Closed Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Kelski and Kailani meet over a young troubled mother.

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

Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kelski on January 3rd, 2019, 4:46 am

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Kelski still had qualms about the dog. It seemed ill behaved and quarrelsome, even if Kailani seemed to hold a slight affection for the creature. She gave it a wide berth and simply waited for the other woman to decide. She wasn’t thrilled the dog was coming, that was for sure, and she wasn’t sure more so why the dog was coming. But she didn’t argue. Kelski did note Kailani’s glance over her shoulder at her own ship and understood the expression. “Ebon will see things right. Do not worry for your things while he is there.” She said softly. “If anything, he’ll clean while we are gone.” She assured the other woman, not sure if that was a thing Kailani would also worry about however.

When Kailani asked if she was Kelvic, Kelski flinched. She glanced sideways at the woman to see if she could judge her emotion behind the question, and saw nothing hostile on the other woman’s face. She really didn’t look accusing and there was no sneer accompanying the look. “Yes. Thank you.” She said as well, in response to Kailani’s comment about her eagle form. “Birds do have scales… on our legs. They are reticulae… made of the same stuff as our beaks and claws. They overlap across the top of our toes and up our legs.” The jeweler said off-handedly. She didn’t elaborate because she was sure the other woman didn’t actually care and was only making polite conversation.

Kelski wished she could make small talk, the easy conversation strange humans had between each other. Inherently she knew humans liked to talk about themselves, so she supposed she could ask Kailani questions about what she liked or what she did in her spare time, but the woman had also seemed suspicious. Truthfully, Kelski wasn’t certain such things would be welcome. Plus, there was the dog. Kailani was busy managing it and Kelski didn’t want to distract her. She didn’t want bit. And she didn’t want to slit the dog’s throat with Kailani watching, though the dog was big enough to feed everyone at The Gem for days. It was a thought, though not a wise one, and Kelski dismissed it immediately.

It was probably a good dog that just acted like an asshole around strangers. She’d known more than one Kelvic that did that.

They arrived, watched, and planned. Kailani tucked a pillow under her shirt, arranged a baby bump, and assigned Kelski a role. The Kelvic didn’t mind. She just wanted inside, without scaling a wall or climbing the side of the building. If Kailani’s plan got them in, then fine. The Svefra oozed confidence about talking her way out of things, and Kelski knew it was true. The Svefra had shrewd tongues. One had once sold her to Sun’s Birth with a song and a prayer, walking away wealthy and launching Kelski into a new kind of nightmare.

But she did glance at Kailani when she promised Kona could take on old ladies and babies. “You trust that dog that much?” That meant she’d dismissed Kelski’s nature due to her race, most likely, and discredited her ability to fight altogether. The Kelvic narrowed her eyes and wondered why she was doing this again? For a strange human alongside a strange Svefra. Kelski wondered in that moment if Kailani was right. Was she a fool? Strangers were strangers.

The woman came and went from the house, and coin was obviously passed. Kelski followed Kailani’s lead, appreciating her acting. She must have seen many other human’s carrying children inside them. But Kailani almost blew it with her story. Kelski knew it immediately. The women weren’t interested in poor women, scamming them from their babies. They wanted coin… cold hard coin. And if Kailani didn’t have any, would they let her in?

Kelski interrupted. “I’m her friend. The problem is she can’t get a job being so pregnant, and after the baby’s birth she cannot work and care for the infant both. We have a job arranged for her once the birth happens that will bring in enough coin to pay for the child’s care and leave her money to live on. She just has to have someplace to watch the child while she works. You do that here, we are told. And I am willing to pay for the child’s care to help my friend until she can start having coin coming in to pay for it herself. I cannot watch her myself as I work too.” Kelski said, clearly in case the woman was hard of hearing.

Kailani was going to screw it up if she played herself off as poor. The old women were greedy, according to Mercy, and wanted to take all their victim’s funds while holding the children hostage to do it. If Kailani was poor, they wouldn’t touch her or agree to take the child. They weren’t a charity, they were bloodsucking leeches according to Mercy.

Kelski glanced apologetically to Kailani as the woman forced her to keep the dog outside and let them in after all. The Sea Eagle didn’t disagree with the elderly woman’s decision. The dog looked big enough to eat babies and she wasn’t sure if they walked in on several children, if the children would be safe.

