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]

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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kelski on October 15th, 2018, 11:06 pm

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Timestamp: 36th of Fall, 518 A.V.

The young woman stared at the two older women with disbelief in her eyes. “What? I don’t understand. You said it would be okay if I was a little short this week… that I could still see Caitlyn.” Mercy said softly, her eyes growing wide and taking on a desperate sort of hue to her already watering gaze. “My bells got cut at the laundry. There just wasn’t the business this tenday for some reason. It should be better next tenday. I’m already working on other options for cash. I even skipped meals last week to make that payment. At least let me hold her for five chimes…. I just need to see her. Please….” The young woman begged, tears she didn’t want to shed – a weakness she didn’t want to show to these two women she was slowly learning were heartless – were already collecting in her eyes and trailing down her cheeks.

The two women looked at each other. Their expressions were unreadable and hard. And yet the door swung open further to allow the young woman admittance. One of the older women leaned heavily on a cane and walked backwards, her cane tapping at the hardwood of the old rambling house that was more or less intact. It was one of the few in that section that had a roof that seemed whole. The other woman held the door. “Come in.” She said, without inflection. She held the door wider, as if seemingly giving in to the young woman’s urgings, and allowed her in. But their welcome wasn’t really ‘welcoming’.

The older of the two women shook her head. “You signed a contract. You must pay on time or no visitations. And if you don’t pay the full tenday board, we can’t feed and care for your baby properly. We aren’t a bank or Goldfinger. We have many many families that want these children, Mercy. And we won’t hesitate to hand them over especially since this has become a habit with you.” She said viciously, low under her breath.

The second woman slammed the door and locked it after admitting Mercy, even as the first woman turned on her. She moved fast, brutal, and was swift with her cane. The younger woman was unprepared, tired, and half-starved from skipping meals to pay for her baby’s board. It only took two blows to the head and she was down. Ribs cracked under the merciless cane. Mercy tried to run, staggering up to her feet and taking flight with what was left of her determination to see her child. She passed through the parlor where the main visitations always happened and through what looked like a kitchen with the older women in pursuit. She tripped over something on the floor – a toy perhaps – and staggered but kept running… the blows to her head affecting her ability to think.

Desperately, she crossed another doorway, staggered down a hall, and was into a bigger main room lined with cribs. The two older women were right behind her. The room stank of filth and death. Crib after crib contained children, some labeled with battered child-sized chalkboards with carelessly scrawled names, some with just X’s. The ones with X’s were starved, thin beyond recognizing them as human… while the ones with scrawled names were filthy, most too weak to cry…. but alive. One or two coughs could be heard along with small sounds weak sick. Mercy ran along the aisle between cribs, frantically reading names until she saw Caitlyn’s crib… her name had been scrawled – barely erased – and a big white X had been put on the board with chalk. Her daughter looked up at her with hollow eyes, barely moving, her tiny weak form holding onto its life with frail bonds. A fly crawled across her forehead, big and ugly, the kind that bit and sucked blood.

Mercy staggered then, understanding why they didn’t want to let her see her child. No coin? No food. Even as Mercy reached for the tiny bundle in the filthy cradle, the two women who had been in pursuit reached her. Blows began to rain down on her as she stared at her daughter, wanting her, yet unable to get to her. It was hard, so hard, seeing her daughters sunken in blue eyes watching the women beat her.

Then everything went dark.

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Kelski had left Moth back at The Midnight Gem. There was no cart horse or cart needed for errands in The Market. Instead, Kelski was running. She liked to run and often took them through the city, usually armed and more than capable of defending herself. She had already done the shopping, and had gotten a lot of work done in the workshop. She just needed to get out, clear her head, and recharge to spend a long night finishing several projects that were time sensitive and complex. Kelski could have worked through the burnout, but she’d learned since opening The Gem that it was far better to get out and clear her head than to keep trying to turn out good work when she wasn’t in her best frame of mind.

So she was doing a little recon, wandering the streets at a light jog, really paying attention to the normal sounds of the various street types – mud, broken cobble, stone, packed earth – so that she could put it to use when she was trying to pass quietly through the same textured materials. It was one of the things Kalitz had told her to pay attention to… to study… to memorize. So she was… jogging and listening… memorizing how her boots sounded splashing through mood and dodging steaming piles of horse offal in the streets. She was listening to other things as well, the sounds of Sunberth, as her breath came in even bursts and she tried to move herself carefully through the city learning. It was odd looking at ones environment that way… memorizing sounds she’d paid no attention to before.

