PM to join Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

After a brutal attack, Tove seeks safe harbor at the Midnight Gem, learning more of the Goddess of secrets along the way.

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

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Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

Postby Tove on September 24th, 2018, 3:47 am

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19th Day of Fall, 518AV
22nd Bell


The dark waters of the violent sea touched every part of the horizon, large waves crashing against the wood stilts of the docks. The white caps of the waves seemed to glow under Leth's pale light. Tove had found herself seeking comfort in the sound of crashing waves more and more often. The taste of salt burned her lips as she stared at the horizon. It was beautiful and Tove's heavy eyes could not get enough of it.

The past few days had left the young Kelvic quite restless, from the furious winds that had swept through the city just days before and the constant fighting between the married couple that bunked in the apartment across from her own, sleep had become a rarity. The sea eased her restless mind, the burn of salt in her eyes keeping her somewhat alert.

Tove crossed her arms over her chest as she took in the sights around her. The flicker of oil lamps, the collision of ships against the dock, the thick grey clouds that occasionally hid the stars above, it was beautiful. Beauty wasn't hard to find in Sunberth, not when one was looking. It was chaotic, restless, dangerous, and yet in moments of peace, there was nothing more beautiful.

The vibrations of heavy steps took Tove by surprise, her eyes widening as she shot a glance to the end of the dock. Nothing. Tove shook her head, chalking up the vibrations to the mere rocking of the ships that had been tied to the dock by their respective crew. Then, it happened again, only stronger than before. Tove glanced back once more, only this time she was gifted with a new sight. A small group of men approached, each clad in what appeared to be sailors garbs. Two men had their hands wrapped around the forearms of another man, his feet dragging behind his form.

Tove panicked, the lack of light at the end of the dock would only hide her for so long. Her eyes landed on two large fish barrels in her frantic moments. Time was a fleeting thing, Tove had to act quickly. She tucked her body comfortably behind the crates just in time, the bodies drawing close enough to see her if she were to stay in her original place.

"All quiet- as I told ya."

"Yeah yeah, that's what ya said last time. Just...stay cool this time, okay? Don't wanna have to cover for you again if ya go blabbin' on about some shyke."

'Two men, friends?' Tove peeked ever so slightly, two figures taking her spot at the end of the dock, their faces shrouded in darkness. Tove bit her lip as she watched the two. The tallest out of the pair paced back and forth whereas the other seemed to cross his arms in the darkness. Just as Tove found herself wondering when more would show up, the same vibrations as before signaled the presence of another.

"Oi..." The taller man greeted the newcomers. Tove couldn't see who had approached but by the shorter male's change in demeanor, Tove could only assume more than one man had approached them.

"We ain't here to petchin' talk, your friend, what's his name?" A voice snapped, Tove could see the reflection of Leth's dim glow off what appeared to be a blade.

'This...I'm not supposed to hear this...' Tove thought to herself as she listened in.

"Hey, hey, hey- last I checked that's exactly why we're here...let's just stay-" The tall man started only to be cut off by the visitor's vicious grunt.

"Nah, we ain't here to talk. Now, let me ask nicely one last time. What is your friend's name?" The voice growled, the sound of blades being unsheathed confirmed Tove's suspicions. The two men were outnumbered. By how many she could not tell, but the tension in the air could be cut with an eating knife. Tove was well aware of where the conversation was going and all she could do was bite her lip and stay silent.

Only a chime passed before the conversation turned into a fight, and only a chime after that the fight turned into a massacre. The first to die was the short friend, the taller one managed to throw a good few hits at one of the men, but that was hardly enough to keep a blade from making its way into his gut.

Tove did nothing. What was there to do? Leaping in would get her killed, and why add more death to what there already was. Yes, she had a dagger, but she hardly knew how to use it well enough to make much a difference. It was selfish and Tove knew it, but nobody lived long in sunberth by being selfless.

Once the violence had gone to a complete standstill, Tove let out a sigh. Relief was short lived, however, callused fingers wrapping around her forearm in the darkness, pulling her away from her hiding place.

