Completed The Absent Heart

Something has gone wrong at The Midnight Gem.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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

Moderator: Regime

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on July 29th, 2018, 10:57 pm

Image

Timestamp: 60th of Summer 518


It was nearing the twentieth bell before Kynier entered Baroque Bay after a long day of observation and trailing for Doler’s interests. While the work hadn’t been to further his own knowledge on any of the gangs nor the relic that had arrived at the beginning of the season, it had been tedious. While performing spy work was all about discovering information exchange it seemed as though that was Doler’s focus recently. Kynier had to perform a series of trespassing to discover someone’s letter or note about something or another. It was becoming difficult to sift through the information as it was all jumbling together in his mind. So he was on his way back to the Midnight Gem for some rest before probably needing to do it all over again tomorrow.

Coming up the street from the southwest he saw the two storied building and its familiar sign hanging over the door. Kynier smiled though he didn’t really understand why. It wasn’t due to the size or the space that was available inside. Nor was it the materials that had been packed in. Yet somehow it was home in the truest sense of the word. As he stepped through the door he felt more at ease. Standing in the showroom with all the glorious crafts surrounding him he closed the door. “Evening Ebon,” he said to the kelvic behind the counter. “Would you like me to change the sign?” Ebon expressed that that was unnecessary and that he was happy to take care of it.

Without any more exchange with the night lion Kynier made his way to the workshop. It was quiet on the other side of the door so he carefully opened it silently to not interrupt whatever Kelski was actively working on. It was dark in the workshop and she wasn’t there. Kynier closed the door and went to the basement to see if she was training. Stepping down into the dark he felt the presence of the Gem’s shadows. They were still behaving differently to him compared to shadows elsewhere in the city. When Kynier was the only Nightstalker present they were courteous, but still withdrawn. Zavath had perhaps only spoken a dozen words to him in the whole time he had been living at the Gem. Kynier tried to not let their favoritism bother him, though some days it was a harder effort than others.

Before reaching the bottom of the stairs he could tell that no one was using the training room. No candles were lit and no exertive grunts echoed. Climbing back up the stairs he closed the door and went up to the common area. Ren lay on the arm of an armchair snoozing, otherwise it was vacant. Kynier’s brow furrowed a little at this point. He went out onto the balcony and leaned over the side to see if anyone was using the fire pit. No one. There was only one last place to check. Going back inside Kynier went to the master suite. Kelski wasn’t here either. No reasons to why she may be out came to mind… except for Ebon’s approaching birthday. At the landing of the stairs he called down to the night lion. “Ebon, do you know where Kelski is?” The young lad’s head came into view.

“She hasn’t been back since she went out this morning.”

This morning? That seemed like an unusually long time for her to be gone. Normally Aer’wyn performs the business related errands unless it’s something very important. “Okay,” Kynier said returning to the master suite. He took off his boots, his weapons, and his vest. Going back out to the common area he looked at the collection of dishes that had accrued during the day. Arming himself with a rag he got to work on cleaning up the mess. Some of the dishes had been sitting out for a while and took some extra physical effort to remove the residue. After a spending the better portion of a bell, Kynier had successfully cleaned all the plates, glasses, and utensils.

When he was done he took a pair of apples out of the pantry and proceeded to eat them. Sitting down at the long table he chewed in the silence. For over two years he had lived alone and had grown appreciative of the silence. But for not even a third of a full season he had been immersed in the social environment of the Gem. This was perhaps the first time he sat at the table in silence, and it didn’t feel right. Kelski was strong, smart, and capable, but something about her being gone for so long nagged at the back of his mind. Kynier was sure he was just being obsessive as well as paranoid. A distraction would help.

From the cupboard he grabbed a glass and went outside to the water pump. When it was full of cool water he took a sip and went back to the common area. Once there he sat on the floor just in front of the doorway that led to the balcony. Kynier set the glass of a water on the floor in front of him before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. Then he took another long deep breath. He meditated on his breathing to make it the only thought that he had in his mind. Other thoughts would try to insert themselves during the process, but Kynier would just expel them along with his breath. The inner peace that a Shielder required happened to be located close to unconsciousness. To avoid rapidly approaching the latter Kynier opened his eyes just a sliver.

With his thoughts clear of distraction he conjured the djed with his will. The once empty mind filled itself with thoughts of a shield-weave to bring into being. As the energies wove together with his will Kynier mentally reached out for the glass of water. An arcane pull brought the liquid element into the weave to add to its characteristics. Opening his eyes a little wider Kynier set his focus on the door frame. With a few slow motions of his hands he directed the mystic energies to create a barrier in the doorway. The air rippled as a translucent shield formed itself within the frame. For an instant it reflected light from the common area before seeming to disappear.

Kynier stood up and examined the shield. If the weave held then water and rain wouldn’t be able to pour inside if the doors were still open, allowing the cool air of the night to blow through without the risk of a night rain soaking the interior. From straight on it could only be seen if you were actively looking for it. As for the shape and thickness… there were gapes between the shield and the door frame. The thickness also appeared inconsistent. Kynier shrugged. It would be better in time.

