Closed Night Flight (Kelski)

Nightstalkers take to the streets of Sunberth to hone their bodies.

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

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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 8:21 pm

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10th of Fall, 518 A.V.

Midnight Gem, 20th Bell----------------

The last of Syna’s blessed light was fading behind the horizon. Through the window Kynier could see the hues of red, yellow, gold, and orange paint the clouds in the sky. After a moment’s appreciation he returned his focus to strapping on his boots. Kynier was partially excited for the activity planned for the night. The clouds had taken a pause from weeping all over the city. The air was still thick with moisture and the grounds were going to be soggy and wet. But that it wasn’t raining anymore gave them an opportunity to actually do what they intended.

It had been Kelksi’s idea. That they should go out and run through the city at night. The Kelvic had devoted more time to training and strengthening her body. Something that Kynier’s attention had diminished on slightly. While his abdomen did not develop the swelling of an inactive male, the mage had begun to felt his physical qualities slip a little. Muscles had never been his concern, though he didn’t deny the appeal. It was the flexibility and endurance. This was something he needed, and was thankful for the ability to have someone to do it with.

Once his boots were strapped tightly he stood up from the edge of the bed. He took the time to strap on his weapons. The cold iron blade he had taken from Fretrin, and Glister, its more eloquent twin. Kynier wasn’t intending on finding the trouble that would require them. But then, no one ever did. Almost he elected to not carry his two daggers that he kept for dire situations. Then he changed his mind again and slipped the assassin’s dagger into his boot and the mundane dagger to the belt at his back. For the training to be more effective it would be best to dress like he would any other day.

From the wardrobe he removed the new cloak that he had procured from his antics in the city just the day before. It was made of a lighter and finer material than his old one. Llama wool that had been dyed black. Kynier draped it over his shoulders and raised the hood. The lighter weight on his frame was something he was still adjusting to. But the material was smoother to the touch and imbued with magic to make him more comfortable when wearing it. After that he took up his backpack of voiding and went to the kitchen. From the cupboard he removed three of the waterskins before going outside to the water pump in order to fill them. Kynier wasn’t sure how much Kelski intended to pack in regards to supplies. To be safe, he decided to take a few medical wraps from their stores, as well as needle and thread for sutures, and added them to the pack. That should be everything we could need. Kynier slipped the pack on underneath the cloak and made for the Great Room.

A chime later, Kynier was standing at the top of the stairs leading into the Great Room. Though he was partially excited he was also feeling anxiety. Normally this was something he did on his own. Secluded from possible judgment. Kelski had taken to the skies every day and more recently to the few miles around the Midnight Gem to run. It had been a third of a season since last he really ran. Kynier did not like the idea of falling short and somehow disappointing her. Enough of that had been occurring recently.

He did not need to wait for more than a few ticks before Kelski emerged fully prepared from her appearance. Kynier smiled at her for no real reason, other than seeing her. The training she had been doing was showing more each day on her form. Kelski looked stronger and healthier night after night. After his thoughts on appreciating her figure had passed she was standing next to him. “I’m all set to go if you are.” He said. Once she was ready they descended the stairs together. Kynier double checked the inside of his dark green vest to make sure he had the key to let them back into the Midnight Gem later. It was there, safely stowed in a concealed pocket.

Outside the door Kynier turned to Kelski and gestured out to nothing in particular that was in front of them with a hand. “After you,” he said with a smile that indicated how he planned to enjoy this. Kynier would let Kelski set the pace and choose the first piece of their path. Normally he would’ve stretched first to loosen his legs, but that was never available in the fight or flight moments. And he wanted to see what he could do when burdened with his general daily set up. Once Kelski began, he watched her go for a few steps before beginning himself.

Kynier made a small vertical hop, lifting on knee higher than the other. Once his weight reconnected with the ground he sank with the momentum so that his knees bent. With his body coiled up like a spring, he released and took off after Kelski. Though he had the longer stride it still took some several ticks to close the distance that had formed. He did not run parallel with her, but allowed himself to be a half stride behind on her side. Right where she could easily see him while letting her take the lead.

Running was a primal function of all creatures. And yet, there was an art form to it. Kynier did not dig his heels into the ground the way he sometimes did with his normal stride. Being lighter was an objective and landing softly on the soles of the feel. To glide over the ground rather than stamp it down as he went. The wet ground proved useful for that. To listen to the intensities of his foot falls with the amount of squelching that accompanied them. So he listened and judged himself on when he was planting his feet too hard, or not hard enough for an appropriate grip to propel himself efficiently.

They had only just begun; but Kynier glanced over at Kelski and smiled through his breathing. This was a really good idea.


Word Count: 1,045

Boxcode credit goes to Gossamer!
Last edited by Kynier on September 22nd, 2018, 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on September 22nd, 2018, 4:19 pm

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One of the things that had come out of their evening which was supposed to be a talk on magic but had turned into something else entirely was that they needed to spend more time together. Not wind-down time when they were tired or locked into a routine like dinner time around the kitchen hearth. Instead, they needed to spend time together getting to know each other better… not by talking but by doing things together and interacting. Kelski was someone that went out, roamed, and never missed a day scouting in her eagle form. She knew Kynier vanished, sometimes all night, and maybe just maybe it was time they did some patrolling together.

Kelski laid out her new armor on the bed, sliding into silken underthings to allow the armor to slide and move. It was lightweight night leather, dyed mottled black that helped her blend into the shadows. She rolled boots up her legs and lanced them tight. She added her bandolier of daggers and slipped Pitch into its place at the small of her back. Her hair she braided up in a plait which she darkened with charcoal ash at its lighter points. She stripped off her normal amount of jewelry and lined her eyes with khol. She darkened her lids with a shimmery silver that matched her pupils. There were no rules to why she couldn’t look nice even dressed for wandering the city with Kynier.

She loved to run. Kelski had been doing it a lot lately, mostly on the beach and on the main thoroughfares of Sunberth. And it had helped her endurance a great deal. It was building muscles and making her stronger. That was her greatest gold at the moment… to get stronger, faster, hone her dagger skills. Kynier had all but made her give up magic on the outside, but these things she could do openly and enthusiastically. And she did so, loving the way her body felt when she got done working out or running or even riding Moth up and down the beach.

As she heard Kynier getting ready, Kelski hurried to join him. She nodded at his question, agreeing she was ready. Her feet made almost no noise on the stairs as they descended them together. She returned his smile, and unlike him, took a moment to bend and stretch her legs until she started jogging lightly down the street into the encroaching darkness. She went easy at first, choosing the road and letting her body find its running rhythm. She kept her eyes up, ten feet in front of her, memorizing what was between her and the distance as it crossed her gaze.

The Kelvic didn’t strike with her heels or her toes. Kelski was careful to land mid-stride so she didn’t feel the jolt in her calves which would already be abused enough. Landing on her heels meant she was over striding and breaking badly with her foot. Kelski was conscious of doing it right so she would land one or two ways… the middle of her foot where she could roll through to her font toes or on her very tip of her toes if she needed to grip something and leap.