Kelski cut back through the Market, kept her pace, and ended up at the end of it near the water where Svefra routinely moored their boats looking for fares to take across the broken bridges. When she turned to skirt the river bank adjacent to the Market, still listening, she thought she heard it. It was faint… croaked like a frog… but she was sure it was the word ‘help’. Kelski halted, tilted her head, and swiveled around. She was on a bank up above the river overlooking the moorings with the market at her back. She looked out across the river, back towards the market, and finally down.

That’s when she thought she saw a bundle of trash, something pushed off the street… except it had hair. Kelski refocused her eyes, shifted her vision into her classic eagle sight, and scanned the form. It was something wrapped in a filthy blanket and she could see marks where it was dumped off the edge, probably rolled down the bank, and had come to rest among other trash. She could see an arm that had come loose, fingers twitching….

Kelski immediately figured it for a person murdered and the body disposed of. Sometimes people did that, too lazy to drive them or carry them all the way to the slag heap to toss them on. Should she investigate? Should she just walk away? Women in Sunberth were rarely innocent. And the ones that were innocent didn’t live long and often ended up like the women below seemed to have. It was none of her business… but then again Ebon had been none of her business… and look what a friend he was? She cursed softly under her breath and started looking for a way down.


Last edited by Kelski on October 21st, 2018, 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on October 18th, 2018, 7:17 pm

“A bundle of harpoon bolts, and I’ll take one of those daggers, please,” Kailani told the blacksmith as she handed over her coin. The tent was set up in the same place as it had been the last time she was there, but it was a different smith. Perhaps they worked together? Or was the Market truly that transient? The man gave a gruff nod as he handed the weapons over. “Thank you,” the Svefra told him as she accepted her purchases and tucked them into her pack.

The blue-eyed seafarer hadn’t intended to be back at the Market so soon, but her fight outside of Killroy’s Kennels had only further driven home the point that one could never be too careful. A brand new dagger lost the day it was acquired, buried in the ribs of a would-be thief while Kailani ran for her life. She could only be thankful she’d had the foresight to purchase the weapons that day. If she hadn’t, something told her she would have made it out with much worse than a black eye…if she’d even made it out at all.

Kailani didn’t like to dwell on such things; she preferred reveling in the life she still held. The woman had so much she still wanted to do-she had no intention of dying on the streets in some common brawl. When she went out, she intended to do so in a blaze of glory. Not by the hands of some street rat.

These were the things that occupied her mind as she walked back to her casinor, when her musings were interrupted by a sudden noise on the river bank. Instantly on alert, Kailani reached for the hilt of the punching dagger in her pack. She turned in a slow circle as she tried to identify its source when she heard the sound again, coming from what appeared to be a pile of trash sitting at the edge of the water. Was that…was that a hand? Oceanic eyes narrowed as she fought to make out the vague shape before the sound cut through the air again. This time, she was sure it was a voice. One who meant well or ill, she did not know, but the woman didn’t hesitate. Setting her pack more firmly on her shoulders, she headed down the river bank toward the shape that had made the sound.

As she got closer, the noise became clearer-“Help,” over and over in a weak female voice. Perhaps if she’d been in Sunberth longer, she might have ignored the plea and dismissed it as a trap, but as it was, Kailani had a kind heart. She could be selfish, and she could be petty, but the sailor still cared about her fellow man. It seemed even more necessary in a city that couldn’t care less.

When Kailani at last found the source of the cries, her hands flew to her mouth. The woman laying on the bank was beyond pitiful-bruises dotting every inch of her exposed flesh while blood bubbled past her lips. She’d clearly been beaten within an inch of her life, but why and by who sent her mind reeling. Were they close by? Was this a trap, after all? Or had they just left her here to die?

Mindless of the filth and squalor surrounding them, Kailani knelt in the mud next to the woman and gently took her hand. Light as a feather, she brushed a few strands of sweat and blood-matted hair back from the stranger’s face and gazed down into her pain-stricken eyes. “Who did this to you?” the Svefra whispered as the woman clutched at her hand with all the strength that remained to her.

The woman Kailani held hardly seemed to understand the question, a violent cough wracking her body. Blood splattered her lips and the front of Kai’s shirt, the pitiful creature managing only to groan, “C-Caitlyn…” Her grip on the Svefra’s hand suddenly became deathly tight as she met her eyes with sudden lucidity. “Y-you have t-to…help h-her…” Another coughing fit seized the woman’s shuddering form as Kailani stared at her helplessly, at a loss for what to do. Who was Caitlyn? How could she help her?

Kailani looked up as another woman just barely came into view, waving her hand around to catch the other’s attention. “Please! Help!” Her voice was much stronger than the one she held, and hopefully could pull this new stranger in faster. “This woman is dying!”

