Open [Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Kelski lights a bonfire to do some relaxing away from The Midnight Gem.

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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Kelski on September 3rd, 2018, 1:40 am

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This wasn’t exactly good news for Kelski. The fact that ghosts were real didn’t set well with her beings that many people in Sunberth had been freed of their earthly bounds by her hand or her daggers or even a garotte wire. Those that were close to her killed as well. And in her book, on Architectrix, Kelski had read that sentient buildings drew ghosts. It disturbed her in a way she hadn’t ever been disturbed as a Kelvic? How did one fight something that was dead? Darvin came to mind immediately and the Kelvic felt a coldness rush through her soul, all the way from her toes to the follicles of her hair on her head. She swallowed hard, met Anja’s gaze, and nodded.

“Will you tell me sometime of the signs there is a ghost near? I worry… this place is violent. Many have died. Some have died hating me.” She said softly, so softly, it might have been hard to tell she was saying anything at all.

Wait… what? “Meriann?” Kelski tossed her head like Maisa did when she was startled or exceedingly unhappy and blew out a long breath. “You are sure? Very sure?” She asked, tilting her head sideways as goosebumps rose on her arms. At Anja’s further words, Kelski nodded. “If it is your work, I will gladly pay you for such measures. I would even exchange jewelry for you, if any would help you in your work.” Protections from ghosts? Yes, please, especially one soul in particular that was nastier than most people ever conceived of being when he was alive.

And though the conversation moved on, Kelski would remind him later and bring it back up. She smiled at the thought of a friendship with a horse. She liked the animals, for all that she was a predator herself. Eagles had no qualms with big grazers. Birds and horses often got along well, with the avians following along as the horses grazed, eating the bugs the horses freed from the grasses. And in exchange, often the birds would perch on the necks and rumps of horses, eating flies and other pesky bothersome things. And while Kelski wasn’t even remotely that type of bird, she still respected all animal life and would make sure Maisa felt welcome if she wanted to come eat the overgrown grass.

“My kind are not like the humans who roam thickly in the cities. We are far fewer and often blend in unless we are unfortunate at birth to be born with features…. Well features such as mine. Strange eyes, unique coloring… that sort of thing. But if you watch closely, you can tell a Kelvic. They will be drinking in scents, scanning the area like a dog or cat will, and they often hear or see things before humans do.” She advised, shifting on her driftwood seat and getting more comfortable.

Picking up another smoked fillet, Kelski nibbled this one with less hurry than the last one. She found that she often got full these days now that she was not a slave and could eat freely whenever she wanted too. She listened quietly as Anja explained what the Sea of Grass was like and her eyes softened.

“To soar over such a thing would be amazing. I will have to see it someday. It sounds like such a beautiful thing… a thing of very unique beauty.” She said in response. “And yet, I bet it has its own places, its secret byways… streams and rivers, copses of trees… things that clue your people in to traveling it. The ocean does too if you know where to look. Tell me.. .is there a God of the Grass? There is one of the Sea and it would stand to reason if your home is like that someone rules over it.” Kelski said wistfully. She loved hearing stories of the Gods and learning of new ones.

At his explanation of what a wife was, Kelski nodded. “That sounds like Bondmates. My kind bond to humans, though they can be bonded without being lovers. Kynier is my lover… my mate… but I have been unable to bond with him. Something isn’t right inside me. I wanted to for a long time…. I felt like I could. Over and over in fact when I met him, but the time wasn’t right. He was a stranger. And I held back… even though I love him. And now it doesn’t try. It holds back through no fault of his. We have never talked about children. He might put a child in me someday. I don’t know much about it. But Sunberth is dangerous and children don’t live long. Kynier might not live long either. Humans never do. They say our lives as Kelvics are shorter because we live the length of our animals. Mice Kelvics might live only a couple of years where eagles like me can live forty or more. But he could live to be a hundred… far longer than I will ever see. It is the way of things… the way of life. Life is rarely fair or equal, no?” She added, taking a bite of the salmon, and chewing thoughtfully.

“I am sorry for your wife. Did she linger on as a ghost? If something happened to Kynier in life, I should like to see him live on as a ghost if he wished it as well. I had often thought there is life beyond death because sometimes I meet people I feel I recognize. You, for one, are very familiar to me though I have not known you before today. I feel like speaking to you is safe and I trust my insides. They never lead me wrong. I want to talk once more about what you said… that you could protect houses from ghosts. I have reason to think my home… The Midnight Gem will attract them. Good reason. And there are dead people I do not want to see again, not ever…” She said gently, thoughtfully. Talking to Anja was soothing, almost leveling in a way that she didn’t experience with most people.