The Sea Eagle made sure her toes were pointed in the direction she wanted to go at all times. She also kept her hands at her waist height as if she were going to rest them gently on her hips. Relaxing her hands, arms, and shoulders. As she lightly jogged away form Kynier, she kept her posture straight and erect. Head up, eyes scanning the area, she made sure her back was straight and her shoulders were level. All of it was important. Being human was different than being and eagle and in a lot of ways Kelski was worse at it. She made sure she didn’t lean forward or back at her waist further than her natural form allowed. The key to easy running was keeping her shoulders relaxed, square, and facing forward. It allowed her to breathe easier.

Kelski didn’t want to go easy on Kynier or herself. The truth was they needed hardcore training, and the best way to do that was to not take the easy path. So before long Kelski had lead them on the road out of Baroque Bay and into the partially ruined Sunset Quarters where they veered off the road. Leaning out and grasping a small wall with her fingerless gloved hands, Kelski lightly leaped a small crumbling wall with the assistance of her hands and turned right into a twisted alleyway or partially collapsed houses or what once served as them.

There were hurdles galore, most fallen piles of stones, timbers, and trash. Kelski darted in and out of them, leading Kynier, and finally after having to scramble up one wall that was over ten feet tall, found themselves along a straight path that was relatively clear save for the same wall running its length. Kelski opened up her speed then, and stepped into one of the shadows cast by the moon. She vanished abruptly materializing above Kynier, running parallel to him on the wall.

She ran the length of the wall until another shadow broke it and she slipped in, finding herself suddenly on the ground still running, coming out of another shadow cast across the narrow alley. She laughed in delightedly, breathing more roughly than normal but not by any means panting. “I’m still getting used to this…. but its amazing… a whole new way to move.” She said to Kynier, falling behind him trying not to bounce. Kelski kept her stride low to the ground to focus on a quick stride turnover. She didn’t want to waste energy with an up and down movement which was harder on her body than just a lithe conservative short light-stepped run. She liked to think of herself as running on something delicate. She didn’t want to break whatever it was, but she didn’t want to fall through the ground either. Envisioning herself weightless made her run lighter. And as a result she wasn’t nearly as winded as she should have been had she been not paying close attention to her body.

“Your turn….” Kelski said, gesturing ahead of them in a way that he could see now being up front. “I’ll follow your lead, but challenge us… and then I’ll lead again.” She urged, giving him a playful slap on his rump as she fell back a little further.

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Kelski
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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on September 23rd, 2018, 12:36 am

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Sunset Quarters----------------

It wasn’t as simple as a person would think. Kynier had already given attention to how his feet meet the ground. Seeking to be neither too heavy nor too soft with his foot placements. But as he watched Kelski’s form in front of him he gave it more consideration. The Kelvic was not moving her body much with the exception for her legs. The arms were set at just above her waistline and did not swing about the way his were. Curious, Kynier relaxed his hands from the running fists they had made. Mimicking her form, his arms lowered to a height that would allow him to comfortably still reach for his weapons.

He tried relaxing his upper body. After all he was not currently running for his life. Immediately the strain on his body eased. Kynier was surprised at exactly how tense his form had been. Being loose allowed for his legs to absorb the ground more and he heard even more improvement with his footfalls. For they were quiet enough it was difficult to hear them over the sound of his own breathing. That was something else he wanted to work on. Kynier experimented with his breathing. The differences between inhaling and exhaling through the mouth, or the nose, and the combinations of those options.

Simply trying to breath in and out with the nose made him feel light headed after a chime. Inhaling through the mouth alleviated the sensation. Yet using the mouth for the entirety of his respiration cycle felt unnecessarily loud and would cause his mouth to dry. The best feeling combination was an inhale through the mouth and an exhale through the nose. It was simple to control the volume of both without mental distraction. Lungs filled and emptied with ease this way, and no form of dizziness planted itself in his head.

Kelski veered to take them into the Sunset Quarters. Hardcore training had been mentioned though it was never specified what that would entail. The moment she vaulted over a small wall he had an understanding. They were not going to be running through the city but instead using it as an obstacle course. Setting a hand down on the same wall Kynier leapt over it as well. When he landed it was on the balls of his feet. Forward he pushed his weight so that he could keep his momentum going, rather than landing hard and sticking into the ground.

It was laughable how it was the two of them managed to turn something despicable about the city into an advantage. In the Sunset Quarters there was plenty of rubble and garbage strewn about the place. Kelski took the lead by a few more paces and darted her way around them. Kynier followed suit right behind her. Trying to match her lighter frame’s quick movements and sudden changes of direction challenged him in how to make such a drastic alteration to his course. More than once he nearly tripped or had bad footing. His mistakes gave the other Nightstalker a greater lead on him.

Clear of the debris field he pushed himself harder to try and close the distance. It did not occur as she was running straight towards the wall in front of them. Kelski was heaving herself over the barrier as Kynier lept up. Both hands grasped the weather worn stone and a leg bent up until a knee was against his chest, so he could brace with a foot and prevent from crashing into the wall with his momentum. A lesson he learned the hard way last season. With a hard pull Kynier lifted himself up and set a foot on the apex of the wall.

Kelski was already darting down to run parallel with the wall he was still on. Kynier got his other foot beneath him and leapt down. Knees bent and weight slightly forward, his feet connected, and he rolled over a shoulder rather than try and lock against his momentum. Both feet swung overhead and touched back down on the ground. Legs burned as he launched himself back up to his full height and entered the run once more. His Nightstalker companion was at least ten paces in front of him. Entering a full sprint, Kynier chased after her.

Gradually the distance between them closed. Before it could, the Kelvic entered a darker shadow than the rest and vanished. One instant there and the next one gone. His pace slowed slightly until a shadow crossed over him. Gazing up, she was back on top of the wall and running down its length. Gods… he did not know she could do that. Leaning forward with his shoulders Kynier ran as fast as he could after her. Clearly obstacles held little meaning to the Kelvic if she had that ability. Did he also have it? Unlikely. The shadows would probably have said something, even if it was a snide remark, about him using or not using that Nightstalker power.

Once again, she vanished and reemerged on the ground close to him. An exhilarated laugh of hers rang out. So it was something she was not accustomed to. That must mean it is an ability the Night Mother grants unto her Favored. Her pace laxed to allow him to take the lead. The playful slap to his backside made his hips surged forward by instinct which lifted a little higher off the ground for a step. A laugh of his own matched her playful gesture. Something challenging? What would be an appropriate means of doing that? Kynier cast a quick glance around at his surroundings to judge exactly where they were.

Once he had an idea he increased his speed and took a sharp turn through and alley heading east. It was dark for those unblessed by their goddess, but they could clearly see the expansive rubble that cluttered the alley. Kynier’s eyes already determined a course to take. Without slowing he leapt up at a diagonal to plant a foot on a crate and leap over the rest of the rubble. Next he rolled under a set of splintered beams that were propped against the wall. Like that he continued. Moving not just side to side but over and even under it the space permitted.

