PM to join We need to talk... [Kelski]

Life has been mighty weird at the Midnight Gem since Vel has 'happened'. It's about time he has a heart to heart with the woman who owns his home.

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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 17th, 2018, 8:15 pm

90th of Summer 518AV


To say Vel was growing restless was an understatement. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this safe in a place with Aer’wyn behind his temples. In fact no place had ever felt safe. There was always that underlying anxiety that at any point he’s loose control and the waiting game would begin all over again.

Having grown up the unwanted adopted child to a beloved biological brother, Vel had developed quite the roster of resentment. And now it had finally came, fifty eight years late, his time to work out some of those issues. But that he hadn’t done. Instead of burning the Midnight Gem to the ground like he had once wanted to, he found himself slowly growing some strange kind of resentful comrodery with the ones who lived in it. Perhaps taking over the life of his light brother would sate Vel’s relationship for revenge. Or perhaps he was just biting his time? Of that even Vel himself wasn’t entirely sure. Life had taken him aboard strange vessels, brought him to strange shores.

He missed Endrykas. Every day for the last three years he had missed it dearly. But the Midnight Gem threattened to become his second Endrykas and that affection he wasn’t quite sure he was ready for either.

As late afternoon came, he had peaked his head from the fortress of seclusion in a sea of Kelvics that was his room. Quietly, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible he opened the door, eyes looked around to see if the coast was clear. But alas it was anything but. Barely had he given a single sign of life, his eyes came to rest on Kelski. And so with a sigh, having betrayed his awakeness before even making a good go of it, he decided to leave that single solitary temple of his that had been little more than a bed and four walls, but then again he wasn’t a man of refined tastes in such things.

He was dressed simply, but dressed none the less which was more care than Aer’wyn ever put in, who had a habit of parading about without a shirt around Kelvics that didn’t care for such virtues as modesty. His hair was a little matted, the mohawk grown out a little. But at least he was awake and feeling a little more talkative than usual.

“Afternoon, birdie.” He said, nodding to the Kelvic.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Kelski on August 17th, 2018, 9:30 pm

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She was combing out her long ombre hair. Ember had been trying to teach her proper care for a lady and that required a hundred strokes on either side. The Kelvic Mouse had clever fingers and had also taught Kelski to weave her hair in a braid. Sometimes the mouse had her braid it with the lengths tucked under, sometimes over, which made interesting textures of either a modest subdued braid, or one that laid tight against her scalp and arched like the Akalak's mohawk from her temple to her nape.

Kelski wasn't much for vanity, but Ember was persistent and she had slowly taught Kelski the value of taking time to groom. The Sea Eagle always left her hair to last. It required a lot of untangling, a lot of combing, and a lot of concentration to get it to behave. She had already lined her eyes with khol as Ember had taught her and powdered the worry on her face away, adding the mixture of mint and beeswax to her lips that made them slide together nicely. She was clean, dressed plainly in a soft blouse and a patterned skirt. She felt almost human.

And when the Akalak greeted her, she offered him a smile, rose, and took his hand urging him to sit. Once he did so, she gently began to work the comb through his mohawk for him, doing for the Akalak what she'd just been doing for himself.

"You have hair to be envied." She said softly, and continued working through his locks, trying to hold it above a knot or tangle before she forced the comb through to smooth it. Kelski had gentle hands and didn't want to upset him. And though she was glad he had finally come out of his room, she didn't want to spook him back into it.

"You've been restless lately. Not sleeping. Do you worry or is it something else?" She asked quietly, trying not to be nosy but worried about him nonetheless. "I have very good hearing when I stay awake working late. I can hear you pace... or sometimes visit the training room. It makes me worry about you. It makes The Gem worry about you too. Is there anything we can do to make you feel happier?

The Midnight Gem stirred in the back of Kelski's mind. The building was curious, like a cat stretched in the sun half sleeping that just cracked an eye open to see what was going on. Kelski closed her eyes a moment without pausing the motions of her hand, and sent out a firm reassurance to the building. She wanted it to listen, to see what it could see, in the akalak's behavior and mannerisms. Maybe Kelski was missing something? Maybe it was his difference in race she wasn't picking up on. But there had to be something, and hopefully something they could correct.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 17th, 2018, 10:18 pm

To see the Eagle so properly preened was so very odd. He’d seen her though Aer’wyn’s eyes both a fighter, a jeweller and then prey but never had he seen her a woman. A human woman in the place of a wild Kelvic girl. It was something else. Something he hadn’t quite expected and so as she silently took his hand, he hadn’t even the slightest chance to resist.

Vel followed the Kelvic where she had sat him down as if he was a child lost in a world still so very new to him. He felt a comb pull though his thick, straight hair, taming whatever tangles had been left after days of neglect. Care. Something he hadn’t been a recipient of in a long time. In fact, had he ever been? It was Aer’wyn who had always gotten the girl, the friends. What did Vel have, other than years of resentment. His own pursuits were far more primal than to hold threads of tenderness.