Kelski could see why ghosts were drawn to him.
Last edited by Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 22nd, 2018, 8:32 pm

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Anja could see the trepidation seize Kelski as he spoke of ghosts. It was a tangible thing. Her entire body might well have turned to stone, such was her stillness. Anja wondered at the anxiety that had seized the kelvic girl. Kelski struck Anja as a person who had suffered a great many trials and tribulations. Death settled against her skin like a shroud. Not a thick one, certainly not when compared to many of the other people of the city for whom murder, death, and despair was a constant companion. But yes, she did know death. Anja could feel himself faintly drawn to it. Whether there was a sort of comradery there that resonated with Anja’s own death scored past, or for some other reason, the Eiyon couldn't say for sure. She knew death, but didn't soak herself in it. At the very least there was something reassuring about that.

Kelski’s nervous explanation revealed much. She was frightened she might be haunted by the ghosts of the dead she had wronged? Well...it wasn't impossible. Her fear certainly wasn't misplaced. Anja had not yet met a violent ghost who could not be reasoned with. But there was always a chance, and ghosts could difficult to control. “If a ghost is near, you may feel a presence, as if you are being watched. You should trust your instincts, even if it seems there is no one around. The air may grow cold, particularly if they are trying to do something. You may see objects move around. That is only if they don't choose to show themselves however. If they do, I expect you will know exactly what you are looking at. They will appear much as they did in life, though they may bear the wounds that caused their death. Their forms are translucent, and their edges blue. You will see soulmist, a misty white substance, swirling inside of them. That is their essence, what they are made of.”

Anja nodded when Kelski asked for clarification on Meriann. “Yes, very sure,” he said. “She will not trouble you. She has moved on.”

The spiritist smiled reflexively at Kelski’s enthusiasm towards protections for the house. “I would be happy to set up wards for you,” the man said. The thought of jewelry was appealing, as well as nostalgic. “Do you work in topaz?” Anja asked. “I once had many topaz trinkets but I was forced to sell them.”

When Kelski spoke further on kelvic's, Anja took a moment to observe Kelski closely. Perhaps it was the flickering light of the fire, but Anja had not noticed anything peculiar about her. Now that he was looking closely, he did see a few things. Her hair was streaked with white. Perhaps not so unusual in a place like Syliras or Zeltivia where people could afford exotic dyes. But Sunberth? Unlikely. But although it was unusual, it was her eyes that were truly extraordinary. Eye color couldn't be dyed. Perhaps magic could change them, but such action in Sunberth was unwise, and Kelski was no fool. “I see what you mean,” Anja said finally. “You have very striking eyes.”

By now, the man had eaten more or less his fill. He was somewhat malnourished, and as a result his shrunken stomach gave him a small appetite when compared with his days back on the sea of grass. Not wishing to be impolite and, frankly, realizing he needed to eat, Anja finished the last of the food that he had taken and made no move to eat anymore. For the moment, he was simply enjoying the conversation. A small grew on his face as Kelski spoke her fantasies of the sea of grass which were so close to the truth that Anja wondered that she hadn't been there before. Perhaps she had, long long ago, in a life she couldn't remember. “It is a beautiful place, deadly a secretive in all it's beauty,” Anja said. “There is no God specific to the sea of grass, not like the sea has. The Goddess of the Wilderness Caiyha, the God of Storms Zulrav… and of course, Life and Death, Kihala and Dira.” Anja touched his palm gently and turned it upwards to reveal the gnosis mark embedded there. “I, personally, am a humble servant of Dira,” Anja added.

Kelski’s revelation about her relationship with Kynier came as a bit of a surprise. Not in it's content; relationships were complicated and Anja couldn't imagine it being any easier with a kelvic. And Kynier. Anja didn't know enough about her situation to offer advice. What made a person bond with another? “We Drykas bond with our striders. I wonder if it's similar? With us, our strider chooses us. If it does not try, perhaps the time continues to not be right, or maybe it is not meant to be. For now perhaps you should be satisfied with what you have. Children can always wait. Timing is important. Perhaps there will be a day where you wouldn't have to worry about your child's safety. As it is now, I would not have wished my son to be here. Life is...certainly not fair.”

