Driven Beneath IV

(Weekend Challenge) Kelski obsesses about a discovery and is driven below Sunberth's streets to solve a mystery.

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

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Driven Beneath IV

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:44 am

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Timestamp: 23rd of Fall, 518 A.V.

Continued From: Driven Beneath III


The funny thing was, to Kelski, it seemed like the knocking had stilled the world. It was as if the area around the twin doors had the same reaction Naska did as she hissed and froze up, as if it were startled. Silence reached out, ricocheted back, and cascade din non-noise all around them. To Kelski it was deafening. The rest wouldn’t have heard anything. Then quietly, ever so quietly, a soft male voice said….

“You may enter.” Kelski froze at the sound of it, glanced around, and nodded to herself.

She took a moment to gather her courage, draw her daggers, and stepped up to the doors once more. Kelski pushed them quietly open, held it then for Naska out of politeness and then walked right through. She looked around, stunned, as a full-fledged workshop much like her own presented itself. Only this one wasn’t standard issue. Everything was cobbled together and made up of things others had discarded. Kelski didn’t know where to look. Everywhere was something different, something unique, and almost astonishing. And the brats….

Oh, she didn’t see them after the initial pushing open the doors and walking in, but for a moment she’d glimpsed them everywhere… on tables, underfoot, walking across beams that held the ceiling together… and all of them huge. Supplies littered tables, were stacked up against walls, and papers including books covered almost every available surface that didn’t house a brat or something equivalent. And as she walked in, the creatures all just seemed to vanish – melting back into the walls, under things, behind things, and generally hiding. Their departure exposed one remaining living thing.

Kelski thought it was a horrid decorative, until it moved, and she saw the horns on the emaciated form. Was it a monster then? She tilted her head, blinked her unusual extra eye, and saw then that it was a very emaciated Eth. She moved closer, daggers still in her hands, but cautious nonetheless. “Hello.” She said softly, moving closer to the creature. She moved one leg at a time in an easy weight-shifting way that brought her close up to him without excitement and with extreme caution.

“You look unwell.” She said, as she got closer, noticing his drooping sunken skin, his painfully high cheekbones, and the fact that he looked….. petch it all to… .she noted the collar then. He had an elaborate slave collar full of precious gemstones encrusting his neck. She knew the sight of one of them readily enough. And attached to that collar was a thick chain he seemed to be dragging around with him. It was a long chain, though she could not tell where it was fastened onto a wall or iron ring with… but it looked heavy and uncomfortable. Coils of it twisted in and out of the pathways through the workshop, making it hard to tell where it ended or began. She hated it immediately.

“I’m Kelski.” She said softly, cautiously, wondering how long this creature had been down here…. and how many brats he had defended or even befriended. She wasn’t sure where the chain ended or how much play it had in it, so she simply stood where he could see her, quietly made to re-sheath her daggers, and got as good look at him as he was getting of her just standing there.

Count: 559
Last edited by Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 3:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
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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
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Driven Beneath IV

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:45 am

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“I’m Gils….” A sand-paper male voice said softly, curiously, almost puzzled as the Eth stared at her. “And no, I don’t suppose I do look to healthy now do I? Eth’s of Syna and Leth need the sunlight and moonlight to truly thrive. I haven’t seen either of those in hundreds of years.” He said quite seriously as he studied the woman. His voice sounded disused, though it was not unfriendly nor frightening. In fact, he was staring at her as puzzled as she probably had been studying him.

“You have a third eye.” He said, as if they were causally discussing the weather. Kelski blinked, feeling all three lids go down. She realized suddenly she must look as odd to him as he looked to her.

“Yes… it’s a rather new… as of yesterday new… development. I’m not sure why.” She added, finding this whole conversation surreal. “I… have you been down here hundreds of years chained up?” She said suddenly, rudely, her horror written all over her face. “I don’t mean to pry, but that sounds like no life at all.”

Gils laughed. “I suppose I have been. It’s what happens when you piss off The Goddess of Earth and she curses you to live an eternity in her womb until your lesson is learned. I suppose she sent you to torture me further.” He said, lifting a brow and staring at her. He moved then, his skeletal thing limbs and paper parchment skin rustling as if something living were gathered in a burlap bag and moving. If Gils hadn’t been so emaciated, he’d be handsome. Even Kelski could see that. But as it was his skin hung on his thin frame and he looked like a living skeleton. Even his horns did not gleam as she’d seen Eth horns gleam. He looked ill… terribly ill… and oddly she felt compassion for him.