But this wasn’t romance nor lust nor any of that nonsense. It was a kind of care a mother bird would give to a fledgeling. A kind of tenderness in all honesty he could get used to. Weird creatures, these Kelvics, he thought to himself. When even the brother inside him wanted less than nothing to do with him, they accepted him like one of their own. But was it just because he held their friend’s soul hostage? Or was there more to it?

He paused for a long moment after her questions landed on his ears before alas icy eyes looked up to see the concern in Kelski’s pretty face. His own, nothing but confusion. “This is something I don’t understand.” He said, slowly. Though his voice bore none of the softness with which Aer’wyn spoke, nor that which Kelski regarded him with. When he spoke it was at an unwavering volume, with a boldness to it and so very matter of fact. “Why do you worry? Why do you care bout what happens to me, daughter of Akaija? I’ve made my feelings about my situation nothing but clear. I don’t belong here, with you people, in this strange strange place but yet you let me stay regardless, cos I’ve nowhere to go. And I can’t for the love of all the gods figure out what you get out of it.”

The distrust in him was apparent. It radiated miasma from the darker Akalak brother. Ren could sense it, Ebon could too. Vel didn’t trust any of them as far as he could throw them. Perhaps Kynier was getting though to him somewhat, but a fondness for the human was something he wasn’t yet willing to divulge willingly. He slept with one eye on the door at all times but no sudden smothering with a pillow or a dagger to his throat came, no matter how much he expected it. The sense of safety dulled his senses. A slow process but whether he liked it or not, it was happening.

His eyes darted to Ember and then up at the eagle Kelvic again. The fingers of his right hand clasped against, his shoulder, giving it a little nervous rub.
Last edited by Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 20th, 2018, 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Kelski on August 17th, 2018, 11:04 pm

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Kelski loved combing the Akalak’s hair. The Sea Eagle took her time, paying close attention to detail, and when she had his locks sorted, she set the comb aside and began at the crown of his head just above his forehead, and began to snugly braid the long locks into a more manageable form for him. She noted him skillfully dodge her question, by asking one of his own. However, his inquiry was closely related to what she wanted from him anyhow, so she let him do it without comment. Her braid was neat, perfectly segmented, because that’s the way Kelski’s mind worked. With just a glance she pointed at his overgrown scalp and Ember understood and went scurrying to fetch a bowl of warm water, some towels, and Kynier’s razor and foam.

It gave them privacy for a few chimes.

“I am a Daughter of Dark Mother. I have always been more comfortable with the shadows than I have with other people. I don’t trust them, especially humans, though there are exceptions. I have always been alone. I see a lot of things in you that remind me of my past and of being alone. You could honestly be my brother. It was safe for me to be alone then, but it wasn’t always good for me. I don’t understand the miracle of you… of how you seem to be two people at once, but I can tell when you are you and your other person is your other person. Do you call him a brother? Or is he something else? Will you tell me how it is with you… how this works… if I tell you everything you ask? It is only fair… a question for a question. My first was asked but went unanswered. I’ll answer your first, but you must stick to the game.” She said softly, nodding as her niece returned and set a bowl of warm water down on the table before the couch with all of Kynier’s shaving equipment.

Kelski was almost finished with the braid by this time, working well down his back on the length of it. She neatly took a piece of it and twisted it upon itself so its snugged up the hair without a band or length of leather. Then she ran her hand down it as if checking its smoothness as if she’d just braided metal in her workshop.

“I care because I think you belong here more than you know. Akajia put us on a path with Ebon that day and while things have been tense and not always easy, there’s a sort of rightness to it I think you feel but fight. You have this internal power, Akalak, this strength that its near bottomless. Its not rage as you veil it as, but it’s a rock iron inner core that needs a purpose. You were born to do something special. And when I look in your eyes, I see a calculated intelligence that is hard to find in people. I really want to get to know you better, but its hard to understand you. I don’t know your name. I haven’t spent time with you that the others seem to have. But I want to know you. I think you are someone I would be proud to know and call a friend.” She said softly, regretting that she worked so much, but The Gem needed the money to get its loans paid off.

Kelski took a towel, dipped it in the bowl of warm water until it was soaked, and started on the left side of his head. She wet the overgrown hair there with the towel, getting it good and damp and then reached for the shaving brush. She dipped it in the water, swept it across the soap until it foamed. Then she started using it on his head. When she’d foamed a good portion of it, she traded the brush for Kynier’s straight razor… and holding his skin tight and gently scrapping away from the grain, she began removing the excess hair.