"Told ya we had a visitor Geralt." A thick gravelly voice laughed, dragging Tove into dim light that emitted from the blaze of their torches. The owner of the voice wasn't the one who had addressed the two -now dead- men. No, despite his deep tone, it was nowhere near as threatening.

"Well, kill him-" This voice matched. He was taller than the rest, his eyes locked on his blade as he ran a cloth over it, the smell of blood heavy in the air. "...her, sorry love." He dropped the cloth, a large grin spreading across his feature as he circled around her like a shark. "I'm gonna be a gentleman and allow you to decide where I'll..."

His deep pitched voice was nothing when compared to the pounding of the Kelvic's heart. She was painfully aware of the dagger that remained untouched just above her belt. The man's words faded away in the Kelvic's state of panic, that was until a gruff hand grabbed at her hip tightly.

'Now.'

In a moments notice her fingers wrapped around the hilt of her dagger, though the action was painfully cut short by a hard punch to the side. The sound of metal hitting wood echoed in Tove's ears, her brows furrowing as she pressed her hand against the area that would surely be bruised if she survived the ordeal.

"Ungrateful bitch- and here I was, tryna be nice." The leader hissed as he guided her body back with an ever-so-gentle yank of her hair.

'Bad move Tove.'

Tove hadn't even the time to blink before she felt her body fall to the ground, her head hitting the gritty wood planks of the dock as a light rain started up. The taste of iron ran down the back of the Kelvic's tongue as she felt fist connect to her face, sharper than average teeth clenching down upon the inside of her cheek. Kicks to the sides caused her body to curl beneath the soles of her attackers' boots. Despite all this, her eyes remained locked on the dagger she had dropped so carelessly.

Bloodied fingers outstretched, the dagger just close enough to grab without being noticed, wrapping her fingers around the hilt before digging the blade into the foot of one of her attackers. A loud scream signaled the hope for an escape, adrenaline carrying Tove as she pushed herself up and darted towards safety. The screams and angry yells that ensued behind her were almost nonexistent as the Kelvic's eyes zeroed in on the torches, those torches being her only source of motivation at that moment. Blood poured from her cuts as cold rain mercilessly fell down upon her.

Her eyes caught sight of a sign reading out, 'The Midnight Gem' in big, bold, beautiful letters. Relief washed over the Kelvic as she reached the door, her fists slamming against the door. Beaten, bloodied, and bruised, Tove was unaware of the state of her appearance. It was hardly the way she wished to reunite with her winged Kelvic friend, but it was simply the way things turned out. The sweet promises of safety rang out in the Kelvic's mind as she held onto the hope that someone- anyone- would open the door.


Wordcount- 1,383

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Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on September 25th, 2018, 3:18 am

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At that late hour the shop was completely closed and the barred windows shuttered. But the building itself rarely slept. The Midnight Gem was always on vigil, though its attention shifted from its residents to the goings on outside to even what happened out overlooking the waves. In terms of an Architectrix, it got lucky in its location.

Set on the corner of where a river dumped into the ocean, there was something to attract The Midnight Gem’s attention at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes it even watched the stars swirl across the sky. It certainly noted the doings of pigeons, which it hated, and was often scheming ways to get rid of.

And it certainly noted a kelvic pounding on its doorway, beaten and bruised and bleeding besides. Without hesitation it unlocked its own door, swung the barrier open, and allowed the creature entrance. Bells would tinkle lightly above the door. No one would be on the other side to greet the young woman but a dark jewelry store and inviting steps leading upwards where a fire somewhere above caused a glow to partially illuminate the steps. The sound of a crackling fire could be heard in the silence above. And if Tove chose to walk in, the door would swing closed and lock behind her.

The Gem’s Mistress was curled on a sofa before The Great room hearth watching the tongues of fire lick high into the chimney. She’d been unable to sleep since the other mage that lived there was absent, out doing something or another and worrying the jeweler. Kelski’s hand curled around a mug of warm spiced cider, something she’d only just discovered she loved drinking. Instead of fingernails, her digits ended in talons much like her eagle’s form.