Time. The shield had taken almost a whole bell to create, and still she hadn’t come back.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
Last edited by Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on July 29th, 2018, 10:58 pm

Image


For a long time he paced about the common area. The remnants of water the weave didn’t take sloshed around in the glass he held. Mentally Kynier went through the list of things Kelski frequently tended to. There needed to be a reason why she was out so late. It was far too late for it to be conventional business matters. The kelvic had taken an interest in the Quay and the happenings there. Perhaps she was doing what he had done before, taken a high vantage to observe their movements. It was possible. What was also possible was that she had simply taken to her feathers to fly at her pleasure. Kynier gave his head a violent shake as though to loosen such thoughts in hopes they’d fall away. He drank the last of the water then cleaned the glass. When that was done he went to the master suite and removed most of his clothing.

He left the halfway open and climbed into the bed. The large quality bed was comfortable and the night still a bit warm. Kynier lay there with the sheet covering only his lower body as he laced his fingers behind his head and stared at the ceiling. Two bell ago he could’ve fallen asleep on a raft in a storm. Now it eluded him. Every so often he would roll onto his side before eventually flopping back onto his back. That sensation in the back of his mind would not rest. It was something that he had only recently begun to experience since living at the Gem. Worry. It wasn’t the same as what that khur-va Ashara would invoke. This was something else that he couldn’t describe.

Kynier’s eyes struggled to stay closed. When they were his mind just wouldn’t be at ease. His ears were actively straining to hear the door open or the soft patter of feet unique to the Kelvic that had herded everyone to this place. It was no use. Kynier sat up with an agitated groan. Quietly he padded over to the window and looked up to see where Leth was. Glowing high and bright. It was about the second bell of the next day.

“Something’s definitely wrong.”

With the exception of some secret she kept from him, there was no reason for her to be gone at this hour. Kynier was the one with the habit of late night to early or even midmorning returns. He got dressed again and paced the bedroom. “Be patient,” he told himself. “At least wait until Syna’s rise before doing anything rash.” But what was he to do? He very well couldn’t just sit here and he couldn’t sleep. Planning only took chimes to do and he needed to do something for bells. Kynier stopped and went to the desk they had managed to squeeze up against the wall between the wardrobes. He took out a few sheets of parchment and the charcoal from his artisan’s kit.

Exiting to the common area, Kynier fetched a candle and sat down at the table. His mind wasn’t calm and he had to focus hard to find his djed. Once he was able to concentrate on the mystic power within he brought it forth and willed it into res. A small coating of res in liquid form settled on the tips of his fingers. Kynier snapped them with the will to ignite to create a small flame. Before it could die out he set it on the wick. Then for a chime he just stared at the blank sheet before him. When it had passed he folded it in half then folded the parchment the other way on the same crease. He did this multiple times before cleanly ripping it in half.

An image of Kelski came to his thoughts. One centered on her head and the long hair that framed it. Kynier set the charcoal to parchment and began transferring the image from thought to reality. Starting with the point of her angular face and creating the curve of her jaw. Carefully he made each stroke as the outline of the kelvic’s head formed. Flipping the charcoal to the more pointed tip that had developed, Kynier drew the shape of her brow followed by the eyes. His perfectionist nature dwelled on the eyes. Molten silver orbs that he could see behind the veil of his eyelids. If he spent the rest of his days working on capturing even half the essence those eyes had, Kynier would die a failure.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on July 29th, 2018, 11:01 pm

Image

Timestamp: 61st of Summer 518



For bells Kynier toiled over his drawing. Shading the lips to match the darkness and etching the hair. Attempting to portray the ombre shading was a bit difficult. Rather than mark an endless amount of individual strands with an equal amount of applications of charcoal, Kynier outlined the mass of it and shaded the darker portions. Then he took the time to make lines as thin as he could to indicate the hair continued rather than connection to something resembling a mop.

The candle had nearly burned itself out. Leaving a heap of warm wax with barely any wick left to fuel the flame. Kynier looked out the doorway to the balcony. The darkness of Akajia’s domain was beginning to recede. Syna would be visible before the bell’s end. Kynier stood up and stretched out the aches that he had ignored. Unless Kelski had snuck in to sleep in her workshop, she hadn’t come home at all. Kynier retrieved a handful of fruits and cashews. There was no sense of hunger but he knew that it was there, lying beneath the other feelings he was experiencing. As his teeth crunched down on his simple meal Kynier went down to the workshop to eliminate the possibility, all the while hoping that she had. The door swung open. The workshop was dark and devoid of kelvics. For a chime he stood there, confronting the thought he had hoped was nonsense throughout the whole night.

Something wrong has happened.

Growing concern banished the fatigue from his muscles and his eyes. Kynier half ran up the stairs to the master suite. Hastily devouring the last of the fruit he dawned his belt and attached his weapons. This morning he bore the short sword as well as two daggers rather than one. When he tied his boots he slid the assassin’s dagger into the inside of his left. All the while he tried to think of what it was he would actually do.

The possibility that she had simply grown distracted by something, perhaps something important, was low on his list of possibilities. Someone may have tried to harm her. Either for her physical beauty or for the coin that she carried, both were to be considered. Kynier wasn’t sure which district to even begin in. As he stepped out of the master suite he stopped. A terrible thought occurred to him. Apart from death it was the worst outcome he could think of. “That. That I will investigate first.” Kynier went to the table and snuffed out the already dying candle. He took up the portrait image of Kelski and packed some more food into his pack.