The scrap and chink of her wiping off the excess foam and severed hair on a towel made a repetitive noise, filling the silence between them. After a few moments, Kelski spoke again. “I’ve been a slave more than I’ve been free in my life. I recognize chains when I see them. I don’t want you to have to wear them anymore. There’s a better way to live, a free way…. I want to help you see that.” She added, continuing with the shaving. Her scrapes weren’t even and she’d have to go back and touch him up, but for the most part she was getting the job done without cutting him.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 17th, 2018, 11:52 pm

Vel closed his eyes as he felt the soft tugging on his hair. Skillsful, or at least skilful enough, fingers segmented it and wove it like one would weeve reeds into a basket. But the sensation was pleasant. He leaned into it. It calmed him long enough.

How strange it was to be referred to as a brother by a total stranger yet that of his own refused to do so. Vel could see Kelski’s willingness to reach out, pass an olive branch, make an offering of truce. Perhaps even friendship. And it would be a travesty for a devout follower of the shadows not to accept such a gesture from the twice marked daughter of the Dark mother herself. The way his mind worked, in this lonesome lonesome world there were few who could grow into the title of friend better than the Kelvic could. The potential in her was boundless. To that he was all but blind.

But before any friendship could begin to be established he sought to understand her. But too did he seek to break any bond of friendship she’d ever built with Aer’wyn.

An influx of questions came and Vel sighed for a moment, sorting them out by level of importance in his head. What would it gain him to keep these secrets for a moment longer. Nothing. Vel was an open book few cared to read and to see someone take an interest for once… just once…

“I don’t call him my brother. Though that’s precisely what my kind would refer to us as. But his father isn’t a feather of mine. I don’t cry over the graves of his dead siblings like he does. I cared nothing for his dead wife and would never call her my sister in law. That would be unthinkable.” He said, every words underlined and dotted by spite. Though the light brother had talked little of his life before Sunberth, Vel had no qualms with unceremoniously unveiling all the pain of his past as if he revealed in it. The more he spoke of Aer’wyn the sharper his tongue became, the more his pretty face twisted with detest until it became pretty no more.

“All Akalaks have two souls. Theres so few of us left but if you counted up all these souls I suppose there would be twice as many. It’s just a fact of life we can’t run away from.” Thumbs fiddled in his lap. “First time I remember waking up he was almost sixteen. And I’ve been stuck with him since. You think you know loneliness but believe me, nothing compared to the loneliness of being trapped in the head of an asshole who tried to keep you a secret for five decades. After such a long time… one gets used to it.”

He sighed again as if a great weight had been removed from his chest and for the first time in the long time, the Akalak could expand his lungs and feel air swirl in them. “Does this answer your question adequately?”

The Akalak’s head rested all the way back against the edge of the couch, looking at Kelski in melancholy as she spoke. All those beautiful things of sense, or paths designed for him, of purpose. He loved the sound of it all but knew they were just a childish dream. Life was more complex than that. Long ago the idea of purpose, of fate, had been beaten out of him by the sadness of his very existence. Closing his eyes once more he shook his head.

“You can call me Vel, Nightstalker.” She whispered, before once more picking up his voice. He wouldn’t show her weakness. He couldn’t. Not yet. “And you don’t even know how wrong you are. You mistake me… for him. That night, it wasn’t me who helped you and that boy. And though we share a body we are not the same.”

“As long as you call him a friend too, me and you can never be such. I hope you know that one day I will find a way to rid my life of his presence. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I won’t loose hope. And when that moment comes, even if it means he disappeared into nothingness or dies… I’ll kill him and I won’t hesitate. Is that someone you’d be proud to call a friend?” He smiled at the thought. What else did he have other than hope, after all? “But then again, seeing as you referred to Aer’wyn as such I see your common sense in your choice of friendship is lacking. After all for half a season he lied to you about so many things and yet you still treated him with such kindness. Naive little bird.”

It perhaps wasn’t the best moment to offend her. It would be ill advised to piss off a woman with a razor in hand but he had spent so long having little care for the feelings of others, the callous way in which he spoke to her was a result of habit.

“Freedom is for humans and eagles and cats and mice. Freedom isn’t for Akalaks. We were never intended to exist that way.” He said solemnly alas. If what he said sounded like he had given up, it was because he has. But it wasn’t in that moment. It was a long long time ago.
Last edited by Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 20th, 2018, 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Kelski on August 18th, 2018, 12:50 am

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Kelski wasn’t easily upset by the strutting of males. And even as she gently scraped his overgrown scalp, she could almost see the tangible chip on Vel’s shoulder. Kelski wasn’t a fool though. She didn’t think a five chime conversation with Vel would change his life or his mind. She didn’t even try. Instead, she simply listened carefully to what he said, trying to put herself in Vel’s shoes. At the same time, Vel gave her clues to Aer’wyn’s knowledge and she thought perhaps the other soul in Vel’s body could hear and see her doings as accurately as Vel had seen from Aer’s eyes.