It hadn’t hurt to get in a bit of practice while Kynier was gone... and the beauty of having a Sea Eagle form meant she knew what things like talons were all about without a great deal of in-depth study. So, she practiced, over and over, slowly blending her sharp fingernails into wicked claws and back to nails again. She was getting used to manipulating the djed in fine minute ways. And she’d started small. Nails had gone to talons, skin to scales, hair to feathers – though that was far harder than she’d anticipated.

Every little noise bothered her. It wasn’t because she was nervous in the dark. The Nightstalker loved the dark. It was because she was doing something unsanctioned without Kynier’s knowledge and there was no way to know when he’d return home if at all that night. So after about the forth scare where her mane of ombre hair had been infused with feathers, she’d simply stuck to the talons, something easy to hide if he decided to walk in.

And so Kelski was half listening when she heard the main door downstairs swing open, which triggered bells in the main foyer of the Jewelry Store. She waited for Kynier’s light but distinct footsteps on the stairs leading upwards, but there was none. Tilting her head curious, concern infused her and she took a moment to release the magic on her hands allowing talons to slowly fade back into nails. It felt like it took chimes though such a simple morph with a form long familiar took only a few breaths even for one as unskilled as Kelski was. She was releasing the magic not trying to build it, which helped.

Kelski leaned over and sat down her mug of spiced cider, rose barefooted and padded as quietly as she could towards the stairway. She didn’t descend but rather stepped to one side, out of the direct line of sight, and listened with her head tilted. A dagger, one she usually wore on her, found its way to her hand from the small of her back, and she stood absolutely still, waiting to see what would ascend the stairs.

Meanwhile, she tapped the link she had to The Midnight Gem and sent her curious question and concern down it, asking the building if it was aware and who was now in its depths that may or may not belong.
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Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

Postby Tove on September 27th, 2018, 6:09 am

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"Keep sneaking around like that and you'll end up dead, just you watch."
A storm of smoke plagued the air of the lavish room, a sick grin spread across wrinkled lips,"...or with someone less likable at the end of that pretty little collar of yours. We wouldn't want that now would we?"



Eavesdropping was a crime within Lucille's home- one that would result in at least three or four lashes and a threatening scowl. Tove seemingly never learned her lesson. The Kelvic's curious nature had left her craving more and more information, whether it be about the mundane tasks of working men or the most scandalous of secrets hidden behind closed doors. It never mattered, she just needed to sedate her never-ending craving for knowledge that didn't concern her. This time, however, had resulted in more than one or two bruises.

No, this time Tove would have something to regret. The one time she had no intention of listening in- the first time she had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time all by her lonesome. There was no other reason for the attack...less you include her reaching for her blade, in which case perhaps there had been one reason to beat the Kelvic senseless.

Her eyes drifted to the ground as the door unlocked in the hopes she could conjure up an equally reasonable excuse as her thanks. The taste of iron melted away in those moments, replaced by softly-spoken words.

"Thank the Gods, I was worried you had been asleep..." Her words made way to her throat only to be stunted by sheer surprise. No welcoming grins or annoyed glares stared back at her. In fact, nothing stared back at her at all. The space beneath the door frame remained empty. "Ugh- Kelski?" She peeked in cautiously, eyes locked on the area behind the door. No eagle nor a stranger in sight, just empty space, and dimly illuminated stairs.

Two steps. That was all she had taken before the door shut and locked behind her. Once again, as she turned she was met with only emptiness. Tove was not the type to look a gift horse in the mouth, however, so she continued to make her way deeper into the store. The pain in her chest grew with each step, Tove was sure she hadn't broken anything though that hardly eased her pain.

The crack of flame had led her up the stairs, eyes automatically drifting to the abandoned glass of cider. It had seemed she had interrupted something, though that hardly explained the lack of a greeting or even appearance back at the entrance.