Money. He was going to require more than he normally would carry. Kynier went back to the bedroom and unlocked his personal chest. Several sacks containing his personal funds were set against the side. Kynier took out thirty golds and just as many silvers to add to his usual haul. Taking several smaller pouches he divided it up to avoid the jingling sounds that begged for his life to reach a short end in Sunberth. The pouches with gold he placed in his hidden vest pockets while carrying all the silver in his pant pockets. Weapons. Mighty Quill. Food. Money. Determination. With all these at hand he descended the stairs. A door closed from upstairs causing him to stop and look back. Ebon walked to the banister with no regard to modesty. The night lion was yawning and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“Kynier? Didn’t you get any sleep?”

“Kelski didn’t come back at all Ebon,” he said forcefully, avoiding the question entirely. When the statement registered Ebon seemed to instantly awaken.

“What? Wait! I’ll come with you. I can…”

“Stay here,” Kynier said with clear indication he wasn’t to be argued with. “I hope to be wrong. But if I’m not and she comes back while I’m away, she may need your touch.” Ebon looked infuriated at being told to stay until he followed Kynier’s thought process.

“You think she might be hurt?”

“She’s Kelvic. In Sunberth. I won’t deny the possibility.” Kynier turned for the door, “I’ll be back as soon as I find her.” Closing the door behind him Kynier walked out onto the predawn streets. He headed southwest, to Slaver’s Row.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
Last edited by Kynier on August 3rd, 2018, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on July 30th, 2018, 12:42 am

Image



Seldom did he ever visit this place. Too strong were the emotions that it brought forth on a regular day, and today was far from that. Nearing the tenth bell Kynier was walking through the Slaver’s Market. Cretins stood at their stalls offering supplies to aid in the utter ruin of another’s life. Collars and chains to whips and ropes. Others had their “wares” out for view. The number of people that stood in their exposed skins was staggering. Kynier had a hand set on the hilt of his short sword in a manner one would use to look relaxed. But he wasn’t. Wrath caused his hand to grip the handle until his knuckles were white.

A scowl rested over his eyes as he scanned the market. Kynier cursed himself for not having spent more time trying to understand the function of this place before now. Allowing his discomfort to dictate his actions now caused him to have no knowledge when he desperately needed it. Kynier held the portrait picture in his other hand. He went to each stall in turn to inquire about Kelski.

“Have you seen this woman? Her skin is very pale and her eyes are silver.” The telling of her description became a script. One ending in a firm “no” or a shake of the head. Word of him must have spread throughout the slave market. After the first bell of asking people began shaking their heads and waving him away before he could start. Such dismissals were infuriating. It was far too soon to offer any mizza for information. Being in the drudges of greed Kynier would only receive falsehoods for his money. He also wanted to hand as little over as possible to merchants with the nerve to put a price on another person’s life.

When it looked as though he had taken a full circle in the market he came to a stop. This was a good thing, he told telling himself. Had she been taken as a slave, her possessor wouldn’t wait to extort someone for personal gain. Though Kynier hadn’t planned on where to go afterwards. There was the whole rest of the city to search. Before he could come to a decision someone called out to him.

“You there! You the one looking for that woman?” Kynier’s heart froze, unable to determine if it should sink with despair or rise with hope. He turned to the man calling him. An older man standing next to a stall with slave collars and contraptions. Kynier walked over to the man with a glare he couldn’t conceal. It didn’t seem to disturb the fellow. “That woman sounds like quite an exotic beauty. I could tell you where you should be asking about her, for a price.” The man’s smile was incomplete with gaps in his teeth. Kynier asked the man what the price for information was. “Five gold mizzas.” The tip of Kynier’s nose began to snarl.

“One gold mizza,” he countered.

The slave merchant scoffed at him. “I can get more than that for taking a shyke. Five gold mizzas or you can keep trekking through a market that’s had enough of you.” Enough of him?

Kynier took a step forward, invading the man’s space. “One gold,” he snarled lowly, “and I suggest you take it.” The man wasn’t quite Kynier’s height, but didn’t appeared too deterred by the threat. The older man examined him for a moment as he leaned away. His gapped smile returned with a chuckle.

“Be careful who you threaten boy. Many here are accustomed to subduing people with more fight in them than you.” Pointedly Kynier withdrew the short sword from its sheath a half inch. The man’s smile flickered, “Whoa whoa whoa!” he said with a defensive waving of his hands. “A gold’s fine. It’s fine.” Kynier slid the weapon back into place and brandished a gold mizza. He held it out but when the old man went to reach for it Kynier closed his fist around it.

“Where?”

The man sighed. “You’ll need to talk to Lasher. She specializes in exotic… goods. Check with the ‘closed markets’ in the tents just a mile north of here.” The man’s choice of words nearly made Kynier slash his throat. Goods. Such a quaint term to devalue another living soul. Kynier slapped the coin into the man’s chest and hard as he began walking.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart post #5

Postby Kynier on August 3rd, 2018, 2:02 pm

Image



Following the directions that were given, Kynier came to a large clearing. Though he suspected that it was never actually clear. Tents of various sizes were erected everywhere. Cages that were empty, full, and all the stages in between were scattered around the place. The cages weren’t stationed for display but were built into wagons for ease of transport. As he walked Kynier looked at nearly every face behind the rusted bars that separated them from freedom. Akalaks, inartas, and several more races occupied the cages.

Now he understood what was meant by “exotic goods”. Not human.