“I can only imagine how awful that would feel, awakening in a body that’s been in use for such a long time…” To Kelski a full sixteen years was often a Kelvic’s entire lifetime. “… and then being forced to share it. I would be so incredibly angry and resentful.” She said softly, finishing one side of his scalp and switching to the other. The pile of foam and shorn hair was growing, but the Kelvic didn’t even so much as let her fingers tremble. She was a jeweler and had good control of her fine motor skills.

“Thank you for a name.” She said softly, not saying ‘your name’ because she had no idea if that’s who he really was or if it was just a name he gave her permission to use. She lifted her hands as he shook his head, hissing her displeasure. “Careful. I don’t want to nick you.” Kelski said, going back to her shaving.

“I mistake you? Do you not go where he goes? Is your path not set with his? Huh. I would think sharing a body that would be an assumed thing.” She said gently. “I did not say you rescued me, or helped with Ebon, I said Akajia put us on a path of intersection. Listen, Vel. Don’t think to hear until you really hear.” She said softly, smiling where he couldn’t see because she enjoyed that he was so willing to dismiss that which she saw as divine.

She silenced herself as he spoke of his culture, his race, and even Aer’wyn’s past. It whispered a purpose for so much of Aer’s pain. “His dead wife? How did she die?” Kelski asked gently, curious, because she was sure Aer’wyn wouldn’t speak of it himself. The other brother was quiet, gentle, and someone Kelski would trust forever. It wasn’t something she’d say to Vel, but it was something she felt acutely.

“Why did he try to keep you a secret, Vel?” Kelski asked, gently finishing the last swipe of the razor before she picked up a towel and began to wipe the rest of the cream and loose hair off his scalp. She set the dirty towel aside after wiping the razor down, and reached for a soothing lotion with a masculine scent. She rubbed it into her hands and began to rub it into his scalp.

“Nightstalkers…. Always have questions. I don’t think its possible for the world to answer all those we seek to ask.” She said with a smile. She continued to rub the lotion into his scalp to ease any razor burn even though he leaned his head back against the couch. The male was stubborn. Kelski could see it all over his features.

“My friends are my own business to pick. I don’t select one in favor of discarding another. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I accept that when I accept friendships. Aer’wyn is indeed my friend. I would not lie to you and say he is not. But I would also like to call you a friend. And that you so wish to harm him saddens me. Because it tells me you are a slave to your drive to bring him pain and death instead of focusing on better things like living your life or finding what makes you truly happy. It’s throwing a life away to simply live to take another’s. And its funny because you didn’t strike me as a fool, yet it is the actions of a fool.” Kelski observed, giving his scalp a final pat and then putting all the stuff on the tray Ember brought and picking it up. She carried it into the area where she cleaned up at and left it returning to the couch and settling on the far side still companionably close to Vel.

Ember had long disappeared… perhaps after just bringing the tray.

“People like to categorize actions in neat little boxes. Because Aer’wyn didn’t tell me about you and didn’t tell me about his past doesn’t mean he lied. It means that it never came up and he put no importance on it with me.” She said, implying that Aer’wyn didn’t consider Vel important. “It must be a sad thing, to not be important enough to mention.” Kelski said softly, studying the Akalak with his newly gleaming scalp and his neatly braided mohawk. It was a good look on him, one that she admired without being attracted too.

“So you think you don’t deserve freedom? I am surprised even after so much time, that chains would be comfortable.” She said, furrowing her brow and studying him oddly. Kelski actively wondered if other Akalak would feel the same way or if they got along with their other halves far better. Then again, what would it feel like for Aer’wyn to go sixteen years alone and then suddenly be forced to share? She would resent the intruder herself, given those circumstances.

“Have either of you have taken any time or means to put yourselves in the other’s shoes or remotely tried to relate?” She asked softly, thinking for a moment if they hadn’t, they were both incredibly selfish and self centered. One would think two souls sharing a body would need to be generous, giving, and understanding. But this didn’t seem to be the case.

"Naive? You aren't wrong there. The world is full of things I don't understand... including this." Kelski agreed, still searching Vel's gaze.
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Kelski
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 18th, 2018, 7:01 pm

Though Vel had decades on the Kelvic, it seemed that she had so much knowledge of life beyond her years. How complicated life gets with age…

It was so very profoundly off to him that a woman whom he’d not expect to understand a thing about the torment of his existence, made such effort to empathic with him. Instead of brushing aside his pain, telling him to simply get over it, she acknowledged it. She put herself in his shoes. Something he hadn’t done once for her. How could one soul show him such kindness when he himself up until now showed a complete lack to it?