“I wasn’t sent by anyone. Not really. I just felt compelled to follow the brats. They are rather large and I noticed them stealing… bringing food down here I assume… and things for you.” She said gently, curiously. “I have a curiosity of such things…. being one of Akajia’s children. We love a good mystery and tend not to rest once one is discovered until its solved. Is there… anything I can do to help you?” She asked quietly, glancing at his collar and her eyes tracing the chain attached to his throat.

Gils laughed, somewhat bitterly. “No, Kelski… I’m afraid there isn’t. Even though I’ve long since learned my lesson, it will be a million years and this world will pass into the next and on into the next after before a Master Jeweler wanders their way down here to assist me. That’s what I need… or so I was told when I was cursed.” He said, shaking his head at the randomness of his requirement.

Kelski blinked, tipped back her head, and laughed. It echoed through the chamber – the laboratory – and caused even the hidden things in the dark to scurry further into the darkness, hiding in shadows she could see clearly into. She laughed a bit more, just for the sake of blowing off tension.

“You’d be surprised ….where jewelers find themselves.” The Kelvic replied, humor lining her face. “So cursed by… Semele?” She asked, curious to his story and wondering what he’d done to deserve it. The Gods and Goddesses could be fickle, but the Earth Goddess never struck her as one such creature. Semele meant gemstones, something Kelski loved more than life itself. And thus it was hard for her to think anything ill of the goddess.

Count: 607
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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
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath IV

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:48 am

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“It’s for the same reason everyone gets cursed through time. Love. The Champion of Semele was a beautiful woman and I seduced her. I wooed her, stole her heart away and got greedy. She didn’t survive my plethora of ladies on the side and when she found out about not one but several of them, our marriage dissolved and she took her life. I didn’t appreciate her, Kelski. I didn’t recognize her for what she was… gifted, brilliant, and an absolute one of a kind. I grew jealous of her success. I envied her drive. I held her back, became bitter, and took lovers on the side that were less than she was so I could feel superior. It’s the oldest folly men partake of. We are raised from birth to believe we need nothing and no one. We cannot see women as equal and we cannot stand when they rise above us. I… to my utter shame I was glad in the end when she took her own life. It wasn’t suicide, but it was a suicidal action that looked on the surface to be utterly selfless. And then I raged because she was proclaimed heroic when I knew it was cowardice. Or at least what I thought was the ultimate cowardly act back then. But both Semele and I knew different. She was willing to make the sacrifice of her life because the one she’d pledged herself to forever didn’t hold the same vow and had all but cast her aside for…. Women that were so much less. Thus, to her, all the value had drained from her life. And when I stood over her burial pyre and laughed… laughed because with her death I was free to shine… Semele took me prisoner, brought me here, and had me wait out the remainder of the Valterrian and its ramifications with no one to speak to and no one to love. And it turned out in the end, with her death, and the snuffing out of her light…. all I missed was her light. And now… even now…. I would give anything to bathe in its warmth and become a shadow to its brightness. It was something I could not… would not… admit when I was free.” He said softly, giving Kelski no more detail than that.

The Kelvic stared at him then nodded thoughtfully. “I think it happens more than you know.” She said thoughtfully. If he’d been down here hundreds of years, then he didn’t know what was going on above ground. “What…. What have you been doing down here all these years? Training brats?” She asked quietly.

“Brats?” Gil asked, looking thoughtful. “You said you followed the brats here. What are brats exactly?” He asked, glancing around curious now.

“The rats the size of dogs. We call them brats above in the city. They have overrun everything and are somewhat vicious. I’ve never seen them not looking mangy though and vicious. The collars on yours make them stand out and they look so… healthy.” She said softly, glancing around again. Then she focused her djed into her eyes once more, drawing it up from her core, and watched him, not realizing how much auristics made her silver gaze go molten.


Count: 544
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath IV

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:50 am

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“You’re a mage?” He asked, surprised. Kelski blinked all three of her eyes. She shook her head denying it completely.

“I know some disciplines of magic. But I am no mage. Just ask my mate. He _is_ a mage and thinks me incapable of learning more than what I know. He offered to teach me more, but never has… he is gone a lot, busy with his work. I… he swore me not to use magic without him. I agreed, but it was a lie. It was just to reassure him. I learn what I can on my own.” She said softly, studying him now with her gaze full of djed.