There were numerous people in cages that looked human from a distance. Many of them wore collars that were bound tightly around their necks. Kelvics. Kynier couldn’t help but look at all of them as he walked through. How was it that the world accepted this? The not human races were strange but they could feel and have desires, ambitions, and think like humans. What was it that made their value lower than ours? Lower than his own?

Lasher. Somehow he needed to find the woman in the midst of this cursed scene. The people who were outside the large tents and canopies, yet outside a cage, appeared to be merchants of a sort. Kynier overheard several sales pitches attempting to sell a kelvic for a skill, or an akalak as a beast of burden. It was sickening to hear. Kynier wanted to stop and ask around for Lasher, but felt positive if he did that he’d only make a scene. So he kept walking in circles, looking for a person not engaged in devaluing another’s life.

That’s when he heard it. A series of loud cracks and snaps, accompanied by cries of pain. They came from inside one of the largest canvas tents which had four points large column supports that made the tent appear to have steeples. Kynier stopped and listened. Snap and scream. A whip. “Lasher,” he muttered to himself. He stepped through the door flaps of the oversized tent and paused at a sight. A large bear with reddish brown fur was surrounded by over a dozen individuals. It roared and groaned at the oppressors with as it swiped and chomped at any that came to close. It was denied the option of just charging through by the spears they held out before them. Another crack of the whip rang out over the commotion and the bear flinched.

“Get that kelvic collared!” a woman roared. “Or else you’ll find yourself in one!” Kynier made his way over to stand outside the circle of blades preventing the bear’s escape. The kelvic stood on its hind quarters and roared threateningly. It was a hopeless situation, one that weighed down on Kynier’s heart. The bear wouldn’t make it through without serious injury, and possibly die. Even if it did, it would have to make it out of the market. And a stampeding bear or a naked person running frantically would be easy to notice. Kynier could do something perhaps. He looked around for something. But there were nothing but cages, weapons, and collars. Too many slavers were around, and he was just one person.

Kynier mentally apologized to the kelvic. Any interference on his part would only put them both in jeopardy with no clear way out. If he did act on it, he wouldn’t get the information that he needed either. The core question was who he wanted to help more? The stranger, or the woman he cared deeply for?

A spearman lunged forward and cut the bear across the side of a hind leg. It was deep and must have severed a tendon, for the bear’s leg buckled and it crashed down on the ground. It began to squirm on but stopped when the circle enclosed further on it. As though it understood the futility, the kelvic shifted back to human form. A broad, hairy chested young man lay on the ground with a deep cut along the side and back of the leg. Someone one ran forward and snapped a large, ugly, awkward looking slave collar around the man’s neck.

With the situation over people started returning to their stations. A pair dragged the subdued kelvic to a large cage with a few of the bars bent outward. A woman remained at the scene, wrapping a whip into loops around the palm of her hand down to her elbow. She was thicker and taller than most women. Her predatory gaze fell on him. Kynier felt he was being examined for purchase the way her eyes rolled up and down his form. “Who the petch are you?” she asked gruffly.

Kynier closed the distance between them as he spoke. “You must be ‘Lasher’. I’ve been told you’re the one to talk to about exotic purchases.” He looked over his shoulder and at the bear kelvic. “I see that that includes kelvics.” He returned his eyes to her. The woman had a natural snarl to her expression, the way her upper lip seemed perpetually pulled up.

“Tiandra Veecos. Call me ‘Lasher’ again, and you’ll experience it firsthand.” Kynier gave an acknowledging nod. Had it been any other situation, he would’ve found the threat amusing. “Kelvics, eypharians… petch it, give me some time and I could get an akvatari.”

Kynier held up the illustration of Kelski, “A kelvic. I’m looking for this one in particular.” The slaver took the parchment and examined the profile. “She’s been missing for a day. She’s quite pale, had black and white ombre hair, silver eyes, and dark lips.” Tiandra looked at him over the parchment. Kynier could see she wasn’t thinking about her inventory. She was examining him and trying to draw a conclusion. Kynier didn’t shy away but met the gaze head on. He prayed to the Night Mistress that the slaver would say no. He wanted to find her quickly, but not in here.

“Who are you then?” she demanded.

“Someone that would make the purchase if you have her.”

The slaver shook her head. “That’s not entirely it. You’re not the bondmate, if she has one. I know because I’ve seen them come around searching for their pets, their friends, and their cock holders.” She pointed a finger at him, “but you want her. Badly enough to pay?”

Kynier stared at her hard for a moment. “Yes.” Tiandra narrowed her gaze. Silence lingered between them as she seemed to mull things over. “If you don’t have her I’ll go looking somewhere else. If you knew where I should look, then I would happily compensate you for the information.” But his expression didn’t portray happiness or pleasure to accompany the offer.

“Silver eyes with black and white hair?” she said looking at the portrait again. “Not something that I have, nor have I heard about it. Kynier pressed a fingernail into the side of his thumb and tried to conceal his anger. Call her an It one more time. The woman held the parchment back out to him. “Something that exotic would fetch a fine price. The Vino are good suppliers and may have something like that.”

Kynier took the parchment and fished through his pockets for five gold mizzas. He handed the slaver the coin. The exchange made him feel unclean and his stomach lurched. He offered no thanks to the woman and just turned to leave. His eyes fell on the bear kelvic, who watched him go with pleading eyes.

When I can, I’ll be back. And I’ll burn this market down.