Anja could feel the heat of the fire warming his cheeks and he closed his eyes for a moment. This fire was calming... warming. Not seeking destruction, the way the flames had on the night he lost everything. “She did not stay,” Anja said. “Nor did any of the rest of my family. I would not have wanted them to. I cannot impress on you any more Kelski of how miserable a Ghost’s existence is. They live in pain. They are miserable and sad, seeking revenge or retribution or hungry to solve their unfinished business. It is not a life that anyone should wish for anyone.” The man was mildly startled by the woman’s statement, but after some thought he nodded in agreement. “You feel familiar to me too. In the Sea of Grass, the people there live many lives over and over there. Our striders are often our deceased relatives. I believe Maisa was my grandmother in her past life. So perhaps we were friends once.” He smiled at that. Something there felt right.

“I do not have the materials I’d need to set up anything right now,” Anja told Kelski as the woman asserted needing protection from ghosts. “But the process is not overly complicated. I believe I have finished eating for the moment. If you’d like, perhaps you could show me the areas of your home you’d like protected? I could ward some of the rooms of your home, or perhaps the entire house, although I’ve never done a job that big before. I may have to ask my employer for advice. We would need enough materials for the job.”

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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Kelski on September 25th, 2018, 1:39 am

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Kelski hadn’t actually wronged anyone that she’d killed – at least not that she knew. But there was someone in particular that had haunted her life and she was certain would haunt her life in death if he could possibly get away with it. It wasn’t that she was afraid of Darvin. It was that she was knowledgeable about his stubbornness and tenacity to persist and come out on top in all things he seemed to actually screw up. His demotion from Dragoon had just allowed him more free time to pursue his drug selling and network establishment while living in relative comfort without responsibility.

The Kelvic listened to Anja running down the list of things she might feel if a ghost was near, and Kelski nodded, soaking in the information. “If one manifests, can it hurt you? Can you do anything to fight it?” She asked, even as Anja spoke of Meriann. Kelski didn’t care for the svefra, but had been unhappy to have to kill her at Tall Johnny’s. She was relieved when Anja said for a certainty that the woman had moved on. Something about the commitment in his voice told her he believed it and thus she did too.

Kelski smiled at Anja’s comment about her eyes. “Thank you. It’s from my Kelvic form. Sea Eagles have silver eyes… silver and black feathers too… a bit of white. It’s the easiest way to spot us… unusual coloring.” She added, offering him a smile in return.

“I work in all kinds of stones. I do have a bunch of raw topaz that has been wanting to be cut. I’d gladly pay you for your time and cut anything like you need it cut especially for your job, even if its not related to the security of my place. Gems need things to do... purposes. Especially if it means protection. I just don’t know how to be sure this particular person will leave me alone even though he is dead. I… his name was Darvin. He was a disgraced Dragoon of The Suns Birth Gang. Nasty man… sold a lot of drugs to people, traded in flesh, and when the Sun’s Birth owned me last season and the season before, he was my guard. In a sort of act of desperation, I made a poor trade with him… teachings about dagger in exchange for him being able to use me to test drugs on. There are a lot of times I don’t remember. But when I was freed… I won my freedom… he was enraged. Later, he darted me in the Market. And he took me for days. It was a bad time. I awoke chained to his bed, where he raped me multiple times and kept me drugged. An ally slipped me a garotte and when he thought I was good and drugged, and he was distracted taking pleasure, I took his life.” Kelski said softly, being forthright.

“He was surprised at the death. Angry. Disbelieving. I don’t know anything about ghosts, but in his place, I would linger and hunt my killer.” She said thoughtfully, wanting Anja to completely understand the situation just in case. “I wouldn’t be so forthright with just anyone… but I think you are safe to talk too. You might be right. We might have known each other sometime and someplace other than now. I don’t wish Darvin a bad afterlife, but I suspect he would not be happy anywhere.” She said softly, glancing at Anja, hoping he understood.

Kelski was glad Anja spoke of the Sea of Grass. She had a feeling it would be a place she would really enjoy. She loved that Anja listed who ruled the Sea of Grass… that he mentioned faith and had the Gods in his life. She was spiritual too. “I follow the Night Mother, Akajia. I follow her because she chose me young and did something for me no one else had ever done. Do you follow Dira for specific reasons, Anja?” Kelski asked, curious.

She listened to his answer and how he spoke of the Drykas and how they bonded to striders. “I have no idea if the bonding is similar. I want to bond with Kynier but there are problems… always has been.” She said softly, blinking thoughtfully. Then she nodded at the wiseness of his words. “I am very grateful. Believe me. I thank Her every day for the richness of my life. Kynier is one of my blessings.” She added, making no bones about it for Anja.