His aura was blinding and she could tell by his form that there was divine magic and normal magics sliding through his body. He also spoke with a genuine aura of truth. When people lied, Kelski had noticed their auras greyed out or got muddy. The same thing happened with jealousy, envy, anger, and many other negative things. But Gil didn’t seem to be feeling any of this. Instead, he was…. was that gratitude? Had his vistors been so few to none that he’d talked to no one but the brats before now?

“As to what I do… I’m something of a scientist. I know about blood and the passing on of traits. I breed animals, change them…. and make them better… smarter, faster, more enduring. I know magics as well, though as a mage I am more of a scholar than the stories of war mages you probably grew up with. If the Alahea Empire’s reputation is still intact even after all these years and the Valterrian. The Sups… short for Superior… are my doing. The things you call Brats. I bred them up to sizes large enough to carry the things I wanted from the topside. I made them smarter too. Evidently someone needs to have a talk with them about leading the curious back to my master lair though.” He said with a smile, shifting, and suddenly looking sheepish.

“Lady Kelski, can I offer you food, wine, a place to sit that is more comfortable?” He asked suddenly. Kelski nodded politely and he turned, dragging his chain, and beckoned for her to follow him. They traversed the length of his laboratory which gave Kelski a good view of banks of cages, tables holding potions, jars of chemicals, and things she could not simply describe. He even had a forge with logs of wood resting by it and piles of charcoal. His Superiors must be smart indeed.

Gil lead them to a hearth with two couches, not unlike her own home and offered her a seat on one of the couches. He brought her mulled wine and bread with cheese. She thanked him. Then he sat down, chain coiled by his ankles, and their conversation continued.

“So, you know about my work. And you’ve said you are a Nightstalker… one of Akajia’s children. Is that the whole of your work?” Gil asked, curious about her now. He kept studying her, the third eye, and she could tell he was puzzled about her coloring.

Count: 526
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Driven Beneath IV

Postby Kelski on October 23rd, 2018, 1:51 am

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“No… I’m… I own The Midnight Gem… it’s a jewelry store. I’m the Master Jeweler there.” She said simply, her words honest, forthright, and then she paused, as if to judge his reaction. He froze, just as she thought he might, and stared at her as if he hadn’t heard her right.

“Wha… what?” His voice broke and she could see his hands tremble.

“Master Jewelers do wander beneath Sunberth sometimes, especially if they felt driven, obsessed, and as if destiny has slammed its weight on their shoulders.” She said softly, watching him, judging his reaction. This was why… this very reason was why she’d made this trip, felt so driven, and couldn’t resist the urge to follow the brats.

Gil didn’t disappoint. He took a great heaving breath, one hinting at a man on the edge of a breakdown, and whispered in his strange cracked voice. “Don’t lie to me Kelski. Don’t you dare toy with me. Its been hundreds of years. And you… you are the first visitor. The very first human visitor I’ve ever had.” He said softly, his eyes filling with tears and the silvery substance overflowed and spilled down his cheeks. She rose, slipped across the room, and in a complete act of faith sat down and took his hands.

“I am what I say I am. I don’t know how a jeweler can help you, but if I can do so I will gladly. I don’t care what you did. I’m glad you learned from it, but no one should be locked away, collared and chained. No one.” She said viciously. “Do… do you know how a jeweler can help you?” She thought the question might be a sort of obvious one, but the Kelvic didn’t want to take any chances.

“It’s the lock on my collar. It’s a puzzle ring. I was told by Semele herself that only a Master Jeweler would know how to open it. The metal is unbreakable, and By The Gods I tried to cut it off many many times in the early years. I’d given up hope. Can…. can you look at it?” He asked, bowing his head to her as her eyes fell to the mechanism that clasped his chain to his collar and held the collar as a binder around his neck.

Her hands released his and rose up to touch the thing, the hated thing, that wrapped around his neck. The stones of his collar sang to her – absolutely sang to her – and she gasped as she touched it. She’d found special stones before, ones she knew had a greater power, a higher purpose…and she’d set them aside collecting them faithfully from her own stock she’d worked. But never… never before had she felt so many bound so tightly together around the neck of a living thing. They were as much a prisoner as Gil was… each should be its own masterpiece and instead, they were bound together, forced to do something ugly they had no want to do.

Continued In: Driven Beneath V

Count: 504
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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