Coming out of the alley Kynier turned sharply to the side. The few people at the streets watched as the two of them flew past them. One with their cloak billowing at behind him with the cloak’s magic keeping the hood comfortably set over his brow. The other a pale woman in dark attire not far behind them. A few called out in the street as the Nightstalkers went by. Some encouraging Kynier to run faster if he wanted to escape, others whistling and hooting in admiration of the Kelvic behind him. The unexpected audience made him spare a breath to laugh once.

Ahead there was an abandoned building that he recognized. From an effort of observation he once did for Doler, Kynier was quite familiar with its interior. He led the two of them towards it. People that saw them coming jumped out of the way in the street. The door to the structure was closed, but that wasn’t going to change his plans any. Approaching quickly, and straight at the door, Kynier tucked a shoulder in and charged through it. The aged wood broke under his propelled weigh and the door caved inward. The interior was in shambles with one of the two support columns collapsed across the room.

Kynier ran to the pile of rubble that rested below the gaping whole in the ceiling to the second floor. It would’ve been easier to vault the column and run up the stairs. But they wanted something more challenging than that. Taking a few quick steps up the pile Kynier jumped for the edge of the hole. Both hands grasped at the floor of the second story. His legs swung underneath once. Initiating his core and his upper body, Kynier used the backwards swing to help lift himself up onto the second floor. Kneeling down on the edge he pivoted around and held a hand at the ready to assist the other Nightstalker should she need it.

Once they were both up Kynier charged down the hall and turned the corner. Part way down the next hall was a large window that had been broken. Unless they had cut it down, there should be a large tree just outside. Continuing the lead Kynier jumped out onto large branch of the tree that was still there. Instead of running down its length he knelt down to grip the branch before hopping backwards and swinging down to the ground, continuing his run. The destination in mind was Execution Square. Kynier acknowledged the rumors of danger at night that existed there. But he wasn’t concerned about it being something the two of them could not handle.

Guiding them through the next two streets posed no physical obstacles for a challenge. So Kynier gave more to the run to make it faster and harder. His legs were developing that ache and his hands felt irritated from the friction of their acrobatics and climbs. It was not so bad that he’d let it hinder what they were doing. To just run and move without more fear than the natural paranoia of living in Sunberth, was a mental release of its own.

The highest branches of the grand tree could be seen over the rooftops of the last set of buildings. Coming out of the next alley they entered Execution Square proper. It was too soon for the leaves to begin to change or fall from the branches, leaving an expanse of visual obstructions before them. Kynier went straight for the tree. The nearest branch that looked capable of supporting their combined weight he reached for to climb. Kynier sought to challenge their ability to be fast and have balance. The grand tree with its seemingly hundreds of thick twisted branches would be the perfect thing for that.

Kynier kept his eyes in the middle between the branches they traversed and the possible tree limbs that could be crashed into if he wasn’t attentive. The mage led them with leaps to a branch just to grasp it and swing-leap onto the next. Climbing up the ones that took vertical twist. Or just randomly reach out with a hand to grasp at the bark and spiral down and around to the ground. Through the compartmented sections they went. The infamous hooting of the owl many had never seen echoed around them.

Kynier felt his lungs burning in his chest. But he did not stop. This was the moment his body would grow stronger, faster, more agile. Arms, hands, and legs were being pushed to their limits. It was hard to say when the last time he had this much enjoyment from physical exertion had occurred. Kynier had lost track of time, and the labyrinth of leaves and branches made it impossible to tell how many laps they made around the great tree. He did not have gloves or even fingerless gloves on to protect his hands. The callouses that would develop from this would be thick. To give their hands and arms a brief reprieve, Kynier lead them back down to the ground and out of the Square.

It was time for the Kelvic to retake the lead. Kynier slowed his pace to allow her to pass him. “I hope… you found that… challenging enough,” he said between breaths. As she passed Kynier reciprocated her earlier gesture. Not with a slap but a five-finger squeeze of her tense rump. “Lead the way, love!”




Word Cout: 1956

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

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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on September 24th, 2018, 1:25 am

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There were a lot of activities that Kelski enjoyed tremendously with Kynier. Talking to him in long drawn out philosophical debates. Worshiping with him. Spending time creating things with him. She didn’t even mind curling up sleeping with him. But running with him was beyond fun. The Kelvic was enjoying herself enormously even if they were actually doing it in the name of fitness. Kelski didn’t enjoy the natural grace of a feline so she struggled along just like any other human would do. Her strengths leaned more towards balance and using her arms to keep her body level than it ever had to do with her legs. Using her legs as a human wasn’t difficult for her, but the grace that others showed was something she’d had to culture.

She had to use some of her newer skills meaning scanning, rapidly assessing her surroundings as she ran with her mate, and making split second decisions on positioning, balance, and route. Kelski was grateful Kynier altered his pace to match hers for he was obviously the stronger runner. His body was tall, not bulked, but he had strength in his form that made him more flexible and faster than she was. Kelski attributed it to the fact he moved around, active in his spying, while she spent long hours at her workbench grinding gemstones and turning gold and silver ore into jewelry. She admired his stride, the way he breathed deeply in such control, while she knew she had to struggle with it.

He made it look easy and that encouraged her to the point that she could get there if she just worked at it. More work, more practice, something she was learning she’d been lax in. Her body was important to her but she hadn’t treated it as well as she should have. That was going to change though. Outings like tonight might become the new normal because she needed this time away from the jeweler’s bench that sometimes felt like it had a chain attached to it. As they moved, it was clear to her that her flexibility was lacking when Kynier took a wall with ease she struggled to cross.

She could move, but her lighter form was a help in that manner, disguising other shortcomings that she hoped her mate wouldn’t see. Kelski couldn’t help but compare the two of them. It was obvious that he had far more upper body strength than she did. He wasn’t surefooted, not altogether, but Kelski knew it would come with time. He was good at changing positions, directions, and leaping up and down.

Most importantly though it was fun. Kelski felt her heartrate increase, her circulation flow, and the blood pump to her brain and back to her feet and back to her brain again. She was happy with the exercise, it being far different than anything they’d tried to do before. Kelski took extra effort to leap up onto things when situations presented themselves. A stack of crates against a wall provided a vertical surface challenge for her and she went up it and across it when she could. If the footing grew uneasy or the wood rotted, she’d drop down to the ground again, as lightly as possible, sometimes rolling if she had to because of the height. She experimented with her gifts of moving through shadows, remembering her discovery the day her and Farris had gone to the temple. Shields couldn’t prevent her from crossing them when she used the shadows. Kelski passed from one world to another and back to her world within their means, thus physical barriers proved no obstacle. Being a Nightstalker was amazing… serving Akajia was just another pleasure. Kelvics lived to serve and excelled at it. Kelski wouldn’t let the Night Mother regret her choice.

When the traded leadership, Kelski got the advantage of watching Kynier move and she sensed the challenge in him. Kelski watched him get their bearings and take off, pouring on speed. She lengthened her stride and deepened her breathing to try and match him. She was confident she could keep up, but her form wasn’t as good. She cupped her hands as if she were gripping eggs gently, trying to stay as relaxed as Kynier looked. She kept her strikes on the ground light, midfoot, and flexible in case the footing was dubious when she came down.