Kelski nodded when Anja confessed his wife didn’t stay nor did any of his family. She understood now she’d spoken prematurely and in ignorance. She wouldn’t want Kynier to stay either if anything happened to him. “I said earlier what I said because I didn’t know about the lives ghosts lead. I would not want Kynier to linger in such an existence either.” Sitting here by the fire, she felt a companionship, even a kinship, with Anja she hadn’t felt often… almost never in her life. She noticed his thinness and frowned at it. “You look, not to offend, but like you have been living hard. You are always welcome to come to The Midnight Gem at mealtimes. We always have extra even if its not the most professionally cooked food. We gather and one more is always welcome. There’s other Kelvics living with me you could meet too and Maisa could graze. You could use warding rooms and the whole house as an excuse to come, and I would love that, but you don’t have to do anything to accept an invite. I can provide some materials if you give me a list. As long as they are things I know or can get easily, I will gather them.” She said thoughtfully. “And if the work is hard, there’s always spare rooms you can spend the night.” Kelski said, looking like she wanted to say something else and was debating whether to do so or not.

“The Midnight Gem is special, Anja. It is alive in a way I cannot explain. It has sentience and because of that, I have been told by those who understand the magic better that it draws ghosts. So that’s why I am worried about it. The building likes company… it likes caretaking and fussing… and such a thing in Sunberth can be dangerous. I really think your services will be needed…. more than you realize.” She confessed, her voice low even though no one else was around.

Kelski ate one more fillet, shamelessly, because her high metabolism and the shifting demanded it. Then she added more wood to the fire as the light began to fade.
Last edited by Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 28th, 2018, 3:39 pm

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Anja could tell that Kelski was absorbing everything that he had to say to her. She was taking what he had to tell her at at his word which was refreshing. Were all kelvics like this? Had she not been in Sunberth for long? Or was this simply because of that strange feeling of comradery that resided between the two of them? It was refreshing, regardless. Anja was used to being doubted by the people of this city, and being regarded respectfully and having his advice taken was a nice change of pace. Anja also liked that it was Kelski believing him. He somehow thought he'd be more hurt if this woman doubted his words than he would be if it were someone else doubting him.

“It can be difficult to handle ghosts if you’re not a Spiritist,” Anja said haltingly. “Their ability to effect the environment around them has a great deal to do with their strength. They can hurt you yes, particularly if they’re powerful. And the only way to really hurt one is through the use of soulmist.”

Anja reached into the sash around his waist. Although it was a decorative item, it also served as a makeshift sword belt to hold his bastard sword and as a pocket to carry smaller objects. Anja reached into the folds of the cloth and pulled out a vial, which he showed to Kelski. “This is soulmist,” Anja explained. “It's the substance that ghosts are made of. Spiritists use it to work their magic. We can create it ourselves through rituals, or we can take it from ghosts. There are many uses for it, but one of them is to apply it to a weapon. Ghosts are normally intangible, but with soulmist they can be harmed. They cannot be killed however, only repelled. If you hurt them enough they will become weak enough that they can't harm you, but they will reform again if given enough time.”

Anja replaced the vial carefully inside of his sash. “There are other methods of control. We can place ghost beads, which are large heavy beads infused with soulmist, around the inside of rooms to create places that ghosts cannot enter. If you are being persistently and maliciously haunted this is often the best method to use.”

Anja couldn't help but smile reflexively. Smiles did not come often to Anja, but he seemed to be smiling a great deal tonight. “You sound so passionate when you speak of gems,” the Drykas said. It was endearing to the man. He knew the passion that came with work being the center of one’s life. The smile faded as Kelski turned the conversation back to the man who she feared might haunt her, and by the time she had finished his expression was very grave. Anja had felt that shroud of suffering, grief and death that hung off of Kelski but he hadn't been capable of knowing the origin of it. Kelski was seemingly as open with her grief stricken past as he himself was. It was another thing that the two of them could relate to each other through.

Based on what she had said, if Darvin came back as a ghost he would be frightening indeed.As a courtesy to Kelski, Anja would not mince words.

