Darvin if he kept looking. But he would not let men like this fellow before him try to squeeze all the blood from a stone because they could smell desperation. “No.” Kynier began to turn around. “No information is worth that much.”

As Kynier was starting to make his exit, the Dragoon spoke up. “Not even for a fine set of lips like that?” Kynier stopped and turned back to face the man. The Guardain was smiling despite the gaze of anger Kynier held for him. “I remember a demonstration Darvin gave of a drug that he used on her. And what she did.” The man’s smile was carnal and he shook his head slowly with an exhale. “Darvin wouldn’t let her go around despite what she did to him with those lips.”

Bile and wrath alike rose within Kynier. He took a step towards the man. “Makes me wish I had been selected for escort duty like that. That Kelvic just could not get enough…” Kynier could hear no more and drew his short blade out, cutting for the man’s throat. The Dragoon backed against the wall and reached for his sword. But the mage wouldn’t let him by hacking at the man’s waist where his hand needed to be to draw the longsword.



Word Count: 1.358

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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 6:55 pm

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Cold iron slit open the fabric and drew blood from the warrior’s wrist. The man cursed and lunged forward at the opening made from Kynier’s swing. The two of them fell to the alley ground. Kynier landed first and the man’s weight drove the air form his lungs. Wildly his other hand pushed and clawed at the man’s face to get him off. Kynier’s weapon arm was pinned down by one of the man’s hands. The Dragoon used the other to form a fist and strike Kynier repeatedly across the face.

Once. Twice. Three times those hard knuckles connected to the side of Kynier’s head. Before there could be a fourh, Kynier dug a finger into the man’s eye. It gave the man pause but the fourth fist still came. Kynier felt his vision get blurry as his head kept snapping to the side. He raised a knee to buck the man off. The Dragoon’s weight lurched and his striking hand was reoriented for bracing his weight. Kynier’s weaponless hand pulled away from the man’s eye. Fingers came together and pointed out like a dull speartip. One that Kynier thrust into the man’s neck, just below his voice box.

The man gagged and pinched down with his chin at the back of Kynier’s hand. It was ineffective, and Kynier was able to push the man off of him that way. The Dragoon covered Kynier’s stabbing hand with his own and forced it away from his neck. But not before Kynier was able to kick his legs over his head and backroll onto his feet. The man disengaged as he tried to stand. But he was more muscular and weighed down with armor, both of which made him slower. Kynier still had his weapon in hand and he used it.

Stepping forward with a small lung he swiped his blade at the man. The blue tinted metal cut the man across the forearm he used to protect his head. The armor fulfilled its purpose and prevented Kynier from drawing blood. Kynier raised a booted foot and kicked at the man’s chest with his toes. They impacted, albeit painfully, with the man’s sternum. The Dragoon huffed from the impact but rose to his feet and sent a fist at Kynier’s face. The mage tried to duck under it but was too slow due to exhaustion.

The impact knocked him backwards. As Kynier’s vision attempted to stabilize he could see the Dragoon was charging at him. Kynier sent a backhanded swing with his short sword. But the Dragoon set his hand on Kynier’s elbow and locked his arm to stop the attack. The dagger in the other hand had gone unnoticed until It pierced its way through Kynier’s flesh. A surprising impact hit Kynier in the side, and a sharp pain was felt shortly after. It made him freeze in shock. The dagger had entered all the way to the guard.

The Dragoon took it out from Kynier’s body. When he did, Kynier staggered backwards and dropped the shot sword. The strength had somehow left his legs and he stumbled. His hand covered the wound which already was soaking through his shirt and staining the skin of his hand red. The Dragoon Guardian laughed as he took a step to stand over Kynier.

“It’s all for the best, I’m sure. If the Kelvic is with Darvin, she’s ruined already. Though I wish I had gotten a chance to take my pleasure with her.” Kynier was already feeling cold despite the fire that burned in the space where his heart should’ve been. The man could not see it, but Kynier shifted his position as though he were trying to move away. Instead, his hand rested on the handle of the assassin’s dagger. The Dragoon knelt down and took a fistful of Kynier’s hair. It was then that Kynier drew it out and stabbed at the space of the man’s under arm. The blade sunk it and the man’s arm pinched his side by instinct.

The Dagger fell from the man’s hand. Kynier grasped at the man’s throat with his blood covered hand. He pulled the dagger free from the man’s arm and quckly plunged it back into the man’s gut. Wide eyes filled the face of the Dragoon. “Where is she?” Kynier snarled. But he didn’t wait for a response. The assassin’s dagger slide out from the man’s flesh and shot straight back in at a different place. “Where is she!” But the man did not say a word. He had entered shock and was struggling to simple find his breath.

Kynier pulled the blade out and struck it back in, repeating his question. The Dragoon slumped onto his back and his eyes began to widen in death. But Kynier did not stop. He knelt over the dead man and plunged the dagger into the body over and over. Always snarling, “Where is she!” Even after his arm grew weak and his grip too feeble to hold the dagger he tried to force the blade into the flesh already stricken with holes. As the last of his strength gave out, Kynier fell on his back as well.

The cold was intensifying and the world was spinning. Kynier gazed around for his short sword. Healing. He was bleeding terribly. Off to the side it lay. Kynier crawled over and slapped his hand around the hilt. With as firm of a grip as he could make, he uttered a phrase in Tukant. “I’ll Die Tomorrow.” The cold iron glowed pure white as the magic deep within that had been hidden for years activated. Healing energy flowed up Kynier’s arm before going straight to the stab wound in his side. Burning cold washed over the wound. The mage could feel the deeper recesses of the injury stitching back together.