The Kelvic didn’t react to the situation with the dog. She still wasn’t sure the woman’s attachment to the canine. It wasn’t Kelvic so she wasn’t bonded to it, right? Odd. Humans were entirely to strange to the Kelvic for her to truly understand them. The Sea Eagle simply shrugged and followed the woman inside.

Myrtle introduced herself and Kelski blinked when Kailani assigned herself the name Layla and said that Kelski was Ana. What? Why wouldn’t they simply use their real names? The Sea Eagle narrowed her eyes and glanced between the two humans, both accepting of one just lying to the other outright. It was so common among their kind. Kelski didn’t understand it. Nor did she follow the dynamic of subtle words that passed between the two women. She did note that they were sort of entering a type of negotiation, and she knew Myrtle was saying things without saying things as humans were likely to do.

One thing Kelski noted as the two women talked was that in terms of the young children, even the mobile ones, there seemed to be a noted lack of supervision. Myrtle was out and about, escorting them in, giving them a tour, taking payment from the woman of earlier, but there was really no one sitting with the children, watching them. Had Kelski had young, she would have never taken her eyes off them. She would have supervised them until they were old enough to supervise themselves. These children had no one to watch them, and as she glanced around, she noticed things that were subtle. While the kids were on the move, playing, there was no real abundance of toys. They had no things that young animals needed to play with. And while on the surface they looked fine, Kelski thought they were thin. She’d seen many youth in Lhavit, and the babies and toddlers tended to be pudgy, with layers of baby fat that protected them. These children were small, light, and somewhat frail looking.

Her eagle eyes picked out other things. Bruising at the neckline of tunics, skinned knees unattended, and slightly fearful looks the children gave towards Myrtle as if they knew they would be incurring her wrath if they were too loud. Sure, they moved around, but truthfully, they weren’t loud like street kids were. They weren’t happy and carefree either. They were thin, quiet, and stank of uncertainty. Kelski was no expert having no children of her own, but it seemed to her that a healthy child would have the fat, a boldness of new life in a new world, and laughter.

Miserable humans.

Surprisingly, Myrtle decided to give them a tour. Kelski glanced at ‘Layla’ curiously, wondering how she’d convinced her to do that. The old woman bustled them past the main living area, showed them a small study/sitting room she called the visiting area, and then lead them through a virtually empty pantry area. When she called it a pantry, Kelski was definitely surprised. The Midnight Gem’s pantry was full of things – bags of flour, rice and corn. Jars of herbs and preserves and rows of spices. There were baskets of potatoes and onions. But this pantry had shelves that held nothing. Sure, it was clean, but it was suspiciously empty. Someone poor wouldn’t understand that though. Someone poor wouldn’t understand what a true larder should hold. There was no hanging meat, no dried fish or fruit, and no root vegetables or squash gracing its shelves.

Kelski glanced at Kailani and wondered if she noticed. They were escorted into a cooking area, that held a large hearth that had a bubbling pot of what looked like porridge bubbling over it. It wasn’t obviously bad food, holding a normal coloring, but Kelski did note it looked thin and there was no sweetener or milk sitting about ready to add to it. Little bowls lined the counter, each one labeled with a name. There was also a pile of bowls, small one, all stacked up together. Those were labeled as well.

Kelski thought she should say something about how delicious the food looked, but it would be a lie. She hoped Kailani would fill in the dialog for her. The Sea Eagle had been recently introduced to deception, but to bald face lie to someone wasn’t something she was capable of at the moment. Not in this, not when she saw what the children would eat and what some would not. She was certain the piled up bowls were the babies who’s mothers had not paid.

Kelski’s style was more silence. But she was going to have a hard time staying silent. An empty pantry was telling, adding more evidence to Mercy’s own claims.

“This is a lovely kitchen.” It was, truthfully, devoid of good food and all. “But can we see where the babies are kept?” Myrtle smiled brightly at the compliment, and nodded. She beckoned to the ladies, and lead them further into the house. Everything looked in order until she paused at a set of double doors and only opened one.

“I’d let you walk through, but they are sleeping. So, lets just peek in, shall we?” She said, and opened the door to room that was longer than it was wide, lined with cribs. Another old woman sat at the far end, near a large fireplace, rocking what looked like a baby in her arms. There were candles periodically, adding a lovely glow to the dim-lit room that had curtains drawn. The cribs near the door held sleeping infants laid out on fine linen. There were even stuffed rag dolls tucked into the corners in one or two of the cribs. The infants looked fine, thin, but fine. And they truly did appear to be sleeping. There were probably twenty cribs in all, ten on either side, as Kelski took a quick count. The room held a cloying scent of anise and cloves, probably sprinkled over the fire. The scent made Kelski yawn abruptly, suddenly tired.