“The circumstances in which you speak of could certainly cause someone to become a ghost. If he feels he has unfinished business with you, then yes it’s possible.” Anja closed his eyes in thought for a long moment. “That is one of the most difficult ghosts to get rid of. The ones seeking revenge. If they get their revenge then they can move on but...then they will often create more ghosts in their wake. It's a vicious cycle.” He opened his eyes to fix Kelski with his blue gaze. “Moving ghosts such as to their next life requires creativity. I will put some thought to the possibility. I wouldn't wish any harm on you. And, I appreciate your forthrightness. I know it must not be easy to repeat such things. My wife was a slave at one time. She told me some things about her life back then. That you are where you are now speaks to your strength. So many others like you have died or been buried in their grief.”

Anja was not familiar with Akajia, but the Drykas could see the importance of the Goddess to Kelski. “What is Akajia the Goddess of?” Anja asked. He did not ask what it was she had done for Kelski. Something about the question seemed too personal to Anja. If she wanted to tell him more, than she would.

“Kelski, do you know what a Nuit is?” At the question, a cold expression came into Anja’s eyes, making that calm blue seem less like the sea and more like sharp ice. If Kelski did not know, Anja would explain. “Nuits are creatures that take the bodies of the dead and inhabit them in order to extend their unnatural life span. They are abominations, walking corpses. A group of them slaughtered my family for their bodies. I killed the one who had taken my wife, but was attacked and terribly injured by the one who had taken my son. Dira found me and asked me to pursue and slay him and those like him, as well as help to move on the souls of the restless and grieving dead. She gave me purpose when I had nothing, and I will forever be grateful for it.” In Anja, Kelski would see a coldness that had been absent from the man until that precise moment.

Anja’s coldness slowly eased towards a more relaxed form as Kelski moved the conversation forward and away from the object of Anja’s anger. A smile flicked across his face as Kelski fussed over him. It reminded him a little of a mother bird fussing over a chick. Come to think of it, it seemed as if most of the women he had met in Sunberth had fussed over him in some way or another. Was that a reflection on him or them?

“Sunberth lends well to hard living,” Anja told Kelski. “I suppose I haven't been taking care of myself as well as I might have. I didn't have very much money when I arrived here, and I’ve had to stretch things. Your words don't offend. I truly appreciate the offer. Perhaps I’ll stop by for a meal every so often. For materials...well, the main thing we’ll need is ghost beads. You should be able to acquire them from Jebidiah at the Dust Bed. He’s my employer. You’ll need a long enough string of them to encircle whichever rooms you need warded. You’ll also need soulmist, but I can provide that myself. It works better when I make it myself anyways.”

Anja’s expression soon took on a look of intense interest. A house that is alive and sentient? And draws ghosts to it? What kind of magic was it that could cause such a thing? Although he didn't quite understand it, a smile flicked across his face at the prospect of a building being a fussy caretaker. “I would very much like to see this building Kelski,” Anja said. “I’m sure you can understand my curiosity. A place that draws ghosts is highly relevant to my job as well as my interests.” Anja hesitated for a moment. “That said, I understand that this is a sensitive matter. You can rely on my secrecy.”

Anja glanced up towards the direction of the house and saw a ghostly white shape lumbering its way down the winding pathway leading forwards. Maisa trotted over towards Anja, mouth and chest stained green from the grass. She thrust her head into Anja’s chest, dribbling green down Anja’s front and prompting a laugh from him. She gave him a few moments to rub her head and ears before she turned away from him and trotted over towards Kelski and nickered at her. Maisa had a hesitant manner about her, like she understood that some care was to be taken with Kelski. She stood an arm's length away from the kelvic so as not to startle her and held her head low in a non threatening way.

“It seems as though she’s warmed up to you,” Anja chuckled. “She tends to like women and children more than men, but I suppose the grass didn't hurt either.”
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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 6:15 am

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Kelski listened quietly to the Drykas, liking the gentleness of his voice and the way he explained things carefully to her. He was picking up more and more of the fact she didn’t know things normal humans did, and so his explanations were getting more elaborate without being belittling or overly complex. As a result, Kelski was following him very well. Tilting her head, she thought about what he said about ghosts and nodded.

“Akajia uses shadows as servants.” She started out carefully, gesturing around them to the night to which was alive for her. “They live and are just as real as your ghosts and the humans that fill this city. Like your ghosts, they speak to those that know their language and are as intelligent as you and I. they even have names. I think they are a lot like your ghosts, Anja, though they are not miserable and not violent or hateful. Nor do I pity them. I suspect they are the Nightstalkers that are no longer living… in some sort of limbo to her… still serving and waiting to be reborn.” She said carefully, more telling him to let him know that she believed what he said of the ghosts because she knew there were other things in the world that were a lot like he was describing as well.