But there she was, doing his hair, looking after his well being. His. Not Aer’wyn’s…

“Thank you.” He whispered. A moment of vulnerability escaped a stone cold, hard exterior though a crack somewhere deep inside he didn’t even know existed. But it was honest. And honestly he was grateful.

As she scolded him for moving, making her task more difficult he apologised. “My full name, the one I’ve taken on when I woke up is Vellisius. Though it’s been a rather long time since I used it in it’s entirety. And that of my father is Grisghul. Back in Riverfall names are passed down by blood, you see. Do Kelvics pay such close mind to names? I noticed you talk so little of your own family yet let me yammer on about mine no end. ” he chuckled, a little embarrassed. Here he was complaining so much, telling her a tale of her own existence yet showing so little interest in hers. But he was interested. He wanted Kelski to know that. Some things he knew, seeing the world though Aer’wyn’s eyes but there was still so much more in the clever, kind Kelvic. He could sense it. Or at least thought he did.

She scolded him again, though in such a gentle voice Vel hardly assumed she’d be angry at his silly assumptions. For a moment, as she cleaned off the rogue hair from the sides of his scalp and brought him back to his former glory, the Akalak wondered how that foot has ended up in his mouth again. Don’t think to hear until you really hear. A good lesson to learn indeed, he thought to himself.

Of course the next question asked of Aer’wyn’s past. How could she not be curious when he dropped such gems of sweet secrets in the Kelvic’s very lap. And he knew Aer’wyn wouldn’t tell her himself so it was up to him to do so. “He kept me a secret precisely cos of that. Coss he knew I brought ruin to everything he held dear and that included the stupid woman he had chosen for himself.” He spoke so very matter of fact about it. Not a thread of remorse rang in his voice. The moment was so pleasant, in spite of the tone the conversation had taken on, that Vel kept the specifics vague on purpose. Though is Kelsey was to enquire further he wouldn’t hesitate to tell her the tale in all it’s gory detail.

For a moment he closed his eyes again. The scent of the lotion soothed his skin and caressed his senses as Kelski carried on. Lips sealed, ears peeled.

“That you choose to call him a friend saddens me too.” He replied after a prolonged moment. So stubborn was he. So very set in his ways. But what she said next rang all too close to home for him to simply ignore.

For the first time in a while he’d been forced to reflect. Truly reflect. For what she said was true. The invisible chains that enslaved him he could not hide from her. The collar so tight around his neck that kept him barking at the ghost of history. She’d lived it too. But the tranquility she seemed to wield a a weapon he knew not for he was still inside that prison. He still feared the next time he’d be locked away in darkness with no food or water, the next lashing of the dark master that would leave unhealed scars on his soul.

But what was it all for? Was there a deeper purpose of just anger over decades of spilled milk he never stopped crying over?

No. He could never forgive him for every time he had ricked both their lives for youthful stupidity. He could never turn a blind eye to his use of magic on his very body. He could never forgive Aer’wyn taking him from the one place he found happiness and safety among the Drykas people. Of that he was sure. But the seed of doubt was sawn somewhere deep inside the darkest parts of his mind. And over time with rainfall and sunlight and the nurturing touch of the residents of the Midnight Gem, that little seed would split and a tiny emerald leaf would peak out from inside of it’s shell. Even somebody as stagnant as Vel could not remain stagnant forever.

He was speechless. Sat there mulling over Kelski’s words that stung his pride, challenged his ways set in stone.

Vel had been a spectator to Aer’wyns kindness and generous spirit for so very long. But he had never been the recipient of it. Vice versa was also true. Vel freed slaves, helped Kelvics in dire straits and even had the occasional habit of a kind word of honesty. But kind words were for all who weren’t Aer’wyn. “Put my self in his shoes?” He scoffed. “Believe me I’d do anything to never wear the shoes of a wreckers mage. Yet here I am.” He said gesturing to his feet. From his very tone it was obvious that such a thought had not only never occurred to him, but he abhorred it.
Last edited by Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 20th, 2018, 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Kelski on August 19th, 2018, 11:34 pm

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“It’s a good name. I like how it rolls off the tongue.” Kelski said in response to his name, leaving him then and settling on the other end of the couch to still continue their conversation. “It is nice that your people keep family names. How did you settle on Vellisius? Is it an ancestors first name or something more significant? I don’t speak your native tongue…” Kelski said, as way of apologizing for not knowing if it translated into common as something.