She frowned, shook her head, and adjusted her vision. Sea Eagles could spot a fat salmon basking in the sun at the water’s surface a mile high. She focused in, checking every crib she could see into. The walls were high and the infants obscured by the swaddling cloths that wrapped them, but several had padded liners to the cribs that had slid down, nearer the fire, revealing tiny forms in worse shape than the ones by the door. Some had even wiggled free of their cloths, most likely due to inattention. None cried. Like Mercy had said, each child had a small slate board at the head of its crib with its name and some cryptic notes below.

The Kelvic glanced at Kailani, rage in her eyes, as she beheld the situation before her. A normal human perhaps wouldn’t see it, but Kelski could. She also suspected the cloying scent of the herb sprinkled fire covered a worst smell, the smell of death or those near death. “The smoke…. don’t breathe it if you can help it. I think it is making them sleep… keeping them from crying.” She said, knowing humans capable of worse things.

She just wasn’t sure how the women themselves weren’t sleepy from breathing it like the babies were.

Her eyes ran across the room and Kelski spotted Caitlyn’s name immediately. Glancing into the crib, she could see the infant weakly squirming and through the bars that held no padding, she saw a bone thin arm poke out.

The Kelvic broke cover then with an infuriated hiss, launching into action. She burst into the room at a jog, stifling a yawn and approached the crib. She bent over it, scooped out the infant delicately, and looked on in horror as she saw its starved condition. Clutching the babe to her breast, she whirled only to face the other enraged old lady.

“Myrtle, what in the Gods name is this?” The other woman said, advancing on Kelski brandishing a cane. The Sea Eagle tucked Caitlyn into the crook of her arm, pulled a dagger from the small of her back, and threw it straight at the woman. The throw held all her rage and anger at small weak things, even horrid things like baby humans, treated like this. The dagger flew true, embedding itself into the woman’s left eye. Kelski hissed her fury, and turned on Kailani and Myrtle, even as Myrtle screamed in horror. She heard the other woman’s body hit the floor behind her.

She had another dagger in her hand in a split second, ready to throw… ready to kill again. Her silver gaze had turned mercurial and so much of the pent up rage she had towards humans surfaced. The Myrtle woman she wanted to tear to shreds. But she held back, knowing Kailani was close to her and close enough to act if she chose too. They hadn’t seen much, but what Kelski saw here was more than enough for her to believe Mercy.

“Are you two cowards the only people here? Surely you aren’t guarding this operation yourselves? How in the world do you have all these mothers fooled? How in the world can you do this to any young… anything as innocent as these babies?” The Sea Eagle hissed, enraged.

The Kelvic wasn’t sure how to do battle with a baby in her arms. But she wasn’t sure the old woman was all that much of a challenge anyhow. How did they keep operating with just the security of a fence and nothing more? Odds are they were under the protection of one of the gangs, probably the Daggerhands or the Night Eyes. Kelski wasn’t sure, and in that moment, she didn’t care. All she wanted to do was see the old woman hurt like she was hurting the children.

Yet she held back, waiting for the Svefra to act, to come forward, to see what Kelski could see. If Kailani did nothing, then Kelski would act again… if she could.

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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kelski on March 16th, 2019, 10:41 pm

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When Kelski turned back around the Svefra was gone. The Sea Eagle had no idea what happened, but the woman who had been with her was spitting furiously, looking out an open door and showing signs of shock. Kelski wanted to put a dagger into her too, but the weakly squirming bundle under her arm did nothing but drive her to fight harder. The Sea Eagle advanced on the older woman, tucked and shoved a shoulder into her, and knocked her to the ground all without jostling the baby. “Your friend is dead, Myrtle. Dead. And I will be back to slay every one of you if you do not change your ways. This is cruel, inhuman, and I will not tolerate it even in this place. All the Gods have not forsaken Sunberth. There are still much goodness even in the darkest places. And the light will always illuminate the darkness. Your darkness will not go on being tolerated forever. Clean it up. Get these children home. Make a better life for their mothers. If you do not, I will be back…” Kelski threatened, knowing she couldn’t stay now that she had Caitlyn and possibly Mercy to look after.