The reflective light upon the Kelski's blade caught Tove's eye, her body automatically jumping back upon spotting the woman lurking in the shadows. Her hand rose to her chest as her eyes locked on the dagger. Pain shot up the younger Kelvic's torso as she jolted, the sudden movement had not been ideal for the girl's body at that moment.

"Kelski...it's Tove!" She cried out, the combination of fear and pain hadn't helped her pride much. Her body had been put into auto-pilot mode, doing whatever it could to stay alive. "...Can you please just...put the dagger down?"

~All credit for box-codes and signature goes to Luminescence
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Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on September 30th, 2018, 8:55 pm

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The Midnight Gem answered Kelski’s question almost immediately. The word Kelvic flooded Kelski’s mind as well as the smell of blood and the taste of panic. The Jeweler was momentarily confused until she realized The Gem had a sense of smell and taste and could recognize things as much as any other living sentient thing. Then Kelski’s mind was filled with the image of the building unlocking its door, swinging it open, allowing the kelvic in, and closing and locking itself behind the creature.

Huh.

Kelski should have been concerned, but honestly, she was more than pleased. She flooded the link with a sense of pride and thanks, letting the building know it had done the right thing even as Tove shouted her name, called for Kelski and pounded up the stairs. The Sea Eagle stepped out of the shadows on either side of the stairs and put herself into view.

“Tove.. its alright! I just didn’t know who it was.” Kelski said, then glanced down at the dagger she hadn’t remembered drawing. A flush crossed her pale cheeks and she sheathed the dagger at her back. She reached out, grabbed Tove’s hand, and pulled the Kelvic cat deeper into the room. “It’s okay. Your safe… sit down. You look panicked.” She said, half dragging half supporting the other woman towards the couch next to the fire and pressing her down into it. “Sit… relax. I’ll get you some water and towels. Are you hurt?” She asked, moving fast.

Kelski threw two more logs on the fire from the pile next to the hearth and stirred it with a poker to get it going again. It roared up nicely as she darted towards the kitchen, pulled a ceramic mug down and went directly to the well pump in the kitchen and pumped a bucket of water for Tove to have fresh cold water to drink. Then she returned to Tove, handed her the water, and went to fetch towels from the closest bathing room. She grabbed a couple from Duncan’s bathroom and brought them out to hand one to Tove.

“Where are you hurt? We have a healer but he’s asleep. I can wake Ebon up no problem. He’s a Kelvic so he won’t mind.” She said quietly. Kelski settled next to Tove and studied her intently. She looked concerned, upset, even in pain, but Kelski didn’t want to push her. “Is there anything else I can do?” She asked seriously, more than prepared to go wake Ebon up.

Turns out she didn’t need to. A door to the left of the main room sung open and a fit young man wearing only a pair of silk shorts leaned against the door jam of his room looking rumpled but not particularly upset. “Someone said my name?” He asked, clearly just having woken from a solid sleep. He’d retired early since he’d been on Kitchen duty and had cooked dinner for everyone that night. He didn’t look upset, just studied Tove and Kelski thoughtfully, waiting for one of them to respond.
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Teachings of Secrecy (Kelski)

Postby Kynier on October 1st, 2018, 3:18 am

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With a lack of both winds and rain, the night was one of the most peaceful nights to walk through. Leth hung above granting a pleasant yet dim glow on the city, casting a multitude of shadows throughout the streets. One shadow stood tall and walked the streets of Baroque Bay in order to return to its dwelling. The Nightstalker loved the Fall more than the other seasons. The nights felt cool and didn’t have the bitter sting of winter’s chill like a Spring night did. The Nightstalker had plenty of energy left to walk the city for bells, but others would be waiting on him, so he chose not to.

It had been a simple night of surveillance for the wizard of Stumble Alley. A single night was not going to be enough to have the amount of detail Doler wanted. Which meant that the next two or three nights were going to later nights than this one. The optimistic viewpoint was that Kynier would have the morning and early afternoons to be able practice at anything he desired. Pessimistic side was that he was going to be getting less sleep again. And in turn, she would be as well.