“Kelvics have no traditions that I know of. When I was a child I was told I was purchased since I was a slave. My first Master said he bought me from a woman, a svefra, on the docks who could not keep me because my eyes turned silver instead of staying blue. It had something to do with their faith. I also had no mark of Laviku like her people did. So I was to be cast into the sea. Instead, I was sold to a man who raised me to be clever with my fingers. That’s how I started learning Jewelcrafting. Oh, he did the usual pathetic stuff humans tend to do to Kelvics, treating us like animals. He auctioned off my virginity and sold time with me to men when he got in debt to them. But he was killed and I was free where I went off to Lhavit. It was only this season I was informed I had a bigger name, a different history and a family that very much wanted me. I was born Kelskanisha K’etir, and was stolen as an infant from my family. My brother sent one of his daughters… that is Ember, my niece, to let me know and in the Spring he is supposed to visit. Kelvics run in our line, though we are people that infuse weapons with magic to make them stronger and better than they were forged. And we are keepers of secrets. So I suspect it will not be a surprise that I am a Nightstalker to them. I talk so little of them because I didn’t know about them. You and everyone here are far closer to me, far more family, than they are.” She said softly, watching Vellisius’ face.

“Brought ruin? It breaks my heart, Vellisius because I would give anything to have a brother. I hate being alone, isolated, and it gnaws at me badly not having someone to talk to or confide in. I know about being angry… so angry you want to tear someone apart. I have the talons to do that if I ever lost control. You have a big sword. We aren’t so different.” She said thoughtfully, glancing away from him and then back at his face.

“Would you tell me about the ruin you brought? I would very much like to understand.” She said, suddenly moving closer to him and boldy shifting so was beside him. She took slipped an arm around him and pulled him close, as if urging him to settle against her or cuddle. Kelski wouldn’t even be opposed to him shifting so she was holding his freshly shorn head in her lap. She wasn’t flirtatious, but comforting, it was as if she wanted him to have something to hold as he spoke, like a child would cling to a stuffed toy or be held as such. Plus it gave him a chance to tell her, to deepen their talk, without having to look her in the eye.

“I won’t choose between you.” She said in response to his words about sadness. “There are things I very much like about your brother, even though you don’t see him as such. And there are things I’m going to love about you… I already know what a few of them are. He might not like it either, but he has no choice.” She said, stroking his arm. “You are strong, stubborn and willful. You draw lines in the sand about values. And you hold those lines. Admirable qualities in a world full of weak spirited humans that will blow whichever way the wind decides to toss them. He’s a fool if he can’t see you as an Oak Tree that will outlive thousands of trees around it. Just as you are a fool to see how gentle and kind he is. Aer’wyn is a protector. Such things are not weaknesses. Love is so very precious and rare in the world. It’s almost as if you are black to his white and ice to his fire. There’s such a purity of balance I can see between you two, even if neither of you acknowledge it being too busy hating the other. Hate is such a poison, Vel. I’m sorry you are hated… and I’m sorry you hate. You don’t deserve it… either of you. No matter what lies in the past.” Kelski said softly, reaching out to tug at his braid and run her hand along its length.
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Kelski
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 20th, 2018, 9:51 am

Vel smiled at the complement and turned to face Kelski as she sat beside him, pulling up his feet to cross them on the couch. Back slightly hunched. With the new hair and Kelski’s presence he seemed a little more relaxed like a lion ready to settle down beneath the afternoon shade of the grassland rocks, instead of trapped in a cage, never knowing when the next threat to his life will come. “It.. it doesn’t have a meaning in tukanat.” He chuckled at the thought. It hadn’t quite occurred to him back in the day but now that she mentioned it, not a bad idea at all. “For some it’s the first thing that pops into their mind. Others choose their name after days or even seasons of meditating on it. Aer’wyn’s name is half that of his father, half of his mother and mine… well… it sounded like that of a warrior. And when I was a lot younger and a lot more stupid that was my only aspiration.”

His eyes fell in his lap, tracing the lines and seams in the fabric of the cough as his musings ran away from him once more. “Back in those days the only thing that mattered was to prove that I had the same right to own this body. To be the right kind of man. Strength and discipline… it’s the only thing that matters in Riverfall.”

In turn, as Kelski spoke of her own childhood, Vel listened quietly. The sadness of it all; of slavery, of rejection even before she had the chance to prove her worth was far above that of a slave. It had to be. For Akaija did not choose the unworthy to follow in her divine footsteps. There was a lot to connect with there. Though so very different in so many ways their early days were the same.

But then the story took a turn for the surprising. A family name he’d never heard before, having never stepped foot in the mountains of Kalea, but just by the sheer way she said it he thought there much have been importance there. Though at that one word -that one word she punctuated the very end of her tale with - he winced. Family.

For family wasn’t an aspiration to Vel. It was something to be abhorred. A meaningless tie that had so very much implied significance in it both culturally and spiritually that it had over the years become tainted in Vel’s eyes. He had never a good experience with it. To him, the knots of bloodlines that joined people were nothing but an extra chain around their necks. A need for loyalty they had never chosen for themselves, but were born into. And Vel liked to choose. Few were as determined as him to, in spite of everything, carve his own path. But he was a slave to these like anyone else. Even in those early days, with a father that never called him his true son, there was a desire inside of his heart to impress the man. A desire that , no matter how much he tried, could never be suppressed.