Kelski followed him when they turned east, flexing her ability and supplementing her lack of skill with her shadow transferring ability, gliding along behind him sometimes skipping from shadow to shadow to get a better feel for the process. It conserved her strength which was a bonus, and somehow passing through the shadows rejuvenated her a bit telling her it was a preferred means of motion when possible. She liked he was utilizing the vertical challenges of Sunberth, climbing rubble and sliding under fallen beams. More than once she felt her night armor protect her as she hip-slid through rubble, or ducked under overhangs that would have otherwise clotheslined her.

The Spy was a better climber, perhaps due to his strength, but Kelski tried to make up for it with speed. The lighter body clambered a bit easier, though she was bulked down by her armor. She didn’t mind it either. Training in armor made stamina better than not training in armor and suddenly finding oneself fighting in it. To her, it had to become like second skin or else she wasn’t going to be effective. She did, after a bell, have to adjust where some of her weapons rode, giving her a better ability to squeeze past tight spaces or fit under or over things without the rattle of metal.

She wasn’t used to the audience and it distracted her – a deadly thing in Sunberth – to have people jeering and calling at them assuming all kinds of things. She marveled that Kynier kept his hood on and that his cloak didn’t make more noise as he ran. Kelski wasn’t wearing a cloak. It didn’t do her any good because her body was generating its own warmth and the leather armor was coated in oils to make it easier to shed water. It wasn’t waterproof, but a good rainstorm wouldn’t hurt it.

When they turned into the abandoned building, Kelski was on completely new ground. She didn’t know the place and her body went on high alert. She ignored the scattered people, soon leaving them far behind. She was just grateful all her items were carefully strapped on her body, secure with all the running. That Kynier plowed through the door made her laugh. She ducked through an open window instead, leaping across the boundary and landing cautiously still running instead of bulldozing her way through the fragments of the door he shattered. It was impressive, watching the show of strength though. And while it wasn’t something she’d do, it was something she could admire in him.

When he went up through the ceiling, Kelski cursed inwardly. He made it look easy and though she tried the same technique, she ended up needing his hand to fully complete the move as he half hauled her and she half jumped up through the opening. She made a mental note to practice the move later, something that would allow her to grab a floor, bounce upwards, and swing up to ascend it.

He started off again, and Kelski kept with him, giving him space for unexpected motions, but keeping him in nearly touching distance if she were to pour on the speed. Trees. Damnit. He went through the side of the building and suddenly they were squirrels instead of people. Kelski wished for her wings for a moment, then decided it was a waste of time. Instead she concentrated on her balance, footing, and keeping from sliding off the bark. Kynier swung down and Kelski flat out jumped down, landing lightfooted in a short dive roll she’d already learned. She saw he was heading towards Execution Square and hoped that was the end of their tree adventures.

Kelski definitely wasn’t comfortable in her humansish skin in trees. She much preferred wings and talons. Didn’t he understand that?

Nope. They kept running, speeding up instead of slowing down like she assumed he’d do to let them catch their breath. Kelski cursed under her breath, rethinking how much fun this was, as he crossed the boundaries of The Square and entered it proper. Then he looked at the tree and was in it in a heartbeat. Kelski cursed under her breath, used the thinnest of shadows, and phased in and out appearing on the tree running above him rather than following him in the climbing. Kelski moved across the tree in her own way, jumping down branches, phasing up to higher limbs. Her climbing came when they got on thinner branches and lost the shadows. Her muscles ached as she swung up and down, trying to get good grips with her fingerless gloves and not slide on the dew that was forming on the bark. Slowly… ever slowly… she lost her fear and was phasing more and more until her thrust against a branch to climb slipped and she flat out fell from almost ten feet up. Luckily she crossed a shadow, phased aware of another near by one, and bought herself time and a place to catch herself to right her position.

Winded, scared, she trembled as she grasped the branch and dropped all the way to the ground several feet, ultimately unscathed. She needed more practice and had no idea how Kynier was staying aloft with his greater weight. He had to be in pain as Kelski followed him on the ground, running to track his motions above. It was a bit harder, because she had to watch above her, not trip on things in front of her, and be aware of her danger sense. When he finally came to the ground, she was relieved knowing where she was taking them next. She was still panting hard when he said he hoped she found it challenging.

Her smirk was bitter because her chest was heaving as she took off at his indication to take the lead. Take the lead? She was done with the city for a bit and ran for the first river crossing they could find. The Mudway wasn’t swollen, despite the rain, but the footing was solid mud and treacherous, so she slowed and let her feet feel the way as she crossed from the Sunset Quarter, ran down the main street, and crossed to the edge of the water to run along the river.

Mud was a challenge, so too was gravel and boulder fields that looked as if they could break ankles. And there was trash a plenty, some piles too big to leap and some small enough to trip if eyes weren’t watching. Kelski paused them only long enough to get them on a small ferry, passing coins to svefra hands and dropping her hands to her knees to blow a moment, walking around as she did so, until the small boat touched the other side and she was off running again. The main road gave them a chance to catch their breaths, running unencumbered except by the sheer amount of people out on the road in the darkness…. which surprised Kelski to no end.

She had a destination in mind, one further from home than The Sunset Quarter, and one that would offer nighttime challenges galore. Kelski crossed south of Robern’s Reaches in the sort of no-man’s land created where the Reaches touched Stumble Alley. Then she ran flat out on a small track that lead straight to the dust beds. Once there, they hit a sea of tomb stones, mounts, and statures that gave Kelski more vertical diversity. She scrambled up some, across outstretched arms, and down the forms of others. Some tombs she leapt up on and then took precious time leaping from crypt to crypt judging distances and using her whole-body weight to sometimes manage the jump.

She didn’t always make it.

Moss, lichens, and even muddy grass grew on some of them making the footing unsure. And by now her knees and calves were burning from leaping from stone crypt to stone crypt. She passed through a newer area, heard the howling of wolves, and jumped off the vertical she was on, landing lightly on a gravel path between newer graves. Lungs heaving, she pulled up short just around a corner and almost screamed before she clamped her hands over her mouth.

She stopped so abruptly in the road that Kynier careened straight into her, impacting hard. Kelski dug her heels in, half anticipating it, holding him back from the specter that stood in the gravel road before them. It was a bearded man, bulked of muscle, armed with a sword but stripped to the waist. He was wearing fancy boots and an amused grin. Long hair flowed down his shoulders and rippled in waves across his back. His neck was sliced wide and a ghostly garotte wire still hung from it where blood flowed freely down his throat.

His eyes should have been missing, but they weren’t. Instead crystal blue orbs gazed at Kelski, seemingly ignoring Kynier’s presence completely.

“Hello Little Bird. We meet again.” Darvin said and rushed her. Kelski jumped aside just as Darvin tried to slam himself into Kynier’s body, attempting to possess him in a fast ruthless maneuver that would hopefully take him by surprise. The move had been obviously carefully planned.