Word Count: 1,260

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart post #6

Postby Kynier on August 3rd, 2018, 3:46 pm

Image



A few bells later Kynier was walking through the Sunset Quarters towards the Quay. He was eating some of the fruits that he had brought with him. His stomach grumbled for more after the last bite of the apple rand down his gullet. To stop and eat at a tavern would cost time Kynier didn’t want to waste. The process of slavery was a foreign concept to him. A person was taken captive, collared, and sold. More than likely it was a more involved process than that. If that thought was true then Kynier had very little time to allocate in order to have a hope of finding Kelski before she was placed on display, if she wasn’t already.

Outside the Quay stood the wall. Just over ten feet high it surrounded the whole district. Who managed to afford to pay for the construction was something Kynier wondered each time he saw it. The Quay itself had very few buildings to wall off. Maybe the wall was Pre-Valterrain and more important structures were going to be built behind it. It was impossible to say. Kynier wandered the perimeter towards the northwest edge. His eyes traced over the masonry that had aged with many subtle cracks forming in the stone. The only imperfections of note where the stone rose vines that somehow grew through the solid surface. Kynier was looking for a particular vine he had previously discovered.

It wasn’t far from the gatehouse and allotted a decent view of the Quay House on the other side. The first rose of the vine rested just below his knee and reached up nearly to the top of the wall. Kynier placed a foot on the lowest rose and reached above his head to grip another. The strange rock flower was able to support his weight well enough, though it would bob a little. His other hand grasped for a flower even higher before his other foot would set itself on a stone rose. Alternating hands with opposite feet felt like a slower process of climbing, but safer. He wasn’t scaling a mountain, but any fall on the head would be enough to bring it all to an end.

When Kynier got to the top and rested his weight on his forearms and elbows which lay parallel with his shoulders. The climbing vine only provided a base for both feet that Kynier’s wide stance could barely accommodate with any degree of comfort. With his head only just sticking out above the wall, he could see over the courtyard, the tents that were stationed around the complex, and the Quay house itself. There were no wagons to be seen but several figures were roaming around. His observation of the Quay had been very inconsistent this season. The Daggerhand had taken up most of his efforts due to the Night of Masks. Because of that, Kynier had no bearing on when the Vino brought in their wagons with slaves.

Kynier muttered an incantation to himself. The words assisted him in accessing the power of his djed. A string of words that his mind was able to quickly associate with the power and find it easily. Djed flowed to his eyes and opened his Sight to the mystical nature of the world. As though the weather had drastically changed, mist formed nearly everywhere. All the auras of the tents were entangling with each other. And the people emitted different colored clouds from their souls of varying hues. Kynier looked over each one without focusing on any of them. He was hoping to find that familiar aura. One that he had observed on several occasions in order to achieve a better familiarity to it. Alas, none of the auras in view bore any resemblance.

So Kynier drew his gaze to the nearest of tents and concentrated. The Sight pierced its way through the material to show the mists that lay beneath. Kelski wasn’t in that tent. One by one he peered through the structure to be sure she wasn’t here. It wasn’t long before his eyes began to ache from harnessing the djed and the taste of metal coated his tongue. Once he had eliminated all the tents Kynier closed his Sight. The Quay house was still a possibility. But he wasn’t a skilled enough Aurist to search through a whole building from the outside. Kynier would have to make further inquiries.



Word Count: 735

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart post #7

Postby Kynier on August 3rd, 2018, 5:23 pm

Image



For a few chimes he remained perched on the wall. He considered how he was going to approach this. If either the man or woman, whose names he never got, were present it would go smoother. A false persona had already been established for them despite how they never left a message at the No Man’s Land. Not that it mattered, but it did prove that those two were more corrupt after more than a season had passed and no adolescent boys had allegedly been taken captive by the Vino. Which was unlikely.

Shifting his hands to support his weight, Kynier began his descent from his perch. It was slowing going down than coming up. Reaching with his feet always felt awkward. Tightly he gripped the stone roses when his arms had to bear all his weight. When there was just a couple feet left Kynier set the balls of his foot against the wall and pushed off. Keeping his knees from locking, he bent his legs to absorb the impact of the ground. With a quick brush of his palms against each other Kynier set off towards the gatehouse.

The old iron portcullis loomed overhead. Spear tipped bars angled down at the ground made Kynier nervous about walking under them. This made the Quay feel like it was designed to be more of a fortress despite being part of a port city. There were probably very few people capable of causing a breach in the defenses of the district, so that made the Vino have the best base of operations among all the gangs. That’s probably why the Vino and the Daggerhand were the only ones expanding their territory. They were organized enough to hold their own and reach out simultaneously.

Once inside the complex, Kynier walked straight towards the Quay House. Someone was bound to intercept him, and that was the plan. Before they could Kynier called upon his djed once more. The warm sensation he felt internally at its motion through his body made his skin tingle. Power flowed to his eyes as his Sight opened again. Kynier had absolutely no understanding to the building’s interior. Slowing his pace a little, he concentrated on looking through the walls of the structure. It did not look as though the effort would bear any fruit. No auras became visible behind the stone walls despite his concentration. Kynier pinched the bridge of his nose where pain was beginning to accumulate and closed his Sight.