“You’re not alone, Kelski. You have your family.” His midnight blue thumbs twiddled in his lap. It saddened him to hear she felt as isolated as he did but a brother wouldn’t change that. How could it? In Vel’s experience a brother only made things worse. “You see, brothers aren’t there to confide in. They’re there to beat the ever locving crap out of you when you’re kids and exploit any kind of weakness you could ever dream of showing to make you ‘stronger’. Well.” He sighed. “At least they’re always there to protect you from anyone else who might like to take a turn on your hide. But…Since Are and I share a body I don’t really have much choice.”

“We aren’t so different.” He nodded. “You sure are right about that. And you have much reason to be angry that I’m surprised by how above it all you can be. But then again I suppose that’s cost you’re an eagle.” He chuckled. Granted he meant what he said about her animal form more rhetorically than seriously but a little part of him wandered if there truly was something about eagles that made them so very resilient in the face of adversity. How incredible it must feel to fly.

Vel leaned in a little, lowering his voice, softening it. What he said next was a gesture of comforting in his own way. “You know… anger can be liberating when executed upon those who wronged you.”

As Kelski moved a little closer, he shifted so that she could place her arm around him. Replying with one of his own - the only one- giving her a tight squeeze of affection anger all that talking. Every word drawing their battered souls closer, not romantically but perhaps in a way of empathetic connection. Ne not often found, especially not in sun berth. How better to understand the scars of others than having ones of your own to mach. It seemed a pattern with Vel. He took to slaves and ex slaves like a fish took to water or an eagle took to the vast empty sky. Though he didn’t realise it, there was a part of him deep inside that wished he could do for them what he always dreams of somebody doing for him; bring them freedom. Free will was so very important.

He shifted a little on the couch, head ending up in her lap, legs hanging over the edge of the couch which was just a little too small for a mighty akalak. But then again most things were in the city of humans. His fingers twirled an ombre lock that fell to his face.

“There are so many better stories I could tell you.” He chuckled, a little nervously. For almost half a decade he had never wavered in his decisions on that night. He’d almost been proud of what he’s done. And now, perhaps he still didn’t regret a thing but somehow he found himself apprehensive to telling Kelski about them. Why was that? “I can promise you you’re not going to like it. But if you must… very well. Many years ago before we came to this city, Aer’wyn met a woman and like a stupid lost puppy he fell in love and married her and…. Ugh. Suffice to say she was the opposite of a worthy companion or even a good influence oh him but he was so blinded by her.” Drawing air into his lungs, Vel sighed, recalling vivid memories with no trouble. His eyes rested on the ceiling as if he could see snippets of the past in it’s surface. “The woman was a mage. She’s the one who… well… you’ve seen what Aer can do. That’s knowledge she left him behind. Filthy magic. For years I turned a blind eye on it all. Figured it wasn’t my choice as long as she could give him children and kept the disease that was morphing to herself, it was out of my hands. But it was like watching a drug addict chase their next high and eventually she wanted him to know the feeling too. And the moment he began to learn it, I could tolerate it no longer.”

Vel closed his eyes. Beneath his lids he saw the final moment everything changed so vividly as if it was happening again. “So the took my arm.” He said slowly. “And I took her life.” Not a note of regret accompanied the revelation.

As she spoke up again he fell to silent contemplation. There was a beauty to Kelski’s words. An aura of magnificence and hopefulness that could inspire even the darkest hearts of men who lost it all, even their identity. Sometimes if felt as if she could raise the weak form heir beds, ignite the fires of passion in the dispassionate just with words alone. And in the seclusion of the Midnight Gem, the world away from the world, for a moment, just a moment they could pretend that paradise was achievable for the living.

“You are wise beyond your years, Kelvic. The things you talk about, they’re not just true, they’re utopian. And not for a moment do I mean that mockingly. If the world saw things though your eyes… well.. maybe it wouldn’t be such a shithole.” He said quietly, mussing. “A part of me wishes that I could be like you, seeing the best in people. But some hatchets cannot be buried. We can’t have peace if the wounds of the past are still oozing blood. And just how this city will never be fixed…” he sighed again, melancholia enveloping his body as Kelski ran her fingers along the lines of his braid. His hand came to his face, covering his yes and there it rested. “Neither will this. He won’t accept the reasons I’ve done what I’ve done to protect the both of us, not to hurt him. But he’d rather loose everything, including this body, to over giving than ever admit that I may be right. That some things should not be toyed with.”