Kelski froze, her hands still over her mouth in horror. Panting, she held herself as still as possible, shock coursing through her body as she watched the ghost struggle to possess the man it took completely by surprise.

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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on September 24th, 2018, 3:54 am

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The Dust Beds----------------

Kelski’s displeasure with the trees was something Kynier was unaware of. That she preferred to be in her other form when settled on the bark of branches. That way she could dig in with her talons for grip and perch. These were things that he did not understand as a human. Human’s did not use their nails for grip, and only a few had nails healthy enough to scratch at skin comfortably. Kynier had to resort to his flesh for grip with all things. Though there were not many trees to be utilized in the city, the activity harnessed muscles not normally used.

It seemed the obstacle maneuvers were over with for now. Kelski’s lean form took them towards the Mudway and she searched for a ferry to cross the river. As Kynier followed behind her, his eyes took in the river thoughtfully. Whether it could be done without being seen, Kynier wasn’t sure. With his new understanding of geomancy, it was possible for him to form stone bridges over the rivers. The Svefra that served as ferrymen would not be pleased with the notion. And the sudden appearance of a stone bridge overnight could very well rally the city to perform a mage hunt.

Running through the mud provided a new challenge. Mostly on Kynier’s shins and ankles as they worked to pry his feet from the mud’s greedy grip. A few of his steps landed on a slick patch and his foot would slid a bit during the transition of his weight. Was he really this heavy on his feet? It felt like they had done miles of running through the mud by the time Kelski spotted a ferry. Though it was probably closer to a third of a mile. The two of them made their approach to cross over the river. Slowing to a stop, Kynier heaved as his lungs burned from lactic acid.

Looking at the water again as Kelski turned over the coins for passage, Kynier wondered how difficult it would have been to swim across. Stepping on to the boat he looked over his companion and her attire. Swimming would’ve provided a great challenge, but neither of them were appropriately dressed for it. The armor the Kelvic wore would wear her down and potentially drown her. So any attempt to swim would need to be discussed in advance so they could dress accordingly. Because Kynier would like to do this more. He was finding many weaknesses in himself he was unaware of.

When the boat got them to the other side, Kelski was off and he left two paces between them. Her impressive yet strange ability with the shadows took her to unpredictable places and brought her back again. But they were following a path leading out of the city. No drastic turns or changes of direction were done. Kynier was a bit thankful for that. He was getting tired and wasn’t sure how much longer he could run. Yet watching her ahead of him pushed his body harder. Having someone to run with had made him exceed the expectations he would have set as his limits.

Leth rose high in the air as the time passed on their journey to the Dust Beds. The expansive lot of graves before them was daunting to see. That so much death occurred in the city and so few could receive proper burials. Kynier was distracted a moment as he thought of what it must be like to have a site to mourn at. There was nothing like that for his family. The locations where he could do so were only in his memories, which he carried with him. Leaving him no place to ignore the pain of old scars like those of these people in the ground before them.

Kynier watched as Kelski lept from crypt to crypt. He did not dare to follow suit in that particular exercise. Not out respect for the dead, but that he was not sure the old stones could bare his weight. Many of them looked old. Perhaps older than the Valterrain. So instead he did his best to recreate what they had done so close to the beginning of their run. Kynier ran through and in between the crypts as Kelski jumped between them. Though he was heavily exerted the younger Nightstalker worked on being able to make fast sudden changes of direction without losing his balance. It was a process of knowing where you wanted to go and positioning the feet correctly to allow that movement to happen. It was something that he could develop over time. Eventually learning how to make that movement regardless of his foot positioning.

The route taken never veered far from the Favored. When she leapt down again Kynier took to her wake and rand behind her as she went deeper into the Dust Beds. What he had not been expecting was the sudden stop. When he collided with her back as he rounded the corner he nearly stumbled around her. She had braced against it and that alone kept him standing. Why had she stopped? When he looked up the answer was obvious. An apparition stood before them. A tall warrior half stripped of clothing with long hair. The after image of his life held the gruesome details of his death.

The man’s throat had been slit open in a full circle around his neck. A garrote string hung from the mortal wound and the illusion of blood ran down his muscled chest. The ghost said something, addressing Kelski, before charge forward with unexpected speed. The Kelvic managed to get out of the way, but she had not been the target. It was not the first ghost Kynier had encountered, but it was the first one to ever attempt to possess him. Kynier tried to leap in the opposite direction as Kelski, but the ghost altered its course to cut him off.

Cold worse than the harshest winter Kynier ever experienced washed over his body. The sweat lining his body turned to ice as the soulmist creating the apparition infused itself into the mage. Kynier fell to the ground as hands grasped at his head. Teeth clenched and groaning loudly as his head was filled with that bitter cold sensation. Kynier felt that his skull would split as the second consciousness forced its way into the host. The mage struggled and resisted against the spirit and fell silent after several ticks of writhing on the ground.

As quickly as it had started it stopped. Kynier rose to his feet, no longer out of breath. He turned to face the Kelvic, eyes glossed over with an off-white color. “Hello Little Bird,” he said in a throaty voice that was not natural for the man. He raised his hands before him and turned them over as he examined them. “This man is so weak.” Hands dropped to his sides and he took several slow steps towards the Kelvic. An expression of anger and pleasure decorated the face, pulling the muscles in a way Kynier never had done before.

“What are you doing, Little Bird? You do not belong to this man. You belong to me! And you…” he stopped, and confusion filled his eyes. “You have not bonded with this man.” A wide smile crossed his lips. “But you will. And it will not be to him, but to me.” Reaching under the cloak, Kynier pulled the dagger from its place. Taking a step forward he knelt and removed the assassin’s dagger from its place in his boot. Kynier’s form did not move with the sinuous motion of its original owner. But instead with the heavy-footed steps of the intruder. The intimidating presence of the spirit had infused itself to the new form and wore it like a second skin.

In appearance alone, it was Kynier. “Oh how cold it has been, Little Bird. It has been the only sensation I’ve known since you gave me this.” The point of a dagger floated up and indicated the neck which held no injury. “All I’ve wanted since then is to feel you again. To have your cunt as I please. To bruise color your skin from the paleness. I’ve watch you run and fly. But you cannot fly from me… Little Bird. You are destined to be mine. You… are… mine!”

In the recesses of the mind, the real Kynier clawed and scratched at the dominating presence of the mind. Darvin’s laugh echoed internally at the host’s attempts to reclaim control. Not yet you. Nothing will deny me what is rightfully mine, the warrior’s voice rang internally. Hatred fumed as the two spirits struggled against each other. It felt futile to the mage. Anja’s lessons had never explained what to do against a ghost’s possession. Neither had he formed any vial of soulmist, which was the only thing he could use against such beings.

Or was it…?

The mind of the real Kynier failed to regain control of his own body. But there was a single desperate hope. One that would have claimed to be a risky theory at best. But this was his own body and it was being used in a way he did not consent. With nothing but control of the mind, the real Kynier retreated deep within to the very essence of his existence to harness what Darvin could not have understood. Slowly, djed would crawl throughout the body, but Kynier did it slowly. So impatiently slowly so that the ghost would not sense what he was going to do.