Ledger :
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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kelski on November 4th, 2018, 10:33 pm

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Kelski half jumped and half slid down the slope, her daggers drawn as she let the mud carry her partway to what she’d originally assumed was a pile of trash. Another woman had come into view, this one less hindered and looking very much alive and healthy. She was pretty in an exotic way, and carried burdens from the market that looked an awful lot like weapons. Harpoons? Was she Svefra then? Kelski wasn’t sure, but the body below looked more and more like it was still alive rather than fully expired. Seeing the other woman, however, gave Kelski pause and she adjusted her course down the slope to bring her away from the body and to stable ground well away from the woman crying for help.

Cries for help in Sunberth were more often than not traps. When she reached the solid bank of the river that splayed out in firm gravel and not eroding slope the Kelvic turned and surveyed the area thoroughly. She looked past the seemingly healthy woman and the half-dead bundle and looked for anywhere ambush could be hiding. She even checked out over the water, suspicious and wary.

“Do you know her?” Kelski asked, moving closer, but only slowly and cautiously. “This looks a lot like an ambush. People don’t throw bodies out like this… they throw them on the slag heap unless they are laying traps or looking for those stupid enough to stop and help a dying woman or stupid enough to stop and rob one.” Kelski said, examining the woman and then and only then letting her eyes drop to the other. She focused carefully, halting completely, and then gently knelt so she balanced with her rump perched on her heels. It was then and only then her silver eyes met the beaten woman’s and she saw the truth of pain in them… deeper pain… soul pain…. beyond that of a beating.

“Who is Caitlyn?” Kelski asked softly, dropping the tone of her voice and letting the suspicion drain out of it. Silver eyes glanced up, met the Svefra woman’s, and then dropped again to the woman sprawled between them. “And how does she need help?” Kelski was a person that got to the point, especially when pain and suffering was involved. And while she was asking, Kelski was quietly pulling back the trash and filthy the woman had been seemingly thrown into, and saw the ugly wounds. She wasn’t one to hold punches, and the woman was in bad shape. Being no healer, and being quite a ways a way from one she would rely on, Kelski had no idea what to do.

The Kelvic waited, calm, knowing life swung in balance in Sunberth all the time. She couldn’t carry the woman somewhere safe where she could get treatment. She hadn’t brought Moth and the cart. The other woman didn’t look strong enough to carry the woman either. So instead, she gently urged the woman to tell them what she knew.

“Who’s Caitlyn?” She asked again, more firmly. “We can’t help if we don’t know…” The Kelvic said gently but firmly. The Kelvic glanced up at the Svefra again, curiously concerned.

The woman, finding strength somewhere…. began to speak in broken gasps that might have been sobs if she would have had more energy. “My name is Mer… Mercy. I had a child… Caitlyn… but I am on my own and my living… arrangements don’t allow babies. I… I had no one to care for her while I was at work. I work at a l… laundry. There is a place… a big brick house near the gated community… two blocks over, in part of the ruined city… it stands alone in a bunch of roofless buildings. Two.. two old ladies run it. They … I was told they take in children, babies especially, for … coin. I paid them to care for her, but my hours got cut. They won’t feed her if I won’t pay their board and they won’t let me see her. I broke in, pushed past them… the babies were… so horrible… no food, in filth…. and they hit me.. paid the coal man who delivers coal to dump me on the heap… but he didn’t take me that far. I want… I want… my daughter safe. She’ll die in there… they said I… they said if I didn’t pay they’d sell her… give her to another family that wants her… but … I didn’t see any families lined up. I think… they kill them.” Mercy croaked, tears trailing down her face.

Kelski couldn’t tell if they were tears of physical pain or emotional pain.

So, she reached out and touched the broken woman, laying her hand on her cheek. “I’m sorry.” She said, understanding how it was to be lied to and what it felt like to be betrayed. Kelski glanced up at the other woman. She had no idea what to do, but it seemed the thing to do was to stop the baby house or whatever it was from killing any more children. But what about Mercy…

“They lied to you. They hurt your baby when you put faith in them.” Kelski said, understanding, and the woman nodded, finally allowing herself to cry. Crying slightly baffled the Kelvic who rarely did it and always seemed surprised when it happened to her. “I can help… maybe find her. But I don’t know how to help you. Where do you live?” She asked suddenly, not sure if she could get Mercy to safety to even reunite the woman with her child.

Though the woman’s voice was soft, almost broken, she mentioned a boarding house for young women not very distant. Kelski glanced up at the slope then at the woman.