“I am glad she moved on. She seemed very unhappy as a living person. I cannot imagine her being happy as a dead one. She was violent too… and I suspect that only gets worse as time passes in death.” Kelski added, shaking her head, wondering what in the world could happen that would keep people in the world when they could move on to find peace or rest.

“Thank you. I would be glad for such help and could compensate you in coin or exchange of goods. As a jeweler I make all kinds of things from … even beads. I love working gems and metal. You’d just need ask and I could design things for you.” Kelski added, happy with her profession and holding a great love for it. If Anja would look, he’d see the light in her eyes at the talk of crafting jewelry.

“I understand animals, to a certain extent, being part one myself. Your horse is a lovely creature and I can see she is well cared for. Food is a quick way to anyone’s heart. She’s not so different from us in that. And that you know something of horses or ponies is far more than I know… so any help would be a big help. And I would be glad for the advice if we decide to get one. It’s just that packing supplies to The Gem to and from the port and market gets tiring and I find myself often hiring a wagon at an expense owning a horse and cart would not incur. If Maisa eats the grass, at least that problem is solved. But I think I would need a barn too, shelter for the animals, which would not be a bad thing since a milk cow would not be unwelcome and if I do end up with a horse or two, they would have company.” Kelski said, looking thoughtful. “As for driving, hopefully I can find one that knows what its doing already so it can teach both of us.” She said thoughtfully, then smiled at him.

“Basic care would be amazing. I know their feet get stones, but I don’t know how to remove them. Knowledge like that… someone to go to in order to ask these questions… would be beyond helpful.” Kelski dared to hope that Anja could be someone like that for her and any creature she might need to help in the future. Kynier often stated he would be there to answer magical questions, but when she asked, he would tell her not to deal with it. Would Anja be the same way? Kelski hoped not.

“My Goddess is the Night Mother. She rules the Darkness. She is the keeper of the Night and all things secret and mysterious. She governs stealth and those seeking to reveal that which is hidden.” Kelski said, love infusing itself in her voice and a new sort of zealous light shining in her eyes. “I am twice marked by Her and serve her in all things. She asks little of her people, though she does ask us to watch and listen… to learn what we can and understand what we learn. It increases her knowledge for she seeks something, what we do not know, and thinks that through us she can gain a hint of what she seeks.” Kelski added, relaxing even further.

“I love speaking of religions and can do so for hours. I would hear of who you serve and those Gods your people serve as well. I know so little of the denizens of the divine, but am always willing to learn.” She said thoughtfully, deciding suddenly that she should go to the library one of these days and copy for herself a book on religion.

His question took her off guard. “No, I do not know what a Nuit is.” She was glad he explained, because indeed the creatures sounded unnatural. Her face took on a horrific expression as Anja told her of the fate of his family and why they had to die. “Dira? Is she too a Goddess? One of the spirits maybe?” Kelski guessed, having never heard of the name, but curious nonetheless. “I would love to hear more of Dira. I understand a Goddess giving one purpose. That is what Akajia did for me… as well as granting me companions of the shadows and their language when I was utterly alone.” The Sea Eagle confessed.

“If you do not mind me asking, how in the world do you know if someone is truly alive or one of these Nuits only occupying snatched bodies? They sound like parasites… like fleas that feed on the blood of cats and dogs or even the worms I find in the fish I sometimes hunt.” Kelski said, disgust twisting her face. It was all Sunberth needed, a creature… a leech… finding use for bodies of which there always was a fresh supply.

Their conversation moved on, and Kelski noted what Anja said about ghost beads and how many she would need of a string. And she noted the name of Anja’s employer Jedidiah in the Dust Bed. These things she would acquire… for sure. Though to truly be safe she’d need enough to encircle the whole of The Gem. And speaking of The Gem, Anja wanted to see it.

“It is just awakening… so there is not much to see above that of a normal building. It’s the business I run and the living quarters upstairs. I’m even having it remodeled so that there will be a great deal more room and more people can come live there. I have hired so far a clerk who is a healer in secret. And now Kynier lives there and a guard named Aer’wyn. There are still empty rooms. I want to be able to provide shelter for folks in need, people who are more understanding about things like religion and think deeper than the gangs here in Sunberth tend to do. There is more to life than survival. And as The Gem wakes up and becomes more aware of itself, this will be doubly important that those who dwell within it understand that it is sentient. So beyond a meal when you need one, there’s always a place to stow your things and lay your head if you need one. Maisa too of course… though she can come anytime she likes and eat our grass. It needs the care.” She said again, laughing. “And I know not why The Gem will draw ghosts, just that a book I have about it warns about it. There is a need for companionship and such structures are welcoming to all types, though I suspect since people already live in The Gem if I can stress to it how dangerous ghosts can be… then it might not feel the need to invite them in to keep itself company.” Kelski said thoughtfully, already wondering how she’d broach the subject to The Gem itself in one of its more lucid moments.