All those thoughts were banished from his mind once the Midnight Gem came into view. Normally the sight of the building lifted his spirits and eased whatever tension he had in his body. The well-crafted and well-tended building was always a pleasant sight in the night. Tonight however, something was different. Four men were standing just outside the main entrance, one of them trying to force his way in. Kynier engaged his Nightstalking characteristics and quickly shifted to the side of the road opposite of his home. His stance was low as he drew his cloak around his body more to help disguise his form. One of the men was looking up and down the length of the street. Kynier took a spot at the corner of an alley and watched the four men.

For several chimes one of them tried to force the lock to the door. Kynier smiled at that. The building had grown too smart for that to be effective. The Nightstalker used to practice on the locks to improve his ability to pick them. But then the Midnight Gem learned how to counter act his efforts. How, he had no idea. Kynier just knew that it had been quite some time since he had been able to pick the locks of his own home with any success. The fellow crouching at the door did not seem to be having any more success.

The man stood up and grumbled. The night was still and silent, making it easy to hear the words of the men. “I can’t get it open, piece of shyke!” The man keeping watch of the street turned his back. Kynier stepped out and made several quiet strides to the next corner. The four men were gathering close and spoke softly to each other. Why are they trying to get into the Gem? Having four men generally did not allow for stealthy burglaries. From the looks of these men, burglary did not appear to be their intention. After they exchanged their words they broke off in pairs to circle the building. They were looking for another way inside.

One pair made their way around towards the back, while the other started climbing the stairs that would take them to the upper balcony which led to the Great Room. Kynier crossed the road to the front of the Midnight Gem and set a hand against the outer surface. “I’ll take care of them,” he assured the building. Then he drew both his short swords and followed the pair up the stairs. Kynier walked with only the balls of his feet as he ascended the stairs. While the two men ahead were attempting to be silent, they were both obviously out of their element.

As they got to the top of the balcony the Nightstalker was right behind them. The two men were so focused on what was in front of them they never noticed Kynier rise to his full height behind them, a short sword raised above his head. He brought the pommel of Glister down on the back of one of their heads. It struck with a heavy thunk and the man fell to the ground without so much as a groan. The other immediately turned around and leapt backwards as Kynier lunged forward with his other weapon. As the still conscious one pulled out his weapon, Kynier flipped his grip on Glister and plunged it into the back of the unconscious man. One dealt with, three more to go.

As Kynier was pulling the color changing blade the other man stepped in and slashed with his blade. It was quicker than the Nightstalker expected but not so fast that it connected. The man’s dagger missed by less than an inch as Kynier took a step backwards. The balcony was tight and there was very little room to maneuver. The Nightstalker’s back was to the stairs and the dying body was making out to be an obstruction now. Aggressively the other man attacked with side slashes. Kynier kept making little movements to avoid until he raised Glister above his head. The cold iron was glowing silver and gold in the night with its shimmering magic. The man’s eyes rose to watch the weapon and failed to see the other short sword before it stuck him in the gut.

A gasp was frozen in the other man’s throat as he looked down at the cold iron blade stuck in his gut. Kynier turned Glister’s point downwards and brought it down on the man’s shoulder. The tip glanced off the collarbone and dug mostly into the muscle of the man’s chest. But his frozen cry was released from the occurrence of the second wound. Kynier pulled the first weapon from the man’s abdomen then the second from the shoulder. Then he stepped forward and cut sideways with his dominant hand. Wounded, and the fear of death creeping in, the man tried to step out of reach but stumbled and fell. Kynier’s blade cut through the man’s clothes but had no chance to cause serious or even moderate injury.

With two quick steps, Kynier was standing over the man and he plunged a blade into the man’s abdomen again. This time it went deeper. Skin already turning pale from blood loss reflected Leth’s glow in a sickly way. Dira would claim him soon. Kynier gave the man a kick to the head to render him unconscious, so that his last chimes wouldn’t be so painful. That makes two.

Credit for the boxcode goes to Luminescence!
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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