“Should we take her home? The city doctor is not safe to take anyone too. And the one doctor I know of is to far from here.” She said suddenly, deciding to deal with the problem in front of her before she even remotely attempted to deal with a baby boarding house. Kelski wasn’t fond of the idea of carrying the woman, but there really wasn’t time to go home and get her cart and getting her to The Gem to get into Ebon’s healing hands wasn’t an option for the two women on foot. She could hire a wagon, but they would probably balk at carrying an obviously beaten woman as cargo rather than regular freight.

It was a dilemma and Kelski had no idea how to proceed.

Word Count: 1095

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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Evil Comes In All Shapes And Sizes (Kailani)

Postby Kailani on November 5th, 2018, 4:41 am

“I don’t know her,” Kailani replied softly in accented Common, looking down at the woman before pulling a waterskin from her pack. Pressing it to her charge’s lips, she gently encouraged the other to drink—letting her take her fill before stowing it away again. The Svefra looked up at the newcomer with a half-hearted smile. “So I guess I’m just one of the stupid ones.”

She looked on with mild curiosity as the stranger knelt across from her, noting with satisfaction as the other started clearing away the debris. The woman might speak of the foolishness of helping a stranger, but here she was doing it herself. Perhaps they were both the stupid ones.

The Svefra woman listened with interest and slowly dawning horror as Mercy wove her tale. She’d known Sunberth was a cruel city, but this? This was beyond deplorable…this was downright evil. Visceral rage formed a tangled knot in her stomach as the woman relayed her grief-filled account, the pain clearer on Mercy’s face with each mention of Caitlyn. Kailani couldn’t imagine the torment, the pure terror upon finding one’s child in such circumstances. How could anyone be so cruel to infants? It made her blood boil.

Were there others that knew of this? There had to be, if the proprietors of the establishment were able to continue on. They had to have other patrons…were any of them aware of the conditions they placed their children under? Why was there no public outcry over this? Because it’s Sunberth, Kailani silently answered her own question. Everyone is too busy making sure they can stay alive to worry about others.

Tears filled Kailani’s own eyes as Mercy finished her heart wrenching story, though she impatiently blinked them away. There was no time for her futile weeping, not while this woman lay dying. Now was the time for action, to do what she could for an innocent soul. For the first time since Mercy began her story, Kailani spoke, “Don’t worry, Mercy. We’ll find a way to stop this. We’ll do what we can to keep your daughter safe.” She lumped the other stranger in with her own intentions—obviously the dark-haired woman sought to help Mercy, as well. Circumstance had thrust them together, and it would seem they were both determined to follow through.

Kailani looked over Mercy’s prone form into the other woman’s unusual silver eyes. “How far away is your doctor?” she asked. “There’s no way she can stand, but if we can get her to my casinor, we might be able to save her.” She gestured down the riverbank toward the shoddy pier where her small vessel was anchored. A brindle Akinva Deerstalker stood guard over the boat, snapping and growling at any who came too close.

“I can’t lift her on my own, but perhaps together, we can manage,” the Svefra went on, looking down at Mercy’s agonized face and feeling that knot of rage in her gut harden. She was only a woman who sought to take care of her child, and the thought of such loathsome people taking advantage of that base instinct…Kailani could only see red. One gentle hand stroked lightly down the side of the woman’s face. They had to set this right.

“The river is the fastest way to travel in Sunberth. So long as she can hold on that long, I can get to her most places in a matter of minutes.” She glanced at the dark-haired stranger. “At this point, it’s probably our only option besides just leaving her here. And I certainly don’t intend to do that,” she went on to reassure Mercy, whose eyes had widened in alarm. “Something tells me there won’t be anyone else nearby willing to help. I think we’re on our own here.”

She rose to her feet, giving a single attempt to wipe some of the grime from her ruined pants. Quickly realizing it was a futile effort, she gave up; it wasn’t like she was all that worried about the garment, anyway. Kailani reached down to prop up the woman’s head and shoulders, wrapping her arms around Mercy’s torso as gently as she could. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “This is probably going to hurt.”

Kai indicated for the other woman to grab her legs. “If we lift her at the same time, it should be easier. Luckily, she doesn’t seem too heavy. I think we should be able to manage.” She took a deep breath as she prepared for the lift. “I’m Kailani, by the way,” she added as an afterthought. The three women had unknowingly been thrown in this together. They ought to at least know each other’s names.

NaNo WC: 781


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Kailani
Daughter of the Sea
 
Posts: 95
Words: 105564
Joined roleplay: September 16th, 2018, 5:16 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human, Svefra
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