Externally, a dagger rose and circled around an ear. “He has abandoned you,” he said with a half laugh. “Now it is just you and I, as it should be.” Darvin moved forward with a hardened expression. The off-white eyes were fixated on Kelski’s face. “I do not approve of that paint. I prefer a different sort of color.” At that he swung and arm to strike Kelski across the face with the butt of a dagger. Darvin wanted to see her bruised and discolored. Her skin always looked more beautiful with those extra colors.



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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on October 6th, 2018, 3:26 pm

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Kelski noticed the small things in that moment. Rain splattered on the stone and metal of the crypts, making pinning noises that held no melody at all. The same rain splattered on the dagger Kynier held to her and as he began to speak Kelski began to realize that when Darvin’s ghost vanished, it had somehow infused itself with Kynier’s form and now spoke from his lips.

She tilted her head, confused, listening to the words Darvin-Kynier spoke to her. And while her hands clenched and unclenched, she didn’t draw a weapon. Kelski couldn’t. She didn’t trust herself enough to do so. While she hadn’t fought Kynier in a long long time – not even a spar – she rather thought she was better than him at the blades. And she knew without a doubt she had surpassed her original teacher by a long shot. And if she took up a weapon, she’d kill Kynier in fighting Darvin. And so, she stood her ground, her fists clenched, her mind full of shock.

But it didn’t last long.

He touched her with a dagger, circling an ear and teasing her with the promise of pain. She wasn’t surprised when he struck her across the face with the butt of the dagger, she staggered back as the blow glanced across one cheek, bounced off her nose and scratched across the other cheek. She pulled back enough for it to avoid her eyes. The mild violence, nothing she wouldn’t expect from Darvin, struck her out of her stupor and she took a step back. Sure it hurt, but Kelski’s tolerance for pain – especially from this entity – was well built up.

“You were an idiot alive and you’re even dumber dead.” She said viciously. “Still focused on what’s tucked in your pants and not what’s perched on your neck.” Kelski hissed, shaking her head. “You wasted your life when you were alive and now you are wasting your death as well?” She said, crouching a bit low and circling around him. She had no idea what to do to help Kynier or if for some reason Darvin had killed him merging himself into his body. She wouldn’t leave him until she understood what was going on, until she knew if he was still alive in there.

Darvin was talking though, and she could respond and bait him, maybe into telling her if Kynier was still okay inside his own body. “I don’t belong to him. I belong only to myself. I own my own life, no one else does. I curl up with him at night though. And sometimes I want his body within mine and he gives it to me. Sometimes he wants my body and I give it to him. We share each other, and I don’t mind his touch… I even crave it. We enjoy love.” She said, telling the spirit the absolute truth.

“It’s nothing you can understand.” Kelski hissed, angry, looking Kynier-Darvin over.

“I will not bond to you, Darvin. I will not bond to anyone. No one crawls around in my mind, forcing my emotions - my thoughts - in directions I have not chosen. I am no one’s slave. No one.” She said darkly, looking him over, searching his gaze for a hint of Kynier in Darvin’s takeover.

“And I do not care what you approve of or don’t approve of. Your chance at a long full life filled with happiness is over. I took it from you when I choked the life out of you when you were distracted rutting over me like one beast ruts another. You don’t deserve humanity. You were never human. You aren’t anything but a monster, Darvin… someone who had no friends, no family, and no respect earned from anyone. That’s why you didn’t really die. That’s why you are stuck here like this… even emptier than you were before… still thinking of a cock you don’t even have any more. You were just a tool, a means to an end. You were a supplier of chemical happiness. Without the drugs and coin, you were nothing. A steaming pile of human shit in the middle of a street somewhere has more value than you ever did. I only ever learned one thing from you, Darvin…. you and your kind… and that was how rotten humans can be. How untrustworthy and deceptive and needy they are.” She hissed venomously. The Sea Eagle was mad and growing madder by the moment.

Was Kynier okay? Was he still in there? Could Akajia help? Could the shadows help? They were strangely absent, and the only noise in the world was her own harsh breathing and the splattering of cold chilly rain on everything around her.

Kelski hid her terror well, but deep inside she was terrified she'd just witnessed her mate's death without any bloodshed and in a split moment of time they had absolutely no control over.
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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on October 9th, 2018, 9:10 pm

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Anja had been lucky enough to be able to enjoy Light’s company on and off for the majority of the day. The dog had disappeared several times, no doubt the check on her puppies and to make sure that they were well, but Anja was finding that more so than simply coming to him for food and care, the black and white dog seemed to simply enjoy Anja’s company. The Drykas welcomed her. She was good company now that she was not nearly so sick, cheerful, lively, and with a good sense of humor.

But when the dog returned to Anja's for the fourth time that day, something seemed off. Light kept on bristling, and staring out into the darkness surrounding the campsite at nothing. Sometimes she would growl. It was very peculiar. The Dust Bed was, of course, haunted. And when animals sensed this in the air, sometimes they would react with fear. But Light had never had any problems with the Dust Bed until now. It made Anja uneasy that the dog might be sensing something that the Eiyon himself could not. So finally, after the fourth or fifth occasion of her bristling and growling at nothing, Anja called Maisa over to him, saddled her, and mounted and proceeded into the dark of the Dust Bed.

Anja watched the sky as a few pale ethereal figures floated overhead, but Light seemed uninterested in them. Her attentions seemed to be focused around them, at the crawling shadows in the dark just out of reach. Anja tried to call Light over to ride with them to help ease her anxiety, but the dog shied away from Anja’s touch and refused to be lifted into the saddle. Riding was one trick that Light was uninterested in learning.

As the crypts loomed about them, Maisa slowed to a walk, head low and suspicious. Sensing the change in his strider, Anja dismounted and proceeded ahead of his two friends, peering at the shadows birthed by Leth’s faint glow. There was something there...a distant hum that was different than the usual sorrow filled dirges that echoed through these lonely crypts. It was less of a dirge and more of a battle cry. Anja could all but taste the bitterness of hatred in the back of his throat. This whole area was thick with it.

Suddenly, voices filled the darkness around them. The first, deep but oddly familiar. The second Anja knew in an instant. Kelski.

Light suddenly let out a series of rapid barks and charged into the darkness. Anja raced after her on foot, feeling his strider keeping an easy pace at his back. When the shadows parted to Leth’s light, Anja found two figures standing beside the crypts. Two of the entities he knew well. The third, radiating hatred from inside of Kynier’s shell, Anja did not know. But based on a conversation that he and Kelski had shared last season, the Spiritist could make a reasonable guess. Anja carefully reached into his sash and pulled out a vial of soulmist, which he rubbed onto the blade of his still sheathed bastard sword. Then, cautiously, he stepped forward.

“Kelski!” Anja called to the woman, so as to not take her off guard. The warning served two functions. He also intended to let the ghost ridden Kynier know his presence. Anja could see the hatred in Kelski’s eyes, an emotion so foreign as to behold Kynier with, and he knew that the woman knew that Kynier was possessed. Anja made a short gesture in Pavi to Maisa, and watched her toss her head in agreement. Then, slowly, the man approached the three figures.