“Move along friend,” a voice said in a very unfriendly manner. Kynier opened his eyes to see a Symestrian with dark skin tones and bright eyes. The man wore dark robes of a high quality silk. As Kynier looked him over he noted no weapon was visible. But the man’s postures was strong and confident. It made Kynier feel unease.

He forced a smile, “I will, but I came to check on something first.” The Symestra eyed him dangerously. Kynier slowly reached into his pocket for the parchment with Kelski’s likeness. “Someone I know is missing. She’s got pale skin, black and white ombre hair, and silver eyes.” He held up the illustration for the man, who didn’t bother to look at it.

“She’s not here.” The man’s tone was firm and edged with displeasure.

“Are you sure? I would hope you would think in it a bit more. I’m willing to pay for her purchase and would give extra for…”

“She’s not here,” he repeated with the same tone. Kynier’s eyes narrowed. The man was expressionless and unmoving. “There’s no woman here that matches that description. Now leave.” Kynier folded the parchment up, eyes searching for a tick or something in the man’s demeanor. But there was nothing except the edge in his voice.

“Alright. But remember, I’ll pay handsomely for this kelvic.” He turned around, unsure if he should hope for the Symestra to change his mind or be glad that he seemed to be telling the truth. Silence followed his steps even though he could still feel the man’s gaze on his back. With no evidence to show that Kelski had been captured and sold to slavery, for a third time, Kynier felt a glimmer of reassurance. She would probably rather die than reenter that life, and he couldn’t blame her for it. With that possibility taken off the list… where was she?

Syna had a few more bells to go before she went to rest. Kynier decided to start roaming the streets and examining the alleys in the southern districts. To check on the corpses.



Word Count: 763

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on August 25th, 2018, 7:29 pm

Image

Timestamp: 62nd of Summer 518 A.V.


Throughout the night the young Nightstalker had searched through the southern districts of the city. Sunberth always ran green with envy and greed; as well as red with blood and murder. With so many alleys that existed there was no time to search them all. So Kynier had pleaded with shadows to assist him. Only enough to tell him whether there was a corpse present in their proximity, to save from combing through every square foot of the city. Yet there were dozens of bodies lying in the night to decay in secret. None of them were her.

Syna’s light was painting the sky in preparation of her arrival. Merchants and workers were soon to arise and begin their day. Kynier made his way to the Seaside Market to begin making inquiries. At the eight bell the market was already packed with people preparing for the next, and possibly last, day of their lives. Kynier made his rounds, going from shopkeeper to stall owner, showing the portrait of his Feather. “Have you seen this woman?” he repeated what seemed to be a thousand times only to receive a thousand disinterested shakes of the head by the fourteenth bell.

Petch it all. Where are you?

Sometimes the mage suspected that his love was rather conscious of her appearance. That she probably wished to appear more human and less exotic in nature. Kynier hoped that years from now he could reassure her that her appearance wasn’t as noticeably unnerving as she suspected. If it had been, it would’ve so much petching easier to find a witness to her movements. As it was, his Feather was simply another face to be forgotten to the masses. “Have you seen this woman? Her skin is very pale and her eyes are silver,” he asked a merchant to a stall selling men’s clothing. The man shook his head as well and Kynier turned to leave him.

“Wait.” Kynier stopped as though he were about to step over a cliff and spun around abruptly. The merchant indicated the portrait with a hand. “Lemme see tha’ again.” Kynier held up the portrait for the man to take a long look at it. “This woman, she ‘ave hair tha’ turns white a’ the end?”

“Yes!” Hope surged through the mage. “You’ve seen her? When did you see her?” he asked rapidly.

“She was ‘ere two days ago. Drunk! Nearly knocked over all m’ wares!” Kynier’s brow furrowed. That sounded nothing like her. There wasn’t a time he could recall ever seeing her in that sort of condition. Let alone see her wandering through the city like that.

“Yes, that sounds like her,” he lied. Kynier didn’t want to make any statements or corrections that would seem like accusations. This was his first clue and he didn’t want to lose it based off an unnecessary remark. “What happened after that? After she knocked over your merchandise?”

The merchant shrugged. “Nothing much. Some large bloke appeared and started ‘pologizing for ‘er. Took ‘er away.” Kynier’s throat seemed to compress and breathing became more difficult. Someone had taken her.

“What did this large man look like?” The merchant shook his head and waved Kynier away as though whatever happened wasn’t his concern. The mage quickly dug into his pockets and drew five gold mizas to set on the table. Far more than any other occurrence he had paid for information, but this was by far the most important piece of knowledge. The man stared at the coins in surprise. “All your’s. Just tell me what the man looked like and what happened between him and the woman.”

When the man went to reach for the coins, Kynier closed his grip around them. Exhaustion and hunger were not yet strong enough for him to slip from one of his primary rules of information gather. Knowledge first, money second. Though desperation was near enough to let it slide. The man scoffed. “’e was really big. Twice yer size abou’. Looked like a fighter too. Like one of them Dragoons. In fact, I think ‘e had the brand too.”

A Dragoon? So the Sun’s Birth decided they weren’t done with her despite her freedom. Kynier handed the coins to the merchant and set off west. Following a trail he thought had been buried in Kelski’s past.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on August 25th, 2018, 7:31 pm

Image



Most of his efforts had been dedicated to the Daggerhand. They were the rising force among the gangs. Them and the Vino. The Sun’s Birth had wealth and some sway of influence. But from the things he had heard and been told, they seemed to be on the decline. Seeking comfort instead of control. As Kynier walked the perimeter of the Sun’s Refuge he watched an evaluated the patrol movements. Syna was descending but still had bells of daytime to provide. The challenge was, Kynier had spent almost no time in the Sun’s Refuge except for a few occasions.