Maisa interrupted her train of thought and the Kelvic laughed as the horse slobbered on Anja’s front. When Maisa then turned her attention to Kelski, the kelvic held out her hand gently, palm down, and gently rubbed the horses’ chin then jaw. “For all that you are absolutely huge, Maisa, I love the fact that your eyes are so big and beautiful. I could get lost in your gentle gaze all day long. I hope you ate a lot of my grass. It will just be back as tall tomorrow.” She said with a laugh and scratched the horse under the chin.

“Okay… Dira. Tell me more of her! Have you ever seen her? Talked to her? I’m always excited to hear new things.” Kelski said, moving around the big horse to grab some more driftwood to add to the fire. She didn’t rudely dismiss Maisa though. Instead, she petted her way around the mare and frowned at her tail that had a twig twisted in it. The Kelvic paused to pull the tangled twig out of the long fine hairs and then tossed it into the fire as if Maisa had contributed to their heat all on her own. She returned to her seat when the fire was fed.

She had more questions for Anja.

“You said she gave you purpose. I suspect that is helping these ghosts. But can you tell me about it? Your finding purpose? I think I’ve found my own as well and I’d love to compare.” Kelski explained, taking a seat back on her log and lounging back enjoying the glow of the fire and the flames licking up and catching the new fuel on fire.
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Kelski
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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on October 14th, 2018, 10:10 pm

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As the heat and might of the fire grew lower and Syna’s light vanished from the sky, Anja felt himself feasting more on the comradery and conversation with Kelski than he had on the fish she had cooked. The man felt...content. It was a remarkably odd place for Anja to be in. While he wouldn't say that he was unhappy exactly, the man would have been hard pressed to say that he had felt much joy since his family’s untimely death. He had always felt as if there were walls between himself and the other people wandering this massive world. Part of that was perspective. As an Eiyon so attuned to death, it was hard to see people as more than walking corpses to be. Connections were hard. So the Eiyon found himself in a position of wonder at how naturally he had connected with Kelski. It was like magic, that relaxed comfort between the two of them. Conversation flowed like water. It was a small oasis in a desert.

The information about Akajia was all new. Anja kind of liked the comparison between his ghosts and her shadows, and equally found himself intrigued by the knowledge that these unknown people, perhaps long dead seekers of secrets, were everywhere just out of sight. Anja wondered what they might know of him, a lonely Eiyon.

Anja hadn't really thought of Meriann as violent...or at least she hadn't been with him, but just because he hadn't seen her as such that didn't mean that she hadn't been so to Kelski. Regardless, Anja could at least be content that she had moved on, whatever the state that her life had been. Not even the cruel deserved the torture of being a ghost. No one did.

When Kelski spoke once more of her trade, Anja could not help but smile warmly at the woman’s obvious happiness. “I will have to put some thought into a commission from you sometime,” the man said thoughtfully. “Something small perhaps; I feel that anything too expensive or large would only make me a target. You can't really risk that here in Sunberth.”

Anja’s warmth spread further as Kelski excitedly talked about horses, and their care, and requested his help and advice. “There is a tool, called a hoof pick,” Anja explained. “You can use it to clean the outside and inside of a horse’s hoof. If they pick up stones, you can use it to remove them quite simply. I’d be happy to teach you more once you have a horse or pony. Such things are best taught through demonstration.”

Anja listened as Kelski spoke further on her Goddess. Anja found his fingers idly stroking the gnosis mark on his palm. Twice marked, she said? Surely that meant that she was greatly favored by Akajia. He had to fight back a chuckle, as an innocent bubble of envy floated up through him. Would he ever be so fortunate as to receive such favor from his own goddess? He certainly hoped so. “I enjoy these discussions as well,” Anja admitted. “I have not often met others who have been marked like myself, and those I’ve met have not been interested in talking about it.” Anja thought for a brief moment of his tight lipped Boss, who also bore a mark of Dira but refused to speak of it.