“You haven't been dead very long, have you?” Anja said to the ghost. He carefully edged himself forward, hands away from his blade. The man’s voice was calm. Unassuming. Non aggressive. “It’s difficult for new ghosts to possess people for very long...and you're just about at your limit, aren't you?”

The spiritist carefully wedged himself partially between Kelski and the ghost ridden Kynier. A sudden flurry of barks came from the shadows, and as if taking it as a cue, Maisa charged.

The attack was a feint. Maisa would not collide with the ghost ridden Kynier, nor would she get close enough to be reached by a weapon. But for a ghost who was already just barely holding onto a physical form with possession skills that were still not finely tuned, with luck the surprise would be enough to fling the ghost from Kynier. If the attempt was successful, then Anja would draw his soulmist infused blade in preparation for combat.
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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on October 12th, 2018, 4:29 pm

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----------------

There is was. The strike across her face had jolted the bird from whatever had frozen her in place. That’s when the steel came back into the Kelvic’s eyes. A gruesome smile stretched wider across the face of the man he was in. But it did not last as he watched her motions. The way her hands clenched and unclenched yet never reached for a weapon. That was displeasing. Everything had gone according to plan until this moment. But if she was not going to do it, then there were other options that he had considered.

Darvin watched as the little bird moved in the slow circle around him. Spewing her words about her relationship with this feeble body. Love? Darvin begun a gut rumbling laugh when the bird said that. Something that he couldn’t understand? Oh, Little Bird, you forget that people had lived lives before your short one met them. Painful memories attempted to surface within him. Unable to drink or take one of his more relaxing concoctions, Darvin was forced to remember. He felt the man’s mind push against him, causing the body’s head to twitch once to the side unexpectedly. No! Not yet!

Only half of the rest of what she said had been heard. Darvin narrowed the not-his-eyes at the Kelvic. “I’m not a monster, Little Bird. You fail to see all the things that you should have appreciated being under my guard.” Darvin continued the circling motion as he sought to corner Kelski against a crypt. “The self-control needed to not have taken your body for pleasure every day, is something other guards would not have exercised. Other’s would have chained you to your work bench and have left you there at all bells of the day. Never letting you outside!” The rage began to build in his voice. “We had struck a bargain! And I fulfilled my half of it and my duty! Dagger lessons for drugs! You agreed to all of it! And you call me monster!”

“Unappreciative Bitch!”

Darvin raised a dagger above and behind his head, ready to throw. Before the blade began to its forward movement, the hand holding the weapon shuddered violently. The quaking spread down the length of the arm until it reached the shoulder. Darvin snarled angrily. That was when another voice called out the bird’s name. Not the voice from within the mind which confused Darvin for a moment. Another man came from seemingly nowhere and set himself between Darvin and Little Bird. He had seen the man around the Dust Beds but had given him no further acknowledgment before now. Darvin observed how the man gripped the handle of his bastard sword and yet did not draw the weapon. Damn them all! Will none of them do it!

The trembling hand ceased, and the dagger lowered itself back to Darvin’s side. The newcomer was not an ignorant fool then. The original owner of the body was pushing back harder, and it was difficult holding on. “Perhaps I am,” he muttered aloud. Darvin’s stance narrowed as he stood straight. His eyes locked onto the bird. “But I still have enough control,” a dagger slowly rose to have its blade set against Kynier’s neck. None of them will do it, so he will. “For this,” he said with a wicked smile.

At the first shift of movement, the dog started barking. Darvin’s attention turned on the small beast with a snarl of annoyance. A small shallow cut had formed on Kynier’s neck where the dagger had been set that filled red with blood. The barking nearly disguised another sound coming from somewhere else. Darvin turned to see the Strider coming at him. The dagger came behind the head again and was thrown at the oncoming horse. At the instant before release something very strange had happened. Something that caused the dagger to be thrown off course and miss Maisa. There was some sort of burst he felt internally that shook his hold on the body for an instant before it had resettled.

“What was that?” Darvin asked aloud. He turned to face the pair. The movement was smoother. The now weaponless hand opened and closed several times as the off-white scaled eyes observed the motion. A smile came to the lips again. “Seems I’ll be around for a little longer.” The secondary plan would be delayed. For it had been far too long since he had felt blood on his hands. He did not want the Little Bird’s yet, but this other man…

The assassin’s dagger switched hands as Darvin approached the stranger. “Are you just going to caress that weapon? Or are you going to draw it?” he sneered. Before an answer could be given, Darvin took several quick steps and slashed at the stranger. It would not stop with just one attack, for the ghost desired to see blood spilled tonight. Even if it wasn’t from those he had intended.

****


Kynier could still sense everything and it was unnerving. None of the senses had been blocked out when the apparition had taken control of the body. Every small motion Kelski made could be seen. The gentle patter of rain on the hood of his cloak could be heard. The texture of the handle of his daggers could still be felt. Kynier had already tried lashing out to drive the spirit from him to no avail. Leaving him to try something in desperation. As he set the djed to trickle throughout his body he remained aware of what was happening. Of what he was doing.

Though Kelski may not have intended it, Kynier was grateful for how she just kept talking and moving. Giving the ghost something else to focus on. As she talked about him, the mage felt his own spirit begin to lift. Though what she said after that distracted him. The words echoed and evoked several emotions at once. As difficult as it was, he pushed those emotions aside and proceeded with filling his body with djed. The questions he had would be asked later when they got out of this situation.

Memories that were not his had started to course through his mind. Kynier could not make any of them out clearly. There were faces he did not know and voices he did not recognize. Some of the places he knew though they appeared different than how Kynier remembered them. He did not want to know these memories, or anything about the spirit controlling him. Kynier pushed back on them hard hoping to banish them from his own mind. Darvin’s rage radiated all throughout and Kynier was so close that it almost felt as though he were sharing the emotion. But when Darvin raised the dagger, Kynier paused on his attempt of freedom. No! He set all his resolve on keeping that dagger from being released. The two of them struggled over it, but Kynier did not relent.

Anja’s timing was impeccable. And it filled the mage with hope. Surely the ghost hunter knew of a way to drive the apparition from his body. But Kynier witnessed how Anja stood between him and Kelski, and only spoke words. Was that all he was going to do? Talk to Darvin? Kynier groaned mentally as he set felt the last reaches of his body be infused with Djed. Though he froze mentally at the disbelief of the dagger coming to his throat. No…

The barking pulled their attention. Kynier was just as confused as the spirit to what was occurring until he saw the Strider. This was his chance. With his power running throughout his whole body Kynier attempted to employ his Projection. Removing the astral body from the physical required a brief burst of power to successfully dislodge it. It was a gamble, but Kynier suspected that Darvin’s ghost was not too different from his own astral body. With a strong enough execution of power perhaps he could expel Darvin’s form from his own.