The only location he knew was the Jolly Good Stables. Yet he saw no reason for his Feather to be there. From what Kelski had told him, there was a place called The Barracks where the members of the Sun’s Birth lived and slept. He didn’t know where that was and doubted he would be allowed inside. So he stalked the perimeter until he saw a tavern. The Golden Lodge were the characters written across the sign. That was as good of a place as any to start. Hopefully a Dragoon member would be deep in their cups to let slip some information.

Kynier approached the door. The structure itself was smaller than those that surrounded it. But the quality of construction was still better than most of what you would find in the city. When the door opened music and drunken singing wafted through along with the smell of fresh baking. It made his stomach grumbled loudly. When was the last time he had gotten something to eat? Before the answer could come to mind, a thick fingered hand slapped the mage on the chest to impeded his movement.

“Sun’s Birth only. Show me a brand, or get out before I throw you out on your arse.” The man was taller than Kynier and thick with muscle. The mage had nothing that would satisfy the man. So he raised the portrait up for the man to see.

“Have you seen this woman? Her skin is…” but the man took hold of Kynier’s shirt with both hands and was lifting him onto the balls of his feet to drag him out. “She was a Sun’s Birth Slave!” he blurted before he could be dragged anywere. But instead of being taken outside, the mage’s back was slammed into the wall, really hard.

Foul breath emanated from the man’s lips as he pressed in close. “If she were a former slave, then she’d no longer be welcome here. Just like you.” Violently he was pulled away from the wall. The door was kicked open and Kynier was hurled from the threshold. There was no way to really accept the approach of the ground as he was thrown sideways and rotating in the air. So his impact was without grace as Kynier tumbled across the ground. A few barks of laughter escaped the tavern before the door slammed shut.

Brushing off the dirt from himself, Kynier realized that both his hands were empty. Where did the portrait go? Frantically he did a quick circle, looking around the ground for the parchment. It was being carried away by the soft wind. “No!” he ran over and tried to snatch the parchment several times. The gods must have been amused for only a few ticks when the first couple of attempts failed. After that the wind let off enough that he was able to grab it. Kynier held it up and worked at getting the creases out of the parchment for a moment.

Looking back at the Golden Lodge, he thought of what he was going to do. While Kynier could begin to venture around Sun’s Birth territory looking for more locations to potentially hear some viable information, taverns were generally the best resource for that. If he couldn’t get inside, perhaps he could catch someone coming out. Not at the front door though. He would be driven off and probably fairly quickly. So the mage took to the alleys and roamed around the establishment, searching for any other entrances.

In the back there was a door. The stink of garbage lingered in the air as Kynier took position at a corner that allowed him view of the door while staying out of sight. And there he stood for a long while. Multiple times he considered abandoning the endeavor as insects bothered him by flying close to his eyes and ears. But eventually the door did open, and a woman with long brown hair in a braid came out carrying a few buckets. Kynier stepped out of his hiding place and took a few cautionary steps towards her. “Excuse me,” he said to get her attention.

The woman wasn’t startled by him, but rose to her full height and eyed him with a sharp gaze. “No handouts stranger. Sun’s Birth only.” Her tone was flat as though she had to say it a hundred times a season.

Kynier held up the portrait even though it was too far to actually be seen properly. “I’m looking for a woman that used to have ties to the Sun’s Birth. I just wanted to know if anyone’s seen her around.” The woman seemed to consider that for a moment before she dumped the contents of a bucket into a large bin. She set the bucket down on the ground and looked at him again.

“What’s this woman’s name?”

He dared to take a single step forward. “Kelski.”

The woman shook her head and emptied another bucket. “Don’t recognize that name.” He wasn’t going to give up that easily.

“She was a Sun’s Birth slave until recently. A kelvic. With silver eyes as well as black and white ombre hair.” At that the woman paused and gaze him a look he didn’t know how to interpret. A moment of silence passed between them as Kynier expected her to say something. When she didn’t he continued. “She’s a jeweler. Her owner was the Warmarshal’s son.” The woman bit her lip and averted her gaze.

“I’ve not seen her in some time,” she said softly. “But I remember her. Her eyes always made me feel uncomfortable. Not the color, but the looks she had. When they weren’t dead, it seemed like she was ready to rip someone’s throat out.” Kynier could believe that. While Kelski could be so full of life he had seen times when she retreated inward. Like something from a deep memory called out to her and refused to allow her to forget. The way her eyes dulled and seemed blank.

“She’s gone missing,” he urged to the woman. “Is there anyone in the Sun’s Birth that would try and take her?” The woman opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the door to the tavern opening. Kynier’s hand that held the portrait lowered as his eyes trailed to the newcomer. An Akalak with no shirt and tattoos across his body came out.

The woman didn’t even glance at the fellow but turned her eyes on Kynier. “I told you,” she said with a scolding tone, “No service to those that aren’t members. And no! I don’t know where Darvin is!” The akalak stepped forward, a silent intimidation. Kynier had no hesitation in backing away. Whoever the akalak was, the woman wouldn’t talk about Kelski in front of him. But she had said a name Kynier had nearly forgotten about. Darvin. Of course.