If Kelski wanted to dig up venerability with this conversation, that’s precisely what she did. Some things he told her, he didn’t even truly admit to himself. But there was something soft about her, something comforting that made him feel so oddly safe in her presence. A lack of judgement she held in her heart. It made her so very not human and so wonderful because of that.
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Aer'wyn Grisghul
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We need to talk... [Kelski]

Postby Kelski on August 22nd, 2018, 3:52 am

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Kelski liked the fact that Vel had the option to pick his own name and did so because of the way it sounded. That earned a grin from her and a nod of understanding. She was starting to get the impression he was incredibly self-reliant and this fit with the theme of his own life so far. Alone. In a way it made her incredibly sad. She had been like that, in so many ways, before she found all the people here and they had come to mean so much to her.

“You have the same right.” She said simply, knowing that even if Aer didn’t agree, it didn’t make the fact less true. The Akalaks might have an unusual situation, but they also had an incredibly long lifespan in contrast to her own and in all that time they should come to some balance, some equality in between the two souls, and if they didn’t it was a true tragedy. And in a way, it was a waste of a life.

Sometime in the middle of their conversation, Kelski had reached out and took his good hand in her own free one and clasp it there, letting the interwoven digits rest between them. He just felt like he needed to be held. And she had a great desire to comfort. Even though she realized her presence probably meant little to him. She held one arm around him and kept his hand clasped and kept him talking. She was truly interested in what he had to say.

“The only pleasure I’ve had of seeing people who have wronged me dead is the pleasure in knowing they will not do to someone else what they have done to me. When someone hurts another, they are not just hurting that person, but many people that person knows and even sometimes themselves.” Kelski said, knowing how Kynier had hurt over her disappearance and that Aer’wyn had suffered as well.

She smiled when he shifted, dropped in her lap, and changed positions so she could stroke his freshly shorn head along the braid as he spoke.

Kelski listened to his story, thoughtfully, knowing there were lines in her own life that couldn’t be crossed. “Still, that was very generous of you allowing the relationship and the situation to happen.” She was actually surprised he did. “But you had lines and he crossed them and you acted.” Kelski said, nodding thoughtfully. “Vel, did you ever tell him how you felt about her? Her magic? Can both of you communicate to each other? Like inside your heads and hearts?” Kelski asked quietly, looking thoughtfully. “I cannot imagine how much pain and anger you must have had to take your own arm like that.” She said in a soft voice, her eyes distant, as if she were buried deep in her thoughts.

Vel complimented her and Kelski’s lips upturned. “I’m not human. I don’t look with human eyes. I think sometimes they taint the world with their greed and selfishness. You are the first Akalak I’ve known – you and Aer. I think your long lives give you an advantage to see things deeper. But their lives are short, these humans, like Kelvics are. And they take and take and take with wanting so much fast without work or effort. Not all are like that. But a great many are.” Kelski mused, having not had good experiences with humans here. She stroked his slick head again then picked up his braid, toying with it as she looked off in the distance.

“Vel, have you ever thought of swords as evil? They can hurt people just as much as magic can. It is not so much the sword though, is it? It’s more who wields it and how they do so. I think magic is much like that. It’s not evil in itself, not really, but can be based on who uses it and how. Do you know Aer’wyn told me he was going to use his magic to learn to be an eagle so we could fly together? I was so charmed when he said that and I offered to teach him to fly. I would love for you to fly with me too. We could circle the city on thermals all day, watching people go about their lives like ants on an anthill.” Kelski said gently, not wanting to upset him, but definitely wanting to put the idea in his head. “That’s not using Morphing for a bad reason. It really isn’t… and it would bring me so much joy.” She said softly, tickling his nose with the end of his tied off braid.

“I am not human, but I know a little magic too… Vel. Does it make me evil? My calling isn’t magic though, its with gems and metals and weaving them together to form beautiful things. I don’t know what to think of your hatred. I can understand it, but in my mind… and I know I am only a kelvic… but in my mind you give magic a lot more power than it deserves. It’s only a tool. It’s like fearing hammers or nails instead of the carpenter that wields them. I know I cling to my power, not giving it away in the form of fear or hatred. Many humans in this city have hurt me or done me great injustice. But I have never hated them. I know they have, at least those that are still living, think more often of me than I ever give them space in my head to live. I feel like that’s what you’ve done, Vel….” She said, tickling his chin and jaw now with the end of his braid… “It’s like you’ve hung a ‘for rent’ sign in your brain and let them move in without charging them coin.” Kelski commented, dropping Vel’s gaze and pushing his hand gently aside so she could meet Vel’s gaze, hoping she was not pushing too much or angering him at all.

“I don’t see why you can’t be that voice in Aer’wyn’s head, guiding him when you think he will overgive… backing him down. That’s what a true brother would do. I know you don’t think you are true brothers, but instead true enemies… but Vel… that’s no life. You have no life as things are now. But you could easily have one, easily, with a little understanding and compromising on both your parts.” Kelski said firmly, her voice soft and gentle.
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