Word Count: 972

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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 9:54 pm

Image



The short sword had saved his life. Or so he thought until the magic ended and left him with a large cavity in his side. Kynier took several deep breaths to try and purge the light headed feeling that he was receiving. He cursed himself. “Piece os Azmashe.” Kynier wouldn’t have received such and injury had he been well rested. Faster would’ve been his reaction time. Stronger would’ve been his cuts. Overall, the Dragoon would’ve have been able to slip a dagger through his flesh. Kyiner forced himself to sit up. But it was slow and many forms of motion pulled uncomfortably at his fresh injury.

Kynier looked around. No one else was insight. Thank the gods the man had decided to take them through the back alleys. But eventually someone would come. So he didn’t have much time and was again in the heart of the Sun’s Refuge. Shifting around Kynier got onto his knees and sheathed his weapon. Then he searched through the pockets of the dead Guardian. The mage reclaimed the pouch of coins he had given the man, as well as thirty two more gold mizas. There was nothing else worth consideration.

Getting to his feet was a real challenge. Light was his head and even standing up slowly disrupted his equilibrium. Even though it was so damn warm, Kynier wished he had his cloak with him. It would make conceal his injury easier. As it was, he took a slow walk down to the east end of the alley and looked around outside. Each step was paired with a heavy breath. Looking down at himself he noticed that his skin was not the very lightly tanned color it normally was. It was paler on one hand and the reason soaked his other hand.

Gods damn him. For he had been a fool. Were it not for his weapon’s magic he would’ve died in this alley. Right now it didn’t feel like he was really living though. But he should’ve returned to the Midnight Gem after taking that girl’s body to the Dust Bed. Should’ve rested and refreshed both his mind and body. However, he had ignored sanity and continued his search. Did he need to accept the possibility? After four days there was no firm trail to follow. Was she dead?

No.

Without her dead figure before him Kynier would not accept that as a truth. He would find her eventually so that at the very least, he could put her to rest. She deserved that much.

The streets were not very active. One benefit of keeping the area segregated from the rest of the city. Kynier stepped out and tried to keep his posture straight. The real difficulty was forcing himself to let his blood covered hand drop to his side rather than cover his wound. Cradling it would only draw attention. So he rested the hand on the handle of his short sword and positioned his elbow to try and keep the blood staining his shirt from sight.

Breathing was another issue. The heavy intakes of air through his mouth were loud. Keeping his jaw shut, the mage forced himself to breathe through his nose. It wasn’t much quieter, but it was something. Sweat was beading at his brow and running down the back of his neck. It felt as though weights had been strapped to his ankles with how heavy his feet were. Kynier did not want to linger but lacked the energy to leave with haste. So he tried to disguise it as a casual stroll. Though he was an outsider in the gang’s den. His path serpentine on the road to put distance between him and any on lookers.

His eyes cast a glance up at the archers patrolling the roofs. Shyke. A serpentine path if continued would likely catch their attention. Kynier took an alley to the next road over. Looking up as well as around, he checked to make sure that no one would immediately notice his presence. Returning to his casual pace he stepped out on the road and went east. Hopefully no one would ask him what his business was. If they did he would just say he finished checking his horse in at the Jolly Good Stables. Damn, why didn’t he think of that reason to get in on his own?

With the slow gait to match an aged nuit, Kynier traversed the streets. It would take bells that led into the latest points of the night to make it back to the Midnight Gem at this pace. He refused to lie down anywhere and just die. Kynier needed Ebon’s healing touch and dared not stop until he was safely back home. But the heart of that home was absent. It would feel hollow to return under Leth’s guidance and not see her there. Perched on the bed or pacing the room, waiting for him. Gods. If that was to be the fate of things… perhaps it would be less agonizing to just die.



Word Count: 839

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 619
Words: 826264
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
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The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on September 27th, 2018, 10:18 pm

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Acrobatics +1
  • Auristics +1
  • Cleaning +1
  • Climbing +1
  • Deduction +2
  • Drawing +2
  • Endurance +3
  • Intelligence +2
  • Intimidation +2
  • Interrogation +5
  • Investigation +5
  • Leadership +1
  • Logic +1
  • Negotiation +1
  • Philosophy +1
  • Planning +3
  • Shielding +1
  • Stealth +2
  • Subterfuge +3
  • Unarmed Combat +1
  • Voiding +1
  • Weapon: Dagger +1
  • Weapon: Short Sword +2

Lores Learned
  • Auristics: Focusing to see auras through tents
  • Kelski: Abducted from the Market by a Dragoon
  • Locaton: The Golden Lodge
  • Location: Slaver’s Row
  • Slaver’s Row: “Closed Markets” have exotic “goods”
  • Shielding: Tasking a Shield against Water
  • The Midnight Gem: Home in the truest sense of the word
  • The Vino: Sometimes have exotic slaves
  • Darvin: Was acting unusually during Summer 518
  • Darvin: Took sexual advantage of Kelski when using drugs on her.

Penalties
    Stab Wound: Will take 3 months to heal. 15 days with consistent use of magical healing if used each day. Physical activity will be limited to partial bending and lifting small items.
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: 619
Words: 826264
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Journal
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Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
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