As the hand was shifting forward to throw the dagger the burst of Djed rang throughout Kynier’s body. All the nerves of his being rang out in pain. Pain that Darvin did not share in. It felt as though a backlash of power had struck him from his effort. Kynier’s focus was hazed and every sensation was muffled. It had failed.

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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on October 14th, 2018, 6:27 pm

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There was a lot going on at once. Kelski, in her uncertainty, hesitated. In any other place in Sunberth such actions could be deadly, but between the dog barking, the horse charging, and Anja…. blessed Anja showing up… it was all she could do to take in what was going on. Darvin wanted blood and it was obvious to Kelski that it didn’t matter who’s blood it was going to be. Anja’s immediate presence gave her comfort. For some reason, around the Drykas, things felt like they would be okay. She knew this was his area of expertise, even though for anyone Darvin was a handful living and Kelski couldn’t imagine he’d be any easier dead. But he had Kynier in his grip…. somehow… and Kelski didn’t know how permanent that was or not. But she was glad… so glad… she wasn’t alone in witnessing this. She was even shocked Maisa stepped in and that a dog seemed to be with them as well… both Anja’s she presumed. Things moved fast. The dog barking, the horse charging and dodging aside at the last minute put Kelski over the top. With the whites of her eyes showing, Kelski knew she had to act.

It bothered her that Anja put himself between Kynier/Darvin and herself, but she appreciated the protective gesture. What she didn’t like is Kynier/Darvin drawing the knife and threatening not only the body he was living in but her mate’s life. And then Anja’s. Kelski didn’t know what to do about ghosts, that much was certain, but she did know what to do with arrogant men with knives. And while Anja was still seemingly assessing the situation and getting a grip on what was going on, Kelski moved.

She stepped forward, sideways, and bypassed Anja to reach out with both arms extended. She didn’t break her center of gravity at all, didn’t lunge forward, but let Kynier/Darvin’s forward momentum to bring him neatly to her with the assassin’s dagger extended. He’d switched the dagger from one hand to another after having stupidly thrown his weapon away – wasting it on attempt at the horse – and then attacked with his dominant hand. Kelski’s lips curved in a smile because she’d drilled for this over and over again. She half blocked Anja for a moment, brought her arms up and then down on either side of Kynier/Darvin’s extended arm in an X and locked onto his thrust with a cross-block. She brought her arms up, to the left, with Kynier/Darvin’s wrist still trapped in her block, and as she arched upwards with her arms, her hands were able to slide around his hand and she pressed her thumbs deeply into his daggerhand, flexing it backwards just below the middle finger joint, and opening it. With a jerk she had him disarmed and his assassins dagger tossed away even as she backed up, pulling him forward and off balance where in a continuation of momentum should more than likely take him to his knees. She let go of him while he was falling so he didn’t drag her down. Thus disarmed and falling forward with his head near the ground, she kicked at the dirt, hoping to land it in his face and partially blind him.

She didn’t stick around to see if the dirt blinded him while he was on all fours or not. She jumped sideways, getting out of Anja’s way and kicking the assassins dagger back behind her further. Kelski had done what she meant too, delivering Kynier/Darvin into Anja’s hands in a less dangerous way – disarmed and hopefully down and more than hopefully vulnerable to whatever Anja had planned.

"Don't hurt him.... I don't care about the ghost... but don't hurt Kynier!" Kelski pleaded as she backed up, feeling a solid flank at her rump as she bent to pick up the dagger. Maisa was right there and Kelski glanced backwards at the horse with a look of gratitude crossing her face. She felt safe with the mare at her back, and looked around for the strange dog seeing it close as well. Anja didn't travel alone, it seemed, at least not at the Dust Beds.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
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Night Flight (Kelski)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on October 24th, 2018, 9:01 pm

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Anja was more than a little shocked that the ghost had retained possession over Kynier after Maisa’s feint, but he had no time to dwell over it as the ghost's attention turned to Maisa in a fury and flung a dagger at her. Anja was barely able to stagger out a cry of “No!” before Maisa had darted away unharmed. There had been something there. Anja saw a flicker of confusion cross the Ghost’s face as he asked what it was. Anja had no intention of telling him, but it was clear here what was going on. Kynier was fighting back.

Anja gritted his teeth. The attack on Maisa and Kelski both was unacceptable, and his attempt at shaking the ghost from Kynier had failed. His bastard sword now glimmered white in the sight of his death-touched eyes, but the blade was useless to him unless the ghost was outside of Kynier. And in all his time as a Spiritist, he had only heard of one way to force a ghost out of someone, and he did not have the materials on him or the means. This ghost was wily and willful; Anja doubted he could lure it back to the ghostbead circle at his camp without it managing to hurt Kynier, Kelski, himself, or one of his animal companions. And yet there was something there in ghostbeads that Anja might be able to use. He might not have the materials, but perhaps some improvisation might create a similar effect.

Before Anja could dwell on his idea further, the ghost was grinning at Anja hatefully, and had lunged at the man with murder in his eyes. Anja doubted he could parry it, such was the speed. He might have been able to shift his position so that the slash of the blade didn't cut his throat and leave him choking on the ground, but even as his body turned to block the blade with his arm, Kelski moved. Her movements were like flowing water, such was the grace and confidence behind them. Anja was struck with momentary awe, followed by a rush of appreciation and respect for the woman’s abilities. Her parry not only relieved the possessed Kynier from his weapon, but also put him on his hands and knees, giving Anja the perfect opportunity he needed.

Kelski’s cry did not reach deaf ears. “I won’t!” Anja told her, and surged forward.

“Maisa!” Anja cried out in Pavi as he moved. “Help me, but don't hurt him!”

A moment later, the pale white mare was beside Anja as the man leapt onto Kynier’s back. The weight of the Drykas would likely force Kynier down, but if there was much struggle than Anja would call to Kelski for help.

“I’m not going to hurt him! I just need to restrain him!” Any struggles that the possessed Kynier attempted would, hopefully, be prevented with Kelski and Maisa’s help. Though she would not kick, the horse would not be above seizing Kynier’s clothes with her teeth to keep him from struggling.

When Anja was able to find a moment, he tore off his sash, sending the several objects he kept store in it clattering to the ground. Of the objects, he only needed one. Anja seized a vial of soulmist and poured it over his sash, watching as the white fluid soaked into it and disappeared. And then, with a grimace, Anja would tie the sash around whichever part of Kynier he could reach. Preferably this would be his center, but Anja would also take one or both arms if they were more easily accessible, or any other body part really.

Anja’s reasoning was thus: ghostbeads were not much more than heavy stones linked together with a spiritist’s hair and infused with soulmist. The sash would not be heavy enough to prevent Darvin from moving it in his ghost form, but that was not the purpose of the sash; the sash would, with luck, force the ghost out of Kynier. Most of the required elements were there: the sash was wrapped around Anja’s waist day and night, and was present whenever he performed Spiritism. It should be infused with his essence, as well as serving the purpose of restraining him.

Anja gritted his teeth, and muttered a prayer.

“Please Dira! Let this work!”
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Anja Nightwatcher
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