When Kelski fled outside, she looked everywhere. The dead woman was still dead and Myrtle was still screaming. But Kailani was no where to be seen. Kelski searched the darkness, and finally not knowing and honestly not caring what had happened to the svefra – for wasn’t that just like a svefra to suggest something then not follow through? – she Night Stalked through the city, passing from shadow to shadow until she got back to The Gem. She thought she’d have to drop the child off with Ember then head to the river to find the ship, but to her surprise, she found Ebon had already moved Mercy to The Midnight Gem on his own. It turned out he’d not liked the ship one bit and the moment he felt the woman was stable enough to move, he’d done so, right into the heart of Kelski’s providence.

Kelski laid the baby in Ebon’s arms when she had unwrapped enough to release the babe, and Ebon shook his head. “She’s dehydrated. We need to get liquids into her fast. She’s also malnourished which will cause a problem as well.” He added, then put water on to boil. “I’m going to inject fluid under her skin, Kelski, because her stomach is too small to probably handle the amount of fluid she needs. I have my distiller going down stairs. I’ll grab some of my distilled water to use with it, then we’ll see if Mercy has any milk when we wake up. Otherwise, it will require a wet nurse and you are not going to find one at this hour.” He said, shaking his head sadly, his eyes on Mercy.

Ebon went to fetch his medical kit and distilled water, while Kelski set a second kettle on the fire to heat so she could wash the little baby. The mother was bundled on one of the couches and also needed attention. While Ebon was gathering supplies, Kelski carefully unwrapped what he’d wrapped around the baby and began to clean its tiny little body. It was like nothing she’d ever seen. A girl, she decided, not knowing by the human name, and with bruising and ribs showing all over. The skin around her bottom and girly bits was broken out in a bad rash that looked painful to the Kelvic’s unschooled eyes. Those she cleaned thoroughly as well, her eyes watering at the stink of the child and wondering how anyone could take care of an animal like this let alone a human baby.

Ebon returned and shooed Kelski away, so she switched targets and began to work on washing up the mother whom Kelski decided was in her teens at the very oldest. Babies. It was a baby that had a baby. She shook her head, and took her time, washing Mercy’s hair thoroughly and finally in the end dressing her in one of Kelski’s own nightshirts. She changed the blankets under her, and then when the woman was awake spooned soup into her mouth and told her quietly she was going to stay with them as long as she wanted… and no one was going to starve anyone or beat anyone. And that she needed to quit her job at the laundry because if she stayed here she could do easier work for a fair wage and keep her child with her.

The Midnight Gem rumbled its approval in Kelski’s mind. The building wanted another resident. And even as Kelski spoke quietly, the Sea Eagle could feel the building carving out a new room for the mother complete with a nursery and enough room for a young soon-to-be precocious child to play in. Kelski sent her thanks down the length, filling the action with affection and love. The building in turn did the same thing, offering a welcome warmth by flaring the hearth a bit brighter even as Kelski finished up and tucked Mercy into fresh blankets. Her wound was bad, but nothing that couldn’t be survived. The child was more in danger than Mercy was, but even as she watched she saw Ebon’s tenacious approach to saving its life and knew it would thrive as well.

Tonight, truthfully, hadn’t turned out how she had expected it too. But it was better than the usual results: death, pain, absolutely suffering loss. There was hope instead… hope for Mercy, hope for Caitlyn, and the promise of a better future.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1498
Words: 1908950
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kelski on March 16th, 2019, 11:01 pm

G R A D E S
Running +1, Stealth +1, Investigation +1, Interrogation +1, Philosophy +3, Acting +1, Negotiation +1, Rhetoric +3, Leadership +5, Logic +1, Strategy +3, Tactics +2, Navigation +2, Teaching +1, Subterfuge +3, Dagger +1, Intimidation +2, Architectrix +1

Kailani: Appearance and mannerism, Mercy: Appearance and Mannerism, Caitlyn: Her child, Baby Farm: What It is, What happens In One, Philosophy: Human Females Put Themselves In Positions of Servitude Often, Philosophy: Given A Choice, Would Mercy Better Herself Or Fall Into Old Habits, Philosophy: Acting To Make Change Happen, Teaching: Birds Have Scales, Subterfuge: Assuming a Role


Kailani if you ever return I'll do grades for you.




PM me with questions or concerns.
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1498
Words: 1908950
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

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