When Kelski brought the question back to nuits, a shadow once more returned to Anja’s expression. “They are very easy to identify, usually,” Anja said. His voice was calm, but there was a slight coldness to it. “They are, after all, walking corpses. They stink like corpses do. Their bodies are decayed. They do not look like they did in life. They do not have blood, and instead their veins are filled with a white liquids called ichor. Like blood with humans, if they lose enough of this then they die.” The end of that statement bit like a knife.

Anja listened further, and allowed himself to be content in the fact that he likely wouldn't be seeing this strange structure today. Anja was touched by Kelski’s offer of shelter. “That is a very kind offer Kelski,” Anja said. “And I appreciate it greatly. However, right now my place is in the Dust Bed. It is easier to keep watch there, you see. It is a necessity for me. And I feel great comfort there. I will be happy to visit though. Perhaps the Gem can use more friends.” Anja smiled at that. It seemed silly to state that a house needed friends, but if it was sentient than certainly it could use them. Nobody liked to be alone.

Maisa nickered affectionately at Kelski’s praise and gently touch, then quietly returned back to Anja’s side and thrust her head in his lap. Th man stroked his friend’s head thoughtfully as he considered Kelski’s question.

“Dira is...a very old Goddess,” Anja said thoughtfully. “She embodies death, and all that it entails. But she is not cruel. She is neutral, patient, and impartial. It is her job to move the dead on towards their next life, whatever their lot in life. She dislikes people who try to cheat death, such as nuits.” Anja smiled faintly as he thought of his patron Goddess. “I did meet her, when I was marked after my family was murdered by nuits, although I had worshipped her for most of my life. I found her to be kind, I suppose, if a bit brutally honest. She asked me if I would hunt nuits for her and to help ghosts to pass on. I agreed, of course. She even introduced me to Maisa. If it hadn't been for her, I would have had nothing left. That is why I owe everything to her.”

Anja would listen as Kelski told him of her own purpose, and he would pay close attention to her words. But Syna’s fading light was having a tranquilizing effect on Anja, and he soon caught himself yawning through his hand. Maisa snorted at Anja, bumping his shoulder with her nose, stomping her feet, and generally making a small ruckas until Anja sighed reluctantly.

“Kelski, this has been a wonderful conversation and I have enjoyed it greatly. But I fear that I am very tired, and I must return home to get some rest. It has been a very long day.” The man stood up from his place before the fire and smiled at Kelski. “I suspect you will be seeing more of me. You have been a warm spot in the cold of this city.” Anja hesitated slightly as he remembered his conversation with Meriann. “It is something I have been looking for here. I hope you will be able to show me more.” With that, Anja pulled himself up onto Maisa’s back. He inclined his head towards Kelski gently. “See you later,” he said. And without further ceremony, Maisa turned and trotted off into the darkness.
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Anja Nightwatcher
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[Baroque Bay Beach] Light A Fire And Watch It Burn

Postby Kelski on October 21st, 2018, 3:30 pm

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Of all they talked about from horses to nuits to The Gods, Kelski hadn’t expected Anja’s purpose to be hunting the undead. She knew he helped ghosts and did a lot towards bettering their afterlife. But this was on a whole new level. Kelski had enjoyed the conversation enormously. She had learned a lot – about other cultures and other religions – even about another Goddess. She’d even learned about horses, enough so that she wasn’t actually afraid to get a cart pony now if she decided the next season merited it. She also got to teach Anja about Akajia, which felt fulfilling as well. It wasn’t as if each of them were trying to recruit the other to their chosen religion. It was more of each of them discovering that there were allies out there and why they existed.

She might even have drummed up some business. She certainly wouldn’t mind making Anja some critical pieces for his work, and if he wished it she could do it trade for trade -his help protecting the gem from ghosts so that no coin changed hands. It was all very fortuitous that they’d met.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting you and Maisa as well, Anja. I’m glad we crossed paths and I hope this meeting isn’t our only one. Please take my invitation to heart. If you ever have need of a meal – no promises on the quality – just drop by near the 17th bell and dinner will happen. And if you ever need shelter of another kind, you can find it there too. We have guest rooms right now and I’ll make sure if Maisa is visiting regularly, some sort of lean-to shelter is built for her in case of rain.” Kelski said, rising as Anja did, sensing his immediate departure.

It was late and she had work to get back too… “Thank you for telling me of Dira, horses, and even the nuit. I’ve learned so much from you today. It was even amazing hearing about your people. I would love to do this again sometime. The Kelvic hesitated a moment, then walked to him and gave him a hug. She did the same to his horse, treating both of them the same way, then stepped back and waved as they both rode off.
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Kelski
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