Kynier turned away without a word and left. There was no destination for his footsteps, just away before the Golden Lodge decided to throw him to the ground again.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Absent Heart

Postby Kynier on August 26th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Image



During the night the Nighstalker roamed the streets. Clinging to the protection of shadows in order to remain obscured from view of the patrols of the Sun’s Birth. In the Sun’s Refuge the streets and buildings resembled that of what a real city should look like. In a way, it reminded Kynier a lot about Syliras. The way the city was patrolled for crime and fairly well maintained. The Sun’s Refuge was a miserable shadow of that. The branch off from the Knights of Syliras mimicked the purpose but only for their own selfish desires.

Moving through the Sun’s Refuge at night was immensely challenging. Apart from the men on the ground there were archers on the rooftops. Kynier often found himself waiting at a corner for several chimes before the opportunity to move presented itself. Measuring the distance to the next alley and estimating how quickly he could cover the distance, in conjunction with making sure the archers and patrols were not paying attention. One thing he had decided on, was that he didn’t like this district very much.

The streets were kept clear of beggars and urchins. So there was no one he could easily convince to tell him where anything or anyone was. Kynier had to move about the shadows and scout on his own for any information. He suspected that any attempt to talk with an affiliate of the gang would result in a significantly lighter purse for useless information. What he was looking for was the Barracks. Darvin most likely had a place there. Although there wasn’t much of a plan after that. Darvin was a capable warrior. The man had taught Kelski how to use daggers. And Kelski was a much more capable fighter than him. Size and skill were not in the mage’s favor. If he had the opportunity to question the brute, he needed to think of something to get the man talking.

There. Kynier nearly leapt from his position in the alley as he hastily made his way to the next one. Slightly hunched to help quiet his steps, yet not so low to shorten his stride, he sulked across the street. Before he made it there he heard something whistle past him and bounce of the cobble road. It was an arrow. “Stop there!” a voice called. Kynier looked up at the source of the voice and saw an archer with an arrow knocked and aimed at him. Shyke.

The exact opposite is what he did. Kynier ran into the alley as he heard another arrowhead strike against stone. His mind raced on what he was going to do. It was possible that he was in the heart of the district, with archers stationed along the rooftops and Dragoons roaming the streets. Somehow he needed to get out of sight and hide. Running down to the other end of the alley he stopped at the corner and quickly peered around. The buildings weren’t as tightly packed here as the rest of the city and none of them appeared to be abandoned

The mage pressed himself against the wall and slide down to the other end to double back. His eyes were constantly shifting from the streets to the rooftop above him. Outside the alley he could see archers shifting quickly on the rooftops, looking for any signs of intruders. Kynier mentally cursed. He couldn’t get out of the alley and it wouldn’t be long before a patrol searched it. There must be a place to hide. There wasn’t though. The streets were clean and devoid of clutter. It seemed inevitable. Kynier drew his short sword and held it against his leg, to prevent any light from gleaming off it to give away his position.

It wasn’t going to be much help. They were Dragoons. Trained fighters paid to enforce their will against people like him. Kynier couldn’t run, he couldn’t fight, and he couldn’t hide. What other options were there?


“Distract.”


Hearing His voice in his mind alone was reassuring. The suggestion echoed in his thoughts as the mage looked around for a means to create a distraction. Everything was stone, so a fire would only be so effective. Everywhere was being watched, so throwing fire would be too easily noticed and bring even worse trouble down upon him. What else could he do?

Kynier ran back down to the other side of the alley again. Shouts were ringing out in the night as the patrols were trying to coordinate with the archers on what was happening. If he could give them some sort of false trail…

A glint of light caught his eye. A window from across the street that had reflected some torchlight. Kynier tilted his head a little in thought. “That might work,” he whispered. Pressing his back against the wall he set his eyes on the window across the way. With a deep steadying breath he tried to calm his mind and push away distracting thoughts. Without the time for a complete meditative trance, Kynier mentally pushed through his fear and racing heart towards the space in his body that didn’t physically exist. The pool of djed, which sat deep in his soul, wasn’t still as the urgency of the moment caused it to be turbulent.

Taking a small portion of the power, Kynier brought it forth and focused on the space behind the glass. Calling for the void to answer his summons, he willed his djed to come to life. Ticks slowly passed as his power flowed from him to a distant place. The connection felt weak and delayed. Beads of sweat dotted his brow as he willed the flow of magic to become more active. Kynier felt it more than he could see it, the tear forming in Mizahar’s reality. Pouring more djed into the flow, the mage willed as strong of a pull as he could in the window’s direction.

After a chime he could see the glass rippling. The pull wasn’t strong enough yet. Kynier felt his chest begin to spasm as yet more magic was forced into the summoning of the void. Eventually, it had been enough. The window shattered and the debris was sucked into the rift. Kynier cut off the flow of djed and tried to silence the heavy breath he needed to take.

“What was that?” a voice called from down the road. Kynier doubled back yet again. Patrolmen would investigate the window, only to find nothing inside. The archers would hopefully be keeping their gaze around that structure for movement. Checking on the archer’s awareness first, Kynier slipped out of the alley and along the structure, heading south. For now, the Sun’s Refuge was too dangerous to try and search through. He would have to find another way to track down Darvin.

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
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
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests